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Agent technologies represent a promising approach for the integration of interorganizational capabilities across distributed, networked environments. However, knowledge sharing interoperability problems can arise when agents incorporating differing ontologies try to synchronize their internal information. Moreover, in practice, agents may not have a common or global consensus ontology that will facilitate knowledge sharing and integration of functional capabilities. We propose a method to enable agents to develop a local consensus ontology during operation time as needed. By identifying similarities in the ontologies of their peer agents, a set of agents can discover new concepts/relations and integrate them into a local consensus ontology on demand. We evaluate this method, both syntactically and semantically, when forming local consensus ontologies with and without the use of a lexical database. We also report on the effects when several factors, such as the similarity measure, the relation search level depth, and the merge order, are varied. Finally, experimenting in the domain of agent-supported Web service composition, we demonstrate how our method allows us to successfully autonomously form service-oriented local consensus ontologies.
Index Terms- Ontologies in agent-based information systems, agent-mediated electronic commerce.

A. B. Williams, M. B. Blake and A. Padmanabhan, "Experimentation with Local Consensus Ontologies with Implications for Automated Service Composition," in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Data Engineering, vol. 17, no. , pp. 969-981, 2005.
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