The University of Southampton

Transitioning Applications to Ontologies

Knowledge Technologies, Grid and Distributed Computing, Agent Based Computing
EU (FP6-026460)

Significant initiatives such as WSMO, METEOR-S, ODE-SWS, SWSI, and others are creating the engineering platforms for next-generation service-based component federation and service-based application integration. Trial testbeds in large-scale commercial settings are on-going, and progress is promising for the short-to-medium-term uptake of this new technology in enterprise applications development.

The goal of the TAO project is to define a low-cost route to transitioning legacy systems to the open semantic Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs), which will enable semantic interoperability between heterogeneous data resources and distributed applications. This low-cost migration path will be accessible to both SMEs (which are cost sensitive) and large enterprises (with huge investments in complex and critical IS).

TAO is motivated by the realisation that the time is now right for the creation of an open source infrastructure to aid transitioning of legacy applications, via ontologies and refactoring into Semantic Web Services (SWSs), to SOAs. This will enable the multitude of companies to take-up these new developments without having to re-implement their applications. In this way TAO will widen the uptake of B2B and B2C eCommerce models, which:

  • are scaleable: services can be distributed on many machines, with no single point of failure;
  • have component-based architectures: that can have alternative implementation and tuning to support different service levels for different users in various market sectors;
  • encompass heterogeneous knowledge: consistent access across media types, associated semantic annotations (metadata), databases, and ontologies;
  • support multi-purpose access: for humans, services and Grid applications;
  • are supported by a development and integration toolset.

TAO will tackle several major bottlenecks of knowledge technologies in the areas of semi-automatic creation of ontologies; automated methods for metadata creation and augmentation of legacy content; and distributed heterogeneous repositories. The project will build on and enhance research and technology from diverse areas into an infrastructure for transitioning legacy systems.

Primary investigator

  • trp

Secondary investigators


  • University of Sheffield
  • Atos Origin
  • Jožef Stefan Institute
  • Mondeca
  • Ontotext
  • Dassault Aviation

Associated research group

  • Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia Group
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