The article presents an ontology of nanomaterials which is intended for supporting knowledge generation and information interchange processes in the domain of nanotechnologies. The problems we have faced to are quite common for such broader-scope ontologies. They include the lack of strict borders of the domain, and precise definitions for concepts, intersection with conceptually near domains, several alternative classifications of the main concepts (such as nanomaterial or nanotechnology), simultaneous existence of different definitions for one term and several context-dependent roles in a single concept. The proposed ontology may serve as a conceptual basis for further extension in the following directions:
- populating the ontology with new terminology by means of dictionaries, thesauri, etc.
- populating the ontology with facts extracted from external structured information sources (e.g. databases), using techniques described in the article;
- populating the ontology with facts extracted from unstructured information sources using natural language processing and information extraction technologies.