Developing Ontologies based on Folksonomy: A Systematic Review

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Student, Hamedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, University of Qom, Qom, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of General Linguistic, Iranian Research Institute for Information Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Allameh Tabataba’I University, Tehran, Iran.

5 Assistant Professor, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Hamedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan, Iran.


Objective: This paper aims to provide a comprehensive and systematic review of published studies on the topic of developing ontologies based on folksonomies as a means of information management in electronic environments.
Method: This study is conducted using the systematic review method. After designating the questions, input, and output criteria, 87 papers published during 2003-2019 were obtained through querying domestic and international research databases. After screening the results, 29 papers (27 papers in English and 2 papers in Farsi) were closely studied and systematically analyzed. The data was entered into Excel for further statistical analysis and visualization.
Findings: This study verifies the positive results of using folksonomized ontologies in central areas, including information management, and recovery and machine learning. The purpose of organizing knowledge is the quick transfer and retrieval of information. The inefficiency of traditional information organizing tools has always made it difficult to access information quickly and easily. The growth and development of information organization over time indicates a two-way relationship between knowledge growth and organizational evolution. This mutual influence between human knowledge and its organization has been accepted as a principle and its importance has increased over time. It seems that along with the increasing development of the world of knowledge, continuous review and improvement of organizational systems are inevitable. Moreover, this study shows the increasing popularity of folksonomized ontologies among users for determining semantic relationships between tags benefiting from more extensive sets of data.
Furthermore, this study demonstrates that the synthesis between ontologies and folksonomies can facilitate semantic web development by leveraging their differences. An important factor in emphasizing the use of the tacit meanings of folksonomy is the high potential of folksonomy in facilitating the creation of semantic relationships.
Conclusion: Although studies of the application of folksonomy in the development of ontologies have been conducted since 2003, semantic limitations in folksonomy have remained a challenging issue over last decades. However, the vast majority of user-generated folksonomies offer a promising future for semantic web development. Considering the significance of synthesizing folksonomies and ontologies in improving the semantic relationships in information systems and attending to users’ needs by obtaining useful data from tags, further studies are required to find effective solutions to the semantic ambiguities tags and to structure them. This study offers new perspectives to assist experts in the fields of information management and the semantic web.


Main Subjects

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