ONTOCOM is a cost estimation model for the area of Ontology Engineering, whose goal is to predict the costs (expressed in person months) arising in typical classes of ontology engineering processes such as ontology building, reuse or maintenance. At the moment, ONTOCOM is a prototypical non-calibrated cost model, which will be permanently refined with the collection of empiric data on person month efforts spent in developing real-world ontologies.

Designed in the tradition of Software Engineering, ONTOCOM uses a parametric prediction equation which contains product-, personnel and project management-related effort multipliers. These effort multipliers adjust the nominal development effort to reflect the specialties of the ontology and of the underlying engineering process. Depending on their positive or negative influence on the nominal value, they are rated with values from Very Low to Very High. If a particular activity increases the nominal development effort, then it would be rated with values such as High and Very High. Otherwise, if it causes a decrease of the nominal costs, then it would be rated with values such as Low and Very Low.

ONTOCOM has been initially developed at the Free University of Berlin in collaboration with the Institute AIFB at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Currently, ONTOCOM is further advanced at STI Innsbruck and the Institute AIFB.


The ONTOCOM LITE model is a variant of the original ONTOCOM model. It has been developed in order to increase the precision of predictions for the estimation of ontology engineering projects involving more lightweight knowledge structures, as previously motivated. In the last year, this version of the model has been further refined to reflect requirements relevant for corporate settings.


Still, folksonomies are very popular in a Web context. Due to the introduction of Web2.0-based technologies in enterprises, they get relevant in corporate settings as well. It is, however, difficult to estimate the effort or costs required to introduce a folksonomy into an existing enterprise scenario. Tailor-made folksonomy effort estimation mechanisms or folksonomy effort-data, which is usable for analogy, are sparsely available.
Comparing the folksonomy to other knowledge structures (e.g. taxonomy) in economical terms, such as effort or costs, is hence a problem.
The last year's work focused on the development of a cost estimation method for folksonomies. A possible solution to the folksonomy estimation problem could be FOLCOM , a FOLksonomy Cost estimatiOn Method. FOLCOM is a new tool which provides the opportunity to estimate the effort, which a community spends on the folksonomy construction.


February 28th, 2011 New Deliverable

ACTIVE Deliverable Tool Suite

November 23th, 2010 New Publication

Technical Report Integrating ONTOCOM to gOntt

August 31st, 2010 New Deliverable

ACTIVE Deliverable Methods for cost estimation, planning and controlling

June 29th, 2010 FOLCOM or the costs of tagging

In: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management 2010 (EKAW 2010), Lisbon, Portugal, Oct 11 - Oct 15, 2010

June 28th, 2010 Ontology Reuse - Is it Feasible?

Book chapter "Ontology Reuse - Is it Feasible?" published in H. Jin and Z. Lv, editors: Data Management on the Semantic Web. Nova Science Publishers, 2010.

June 23th, 2010 SemTech 2010

Presentation at the Semantic Technology Conference (SemTech 2010), San Francisco, CA, Jun 21 - Jun 25, 2010

February 28th, 2010 New Deliverable

ACTIVE Deliverable Cost Benefit-Driven Methods Supporting Collaborative Knowledge Creation

February 28th, 2010 New Deliverable

ACTIVE Deliverable Calibrated Predictive Model for Costs and Benefits

August 31st, 2009 New Deliverable

ACTIVE Deliverable Use cases for cost benefit information in collaborative knowledge creation:

February 28th, 2009 New Deliverable

ACTIVE Deliverable Preliminary Predictive Model for Costs and Benefits

"Estimating and Managing the Costs and Benefits of Knowledge Structures"

November 15th, 2009 Questionnare for ONTOCOM LITE model online

The current version of the questionaire is available in English and German.

Check out our work on the Enterprise Value Estimation for Knowledge based Systems (EVEKS) framework. For more click here.