Analyzing impacts of change operations in evolving ontologies
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Ontologies evolve over time to adapt to the dynamically changing knowledge in a domain. The evolution includes addition of new entities and modification or deletion of obsolete entities. These changes could have impacts on the remaining entities and dependent systems of the ontology. In this paper, we address the impacts of changes prior to their permanent implementation. To this end, we identify possible structural and semantic impacts and propose a bottom-up change impact analysis method which contains two phases. The first phase focuses on analyzing impacts of atomic change operations and the second phase focuses on analyzing impacts of composite changes which include impact cancellation, balancing and transformation due to implementation of two or more atomic changes. This method provides crucial information on the impacts and could be used for selecting evolution strategies and conducting what-if analysis before evolving the ontologies.