PrF UG intro what is protege

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What is Protege?

Protege-Frames User's Guide
Intoductory Topics
Using this Guide
What is Protege?
What is Protege-Frames?
Planning a Project
A Newspaper Example
Extending Protege
Glossary, Editing Help

Protege is a free, open-source platform that provides a growing user community with a suite of tools to construct domain models and knowledge-based applications with ontologies. At its core, Protege implements a rich set of knowledge-modeling structures and actions that support the creation, visualization, and manipulation of ontologies in various representation formats. Protege can be customized to provide domain-friendly support for creating knowledge models and entering data. Further, Protege can be extended by way of a plug-in architecture and a Java-based Application Programming Interface (API) for building knowledge-based tools and applications.

An ontology describes the concepts and relationships that are important in a particular domain, providing a vocabulary for that domain as well as a computerized specification of the meaning of terms used in the vocabulary. Ontologies range from taxonomies and classifications, database schemas, to fully axiomatized theories. In recent years, ontologies have been adopted in many business and scientific communities as a way to share, reuse, and process domain knowledge. Ontologies are now central to many applications such as scientific knowledge portals, information management and integration systems, electronic commerce, and semantic web services.

The main assumption of Protege is that knowledge-based systems are usually very expensive to build and maintain. For example, the expectation is that knowledge-based system development is a team effort, including both developers and domain experts who may have less familiarity with computer software. Protege is designed to guide developers and domain experts through the process of system development. Protege is designed to allow developers to reuse domain ontologies and problem-solving methods, thereby shortening the time needed for development and program maintenance. Several applications can use the same domain ontology to solve different problems, and the same problem-solving method can be used with different ontologies. For more information about building knowledge-based systems and the Protege approach, see Planning a Protege-Frames Project.

The Protege platform supports two main ways of modeling ontologies:

  • The Protege-Frames editor enables users to build and populate ontologies that are frame-based, in accordance with the Open Knowledge Base Connectivity (OKBC) protocol. Specifically, it provides a full-fledged user interface and knowledge server to support users in constructing and storing frame-based domain ontologies, customizing data entry forms, and entering instance data.

  • The Protege-OWL editor enables users to build ontologies for the Semantic Web, in particular in the W3C's Web Ontology Language (OWL).

    Note: This User's Guide describes how to use the Protege-Frames interface. If you wish to use the OWL extension to Protege, see the CO-ODE website for documentation and examples.