In-Person Conference Taxonomy Workshops

Knowledge Engineering of Taxonomies and Ontologies

Organizer: SEMANTiCS Conference
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm CEST (with lunch break)
Location: HYPERION Hotel, Leipzig, Germany (remote, live, online access also available)

Semantic technologies support linking and connecting data and enable the targeted retrieval of information. This requires knowledge organization systems, especially taxonomies and ontologies, whereby concepts are tagged to content or linked to data and linked to each other. While published knowledge organization systems exist for reuse, it’s best to have a knowledge organization system that is custom-created to serve the needs of its users and reflect a specific set of data and content. The goal of this tutorial is to teach participants how to design and build such knowledge organization systems.

Semantic web standards/guidelines, such as SKOS, RDF, OWL, etc. provide guidance on how to structure knowledge so that it is machine-readable and interoperable, but these standards do not specify how to make knowledge organization systems functional for its goals of information retrieval and supporting best practices for design and user experience. This is a difference between theory and practice.

This tutorial teaches the fundamentals and best practices for creating quality taxonomies and simple domain ontologies, based on Semantic Web standards, whether for the enterprise or for specific knowledge bases in any industry. Emphasis will be on serving users and use cases, rather than on theory. Topics to be covered include: different kinds of knowledge organization systems (taxonomies, thesauri, ontologies, etc.) their differences and their benefits and suitability for different purposes, Semantic Web standards and other standards, taxonomy/thesaurus concept creation, taxonomy/thesaurus relationship creation, ontology modeling basics for classes, relations and attributes, linking knowledge organization systems, and enriching a taxonomy or thesaurus to become an ontology and a knowledge graph.


  • Different kinds of knowledge organization systems (taxonomies, thesauri, ontologies, etc.)
  • Different knowledge organization system benefits and suitability for different purposes
  • Semantic Web standards and other standards
  • Taxonomy/thesaurus concept and relationship creation
  • Ontology modeling basics for classes, relations and attributes
  • Linking knowledge organization systems
  • Enriching a taxonomy or thesaurus to become an ontology and a knowledge graph


Lecture with periodic discussion, open to Q&A any time. Occasional exercises will ask participants to write down answers and then share them with the class, and the instructor will write them on a white board or flip chart

Intended Audience

Those in industry who need to develop or oversee the development for enhancement of knowledge organization systems or knowledge models. This includes: managers of data, information, content, or knowledge; ontologists or knowledge engineers who are not experienced in creating taxonomies; and those who have a basic understanding of taxonomies or ontologies, but would like to know more.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the diversity of knowledge organization systems and which are better suited for which situations
  • What resources to use in developing a taxonomy
  • How to develop concepts and labels that best serve the users
  • How to construct taxonomy relationships according to standards and best practices
  • How to model a basic business ontology
  • How to extend a taxonomy into an ontology

Prerequisite knowledge

Basic understanding of what taxonomies and ontologies are and what they are used for, but prior experience creating them is not required. Although this information will be reviewed, it will be quick

Registration and costs
Register here
Registration options:

  • Tutorial/workshop single day only (add a second, afternoon session)
    • In-person + hybrid access (includes refreshment breaks, lunch): € 210
    • Online: € 60
  • Full three days of tutorial/workshop day plus two full days of sessions
    • In-person + hybrid access (includes refreshment breaks, lunches, and Thursday dinner): € 595
    • Online: € 180