OntoSen: an ontology framework for the characterization of seniors in learning systems

Tracking #: 2653-3867

Paul Dayang
Gazissou Balama
Kaladzavi Guidedi1
Mfenjou Martin Luther

Responsible editor: 
Oscar Corcho

Submission type: 
Full Paper
The principle of the right to education cannot be limited to any age or any period of life. The need to discover oneself, to discover other peoples, to access an increasingly higher stage of reflection and to learn from immediate environment, in order to participate in the evolution of the world, is primordial at all times, for any individual. In this article, we pro-pose an ontology framework called OntoSen, for the characterization of seniors in learning systems. OntoSen contains four ontologies that describe seniors, namely: an ontology of the senior person, an ontology of the activities of seniors, an ontology of learning interests of seniors and an ontology of learning needs of seniors. OntoSen's ontologies were built from observations made through surveys and statistics on senior in Africa. These ontologies are proposed to allow learning systems to categorize seniors according to their learning needs and interests, and to facilitate the task in con-structing profiles of seniors. OntoSen allows to make learning systems smarter insofar as it plays the role of a recom-mendation system which allows to anticipate on the choices and intentions of seniors by offering learning according to their needs and interests learning.
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Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
Anonymous submitted on 01/Feb/2021
Review Comment:

This paper presents a set of ontologies applied to the elderly people in Africa. The authors claim that the ontologies were built based on surveys with the goal to play a key role in a learning and recommendation systems. Although I am very pleased with the application of using ontologies and semantic technologies to the domain, I am not convinced that the current paper is ready for publication in the Semantic Web Journal, mainly due to the lack of originality and the significance of the results. The paper is easy to read even though there are some figures that are not necessary (e.g., Figures 9 and 10 just to mention those two figures). I would suggest the authors (re)submit a mature version of the manuscript in a different track, such as “Descriptions of ontologies”.

Detailed comments
1- It is hard to evaluate the ontologies since Section 5 is mainly a screenshot of a SPARQL query. I suggest to authors to use SoA ontology evaluations, like using Competency Questions (CQs) and other sounded metrics to evaluate the scope of the ontologies.
2- In the Conclusion, the authors mentioned “OntoSen has been proposed [..] to make learning systems smarter”. This is exactly what we want to see described in the paper. How has the use of ontology actually improved the learning process? A comparison of both approaches will be useful to assess this work.
3- Section 6: “Enrich the ontology by extending its fields of action”. Does that mean the actions are not in the current scope of OntoSen? If yes, how do you evaluate the scope of OntoSen?
4- Figure 9: Retired is SubClassOf Professional. What about modelling this as an Event happening at some period of time? How do you capture the “life-cycle” of a Person from (adult, professional, Senior and retired) in a human life? I don’t see any mention of time. For example to say “Bob was Lecturer at the University of Maroua from 2000 to 2020 and he has been retired since January 2021”.
5- I miss a link to the set of ontologies for assessment. Please, provide a link of the resources so that we can easily assess them. It is difficult to understand your modeling choices. The class “Have_income” is an example. What are possible instances of this class? Sometimes, it is also hard the choice between the classes instead of enumerated values for instance. This modeling choice should also be clearly described in the manuscript.
6- You take the reference from the surveys to make your ontology. Would that not be a restriction to your application domain? If tomorrow you have a different survey, how would it impact the changes of your modeling choices?

7- One of the objectives of creating ontology is also to support FAIR principles and reuse as much as possible existing ontologies. That criteria is not available in your ontology. For example, why don’t you reuse foaf:Person or any other ontology available at https://lov.linkeddata.es/dataset/lov/terms?q=Person&type=class This also applies to any other classes in the ontology.

8- Section 4.6: I wonder if you have checked which reasoner can deal with the rules. Maybe write them in SWRL, RIF, N3 or other semantic languages to be able to make reasoning on top of the instances.

9- Figure 2: The architecture is not clear to me. Are the links representing the “semantic relations” between the modules? How do you use the different modules? I suggest also to check the works on NeOn Methodology and Ontology Design Pattern (ODP) to get inspired on how to “interconnect” different modules of ontologies.
10- In section 4.3.1 “Most African seniors spend their day at home …”. Please, add a reference.
11- Table 2: I miss in the SoA (section 3) other works/studies using ontology in context-aware systems with users to complete table 2.
12- Figure 1: Where is the reasoner? On the server side, what contains “DB”? I guess this figure if completed would be the architecture of the purpose of this ontology. Hence, it could constitute the main application of the designed ontology.
13- Section 2.1: In your assumption of an elderly person, why don’t you model an elderly_person according to the country of origin? What happened to someone in a different country outside of Africa to use OntoSen? Moreover, I do not see the axioms associated with the assumption “an elderly person is a person from 50 years old located in those 10 countries in Table 1.

Definitely, this is a nice use case for leveraging semantic technologies, but the current manuscript contains many weak points. Also, the use of the title “framework” is somehow misleading because the paper mainly describes a set of ontologies. IMHO, the authors do not meet their goal as stated in the introduction to propose a system using ontologies to anticipate the intentions of the users, hereafter called seniors.

Review #2
Anonymous submitted on 11/Feb/2021
Review Comment:

The authors present the development of a set of ontologies to be used in learning systems for seniors. Although the domain of the ontology is relevant, this paper presents several shortcomings:

1. If I am correctly interpreting the diagrams, there are axioms that are not true. For instance, `Place_of_residence`should not be subclass of `Senior`. There are other modeling deficiencies, for example, the definition of the set of subclasses of `Health`: `Back_pain`, `Dependence`, etc.

2. There are names that are not appropriate. For example, `Social` should be `SocialSituation`.

3. The reuse of an ontology poses different challenges, which have not been shown.

4. The evaluation is clearly insufficient. If the system supported by the ontology was developed, its validity would be shown.

5. In essence, I have not appreciate any scientific contribution. I see rather a postgraduate exercise.