Date of Award

Fall 2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Sciences - (Ph.D.)

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

James Geller

Second Advisor

Narain Gehani

Third Advisor

Dimitri Theodoratos

Fourth Advisor

Yi-Fang Brook Wu

Fifth Advisor

Yugyung Lee

Abstract

Ontologies could play an important role in assisting users in their search for Web pages. This dissertation considers the problem of constructing natural ontologies that support users in their Web search efforts and increase the number of relevant Web pages that are returned. To achieve this goal, this thesis suggests combining the Deep Web information, which consists of dynamically generated Web pages and cannot be indexed by the existing automated Web crawlers, with ontologies, resulting in the Semantic Deep Web. The Deep Web information is exploited in three different ways: extracting attributes from the Deep Web data sources automatically, generating domain ontologies from the Deep Web automatically, and extracting instances from the Deep Web to enhance the domain ontologies. Several algorithms for the above mentioned tasks are presented. Lxperimeiital results suggest that the proposed methods assist users with finding more relevant Web sites. Another contribution of this dissertation includes developing a methodology to evaluate existing general purpose ontologies using the Web as a corpus. The quality of ontologies (QoO) is quantified by analyzing existing ontologies to get numeric measures of how natural their concepts and their relationships are. This methodology was first applied to several major, popular ontologies, such as WordNet, OpenCyc and the UMLS. Subsequently the domain ontologies developed in this research were evaluated from the naturalness perspective.

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