Ontologies are agreements about shared conceptualizations. Shared conceptualizations include conceptual frameworks for modelling explicit knowledge; content-specific protocols for communication among inter-operating agents; and agreements about the representation of particular theories. In the knowledge sharing context, ontologies are specified in the form of definitions of representational vocabulary. A very simple case would be a type hierarchy, specifying classes and their subsumption relationships. Relational database schemata also serve as ontologies by specifying the relations that can exist in some shared database and the integrity constraints that must hold for them.
Source: WP5 - glossary
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