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<p>The authors present a vision of next generation tools and services that will enable the widespread development and use of computer interpretable ontologies. Central to that vision is the notion of distributed ontology repositories, resident on multiple ontology servers containing large-scale highly structured ontologies and supported by sophisticated ontology construction, testing, merging, extraction, reformulation, and translation tools.</p> <p>A key enabler in the distributed ontology repository architecture is a network application programming interface (API) for ontology servers that will support storage, manipulation, and access to the contents of ontologies on a server. The authors describe how OKBC, an API specifically designed to provide knowledge-level interoperability among server and client systems, provides that support. They then consider the criteria for an ontology representation language and an agenda of extensions to current ontology representation languages that address major deficiencies in those languages and appear to be attainable in next-generation languages. Finally, they address what reasoning is needed to support ontology repository construction and use. They describe a deductive-retrieval facility under development for the Ontolingua ontology server, which includes a theorem prover that runs as a background task to reformulate sentences so that they are accessible by the server's special-purpose high-speed retrieval methods. </p>

R. Fikes and A. Farquhar, "Distributed Repositories of Highly Expressive Reusable Ontologies," in IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 14, no. , pp. 73-79, 1999.
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