Towards the Cultural Knowledge Ontology

Othusitse S.D. Phefo, Naledi Kefitiley, Hlomani Hlomani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)


Ontologies are reusable artifacts within the Software Engineering filed that are a pillar of the Semantic Web. Created in a different context, they can be adapted and applied in another context. This paper endeavors to develop a knowledge base in the form of an ontology that formalizes all aspects to do with culture and thus contribute to the preservation and dissemination of cultural knowledge. Written in the context of a small African country (Botswana), the ontology is expected to be generic enough to be adaptable and reusable in the global context. Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, livelihoods, religion, traditional medicine, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. Culture is transmitted orally from father to son, mother to daughter or teacher to a student. However, this knowledge is gradually lost as many young people migrate to popular culture. The absence of tools and technologies that aide in the preservation and dissemination of cultural knowledge lead to the gradual loss of cultural valuable information that could be useful for tourism, and learning. Information currently representing elements that define culture is dispersed, heterogeneous, disjointed, in varying stages of formalization and digitization, and distributed in collections of different memory organizations at different locations. As a solution, this paper introduces ontologies to formulate an efficient way to preserve and represent cultural knowledge. The benefits of the cultural ontology include, reuse, sharing, and portability of knowledge across platforms. Overall, the cultural knowledge ontology leads to a better understanding of concepts in the cultural domain and to a more effective and efficient way of handling information about concepts in the cultural knowledge domain.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2015 IEEE 16th International Conference on Information Reuse and Integration, IRI 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781467366564
Publication statusPublished - Oct 19 2015
Event16th IEEE International Conference on Information Reuse and Integration, IRI 2015 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Aug 13 2015Aug 15 2015


Other16th IEEE International Conference on Information Reuse and Integration, IRI 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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