From ontology to knowledge graph with agile methods: the case of COVID-19 CODO knowledge graph

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Research Article

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International Journal of Web Information Systems


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the CODO ontology (COviD-19 Ontology) that captures epidemiological data about the COVID-19 pandemic in a knowledge graph that follows the FAIR principles. This study took information from spreadsheets and integrated it into a knowledge graph that could be queried with SPARQL and visualized with the Gruff tool in AllegroGraph. Design/methodology/approach: The knowledge graph was designed with the Web Ontology Language. The methodology was a hybrid approach integrating the YAMO methodology for ontology design and Agile methods to define iterations and approach to requirements, testing and implementation. Findings: The hybrid approach demonstrated that Agile can bring the same benefits to knowledge graph projects as it has to other projects. The two-person team went from an ontology to a large knowledge graph with approximately 5 M triples in a few months. The authors gathered useful real-world experience on how to most effectively transform “from strings to things.” Originality/value: This study is the only FAIR model (to the best of the authors’ knowledge) to address epidemiology data for the COVID-19 pandemic. It also brought to light several practical issues that generalize to other studies wishing to go from an ontology to a large knowledge graph. This study is one of the first studies to document how the Agile approach can be used for knowledge graph development.

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