MDA-based automatic OWL ontology development

Dragan Gašević, Dragan Djurić, Vladan Devedžić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT)-based approach for automatic generation of the Web Ontology Language (OWL) from a UML model. Similar solutions that treat this problem are mostly partial since they do not use full metamodeling potentials. Although they emphasize the notion of the use UML for ontology development and propose necessary transformations into Semantic Web languages (e.g., RDF Schema, DAML, DAML+OIL), their UML models must be further refined using ontology-specialized tool. None of these approaches enables instance modeling and generation of OWL ontologies. In our efforts to make ontological and software engineering techniques closer, we have firstly defined ontology metamodeling architecture using Model Driven Architecture (MDA) concepts. This architecture consists of the Ontology Definition Metamodel defined using Meta Object Facility (MOF) and based on the OWL, as well as the related Ontology UML Profile (OUP). A transformation, that we present here, extends this metamodeling architecture and transforms an ontology from its OUP definition (i.e., XML Metadata Interchange - XMI) into the OWL description. Accordingly, we illustrate how an OUP-developed ontology can be shared with ontological engineering tools (i.e., Protégé).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-117
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Model Driven Architecture
  • Ontology development
  • OWL
  • UML Profile
  • XSLT

Cite this