January 30, 2019

KNOWLEDGE GRAPHS: The role of Domain Experts

We have previously delved into detail about concept, conceptualization, and relations to build a knowledge graph.  In this, we shall see how domain expertise can contribute to these vital components of the graph and its building exercise.

Current knowledge engineering methodologies are analogous to software engineering approaches. Knowledge Engineers drive the knowledge graph authoring process. They are the people who know how to create formal conceptualizations of a domain but do not know the domain to be modeled.

On the other hand, Domain Experts are the people who have detailed insights and knowledge of the domain to be modeled, act as “sources” of informal domain knowledge. These knowledge engineering methodologies follow an iterative ontology-authoring approach, where Knowledge Engineers gather the requirements for the knowledge graph from the Domain Experts, interpret them and add it to the domain model. Domain Experts being the authority on the domain, verify or validate or suggest revisions in the model.


For example, the if we envisage building a knowledge graph for a city, the travel guide would become one of the domain experts.  He could well advise, for example, the significance of visiting two apparently unrelated sites using a particular narrative (derived from experience and inference) and also could recommend a cuisine.  However, a culinary expert may have a different recommendation.  The graph’s author would assimilate such relations ad encode them.

Modern state of the art knowledge graph construction tools, such as neo4j, are also designed based on the idea that Knowledge Engineers drive the ontology authoring

process because Domain Experts have no understanding of the conceptual challenges and formal, expressive languages in which ontologies are encoded e.g., cipher queries in neo4j.

In particular, involving Domain Experts in the process of authoring neo4j knowledge graphs, enable them to not only provide domain knowledge to Knowledge Engineers but also to directly contribute to the editing of certain parts of the ontology, such as the taxonomy, the documentation, or certain axioms on their own or together with Knowledge Engineers.

A brief overview of the role of a Knowledge Engineer and a domain expert can be seen as below in creating a Knowledge Graph for a domain:

Thus actively involving Domain Experts in ontology authoring is an important requirement in fields such as the Knowledge graphs or the Semantic Web and is necessary for creating accurate Knowledge bases.  SAAL’s expertise in knowledge graphs has been vastly used in education and health sectors.


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