The Comparison of efficiency of Thesaurus vs. Ontology in Concepts Retrieval

Document Type : مقالات پژوهشی


1 Assistant Professor of Library and Information Department, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

2 Doctoral student in the field of librarianship and information, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


The aim of the current research is to compare the capabilities of a thesaurus and an ontology for retrieval of concepts. The research also develops the methodology of ontology construction by implementing domain analysis methodology.
The present work by applying the domain analysis approach developed a prototype ontology named ASFAOnt in the domain of Indexing by reengineering a current thesaurus in Persian language named ASFA.
The ontology was evaluated by a retrieval test in which the usability and the performance of the ontology were investigated. Usability and performance were compared with a baseline, a classic-type thesaurus with the conventional thesaurus structure, ASFA thesaurus. The evaluation was carried out as a controlled experiment in which a group of information searchers, LIS master students, used the thesaurus and ontology to extract three keywords according to their in mind search queries. The evaluative study was followed by a qualitative analysis of the nature of concepts, individual relationships and the textual and visual display so as to provide an understanding of and insight into the quality of the ontology as well as to gather ideas for further development. In order to gather more validated data on users’ performance and satisfaction, thinking aloud technique was used. Also the experimental retrieval test in the usability test was followed by a questionnaire survey, constructed on the basis of ONTOMETRIC approach.
The result of the study indicates that ontology structure is useful and provides valuable inspiration for the user. Providing enriched conceptual content and specific relationships have stimulated users to do more interaction with the ontology and to achieve more satisfaction with the applicability and potential of the ontology in comparison with the thesaurus in the traditional structure.


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