The e-commerce market has been growing constantly over the past few years. Today more than 50% of total revenues of mail order companies are achieved through e-commerce channels. According to a 2009 TNS Infratest survey, Germany is the global leading country in e-commerce with a spending of more than 900€ apiece in 2008.

High quality product information is likely to be the most important factor in all domains of electronic commerce and throughout the whole value chain. Manufacturers describe their products, shop providers integrate descriptions into their offerings, customers experience can be added within the given descriptions. Thus, structure and quality of the given data highly influence all actors involved in the business processes.

The primary objective of OPDM is to design and implement tools for the basic creation, management and population of product domains. Several key issues are therefore investigated. In order to build a foundation for product ontologies, a meta model for product ontologies based on good relations is being developed. The creation of actual product ontologies is supported by an intuitive and end-user friendly collaborative editor. Additionally, the import of unstructured data (like csv) and the relation to the created product ontology will be supported by an intelligent set of import rules.

The main contribution of the interactive systems research group lies in the analysis and development of interactive components for the cooperative creation and maintenance of semantic product models. To fulfill this goal, an editor for distributed, cooperative design and visualization of product ontologies is being developed. Additionally, the inclusion of available linked open data descriptions will be investigated.

Contrary to existing approaches, the edition should be accessible to e-commerce oriented users without deeper knowledge of ontologies and their underlying concepts. Hence, the components should follow common usability guidelines. The relevance for practical suitability, its usability and the acceptance of the developed solution will be validated with empirical studies in cooperation with the project partners.

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Jürgen Ziegler

Full Professor

Further contributors

Werner Gaulke

Former team member

Timo Stegemann

Former team member


Entwicklung semantischer Produktdatenmodelle durch Domänenexperten: Fehleranalyse und Werkzeugunterstützung