Ontology Driven e‑Government


  • Peter Salhofer
  • Bernd Stadlhofer
  • Gerald Tretter


e-government, ontology, WSMLWSMO, goal orientation, form generation


This paper presents an approach to model ontologies for the e‑Government domain as a basis for an integrated e‑Government environment. Over the last couple of years the application of semantic methodologies and technologies in the e‑Government domain has become an important field of research. A significant number of these approaches aim at automatic service discovery and service orchestration (Lu et al. 2004) (Crichton et al. 2007) by adding and utilizing semantic annotations to web services. In contrast to these approaches it was our idea to use semantic methodologies in a more forward‑engineering manner — to create a semantic model first and to use this model e.g. for service selection but also as basis for the automatic generation of "intelligent" web forms. Thus the ontologies can be seen as a model that forms the basis of a Model Driven Architecture (Miller et al. 2001) approach to e‑Government. That is why we call it Ontology Driven e‑Government. The principle is rather straightforward. Every public service is semantically modeled and contains references to the required input elements. Any constraints on the service input element — also known as preconditions — can be expressed by semantic rules and evaluated by semantic reasoners. This allows for an automatic creation of (web) forms and interactive plausibility checks of data gathered from the user. Instead of scattering logic over numerous functions and procedures in all possible layers of an application, it is now consistently kept in the semantic model. Another key advantage of this approach is that the knowledge of public services becomes available in a machine processable form which allows for much more than just forms creation. Discovering the citizen's actual goal is one of these use‑cases and is actually a very central and important step. When developing the idea of ontology driven e‑Government it was one main idea to achieve a strong decoupling between the form solution and the backend. Such a decoupling can be achieved by transforming the input data into a common data interchange standard format, which was EDIAKT II (Freitter et al. 2006) — an XML Schema definition for the exchange of electronic documents between public authorities in Austria — in our case. Following this approach the input data can be consumed by any application supporting the data interchange standard EDIAKT II like the SOA‑backend also proposed in this paper.



1 Dec 2009