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Helping to Create a Shared Materials, Manufacturing and Design (MMD) Vocabulary

A shared language to describe things and relationships between things engineers, scientists and machines care about is essential for the exchange of data, information and knowledge. Whether the communication is person-to-person, machine-to-person, person-to-machine, or machine-to-machine, one needs to understand what the other is saying.

Semantic technology addresses this requirement through the development and use of vocabularies and ontologies. For example, Linked Open Vocabularies is searchable catalog of about 500 vocabularies developed by various communities and used in Linked Open Data (LOD). In another example the biology and biomedical community created the OBO Foundary to establish shared vocabularies and express their domain relationships. is yet another example. According to the website, Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex "...rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right Web pages."

MatVocab, a vocabulary curation wiki, can bring the MMD community together to share in the development of a common vocabulary.

Each page contains elements of a term's definition:

  • Definition Text
  • Definitions on Other Websites (links)
  • Images
  • Video
  • Sound Recordings
  • Equations (using MathML)
  • Code Snippets
  • Links to Source Code
  • Related Information

Uses for the MMD Vocabulary

Crowd-source Open Definitions

More than one definition can be present on a term's page. The community can use MatVocab as a means to express member opinions and ultimately select specific elements to define a term. In other cases, what started as a definition for one term could evolve into multiple terms with their own respective definition elements. For example, perhaps "Modulus" was added as a term. Then, through community discussion, that specific term was spun-off into other terms TensileModulus, ShearModulus, CompressiveModulus, or BulkModulus.

Provide a Repository for Licensed Definitions

One unique feature of MatVocab is the ability to allow for multiple textual definitions along with their respective source and license information. Therefore, whenever an element of a definition is used, the license is presented along with the element.

Access Any Element of a Definition Using SPARQL

Since MatVocab makes use of the Semantic Media Wiki extension, SPARQL can be used to access any text-based element of a term's definition.