In this article, we propose a change detection approach in the context of an ontology evolution framework for OWL DL ontologies. The framework allows ontology engineers to request and apply changes to the ontology they manage. Furthermore, the framework assures that the ontology and its depending artifacts remain consistent after changes have been applied. Innovative is that the framework includes a change detection mechanism that allows generating automatically a detailed overview of changes that have occurred based on a set of change definitions. In addition, different users (such as maintainers of depending artifacts) may have their own set of change definitions, which results into different overviews of the changes, each providing a different view on how the ontology has been changed. Using these change definitions, also different levels of abstraction are supported. Both features will enhance the understanding of the evolution of an ontology for different users.
Understanding ontology evolution: A change detection approach