Book chapter

An Architecture for Attesting to the Provenance of Ontologies Using Blockchain Technologies


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  • 31.07.2022
Published in:
  • Business Modeling and Software Design. BMSD 2022. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing. - Springer International Publishing. - 2022, vol. 453, p. 182-199
English When applying ontologies in practice, human and machine agents need to ensure that their provenance is trustworthy and it can be relied upon the contained concepts. This is particularly crucial for sensitive tasks such as in medical diagnostics or for safety-critical applications. In this paper, we propose an architecture for the decentralized attestation and verification of the integrity and validity of ontologies using blockchain technologies. Blockchains are an immutable, tamper-resistant and decentralized storage where all transactions are digitally signed. Thus, they permit tracing the provenance of concepts and identify responsible actors. For a proof-of-concept we extended the WebProtégé editor so that domain experts can attest to the provenance of ontologies via their Ethereum blockchain account, subsequently permitting other actors to reason about the validity and integrity of ontologies. For evaluating the applicability of this approach, we explore a use case in the biomedical domain and perform a cost analysis for the public Ethereum blockchain. It is shown that the attestation procedure is technically feasible and offers a new strategy for placing trust in ontologies.
Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales et du management
Département d'informatique
  • English
Computer science and technology
Rights reserved
Open access status
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