Currently computers are
changing from single isolated devices into entry points
into a worldwide network of information exchange and business
transactions. Support in data, information, and knowledge
exchange is becoming the key issue in current computer technology.
Ontologies will play a major role in supporting information
exchange processes in various areas. They will enable the
semantic web which provides on-line access to large volumes
of information and knowledge based on machine-processable
semantics of data. In consequence, there is a large interest
in these topics from various sites.
Different research communities develop their subject into
this direction; many commercial agents encounter the economical
potential of the topic and many funding agencies are willing
to provide significant support for its development. Still
the different communities are scattered and have not yet
found enough interactions to fully employ the potential
of this new technology. It is the delighted goal of the
OntoWeb network to bypass communication bottlenecks between
these various and heterogeneous interest groups.