An ontological approach to meet information needs of farmers in Sri Lanka

  • Walisadeera A
  • Wikramanayake G
  • Ginige A
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Farmers in Sri Lanka are badly affected by not being able to get vital information required to support their farming activities in a timely manner. Some of the required information can be found in government websites, agriculture department leaflets, and through radio and television programs on agriculture. Due to its unstructured and varied format, and lack of targeted delivery methods, this knowledge is not reaching the farmers. Therefore, this knowledge needs to be provided not only in a structured way, but also in a context-specific manner. To address this shortcoming an international collaborative research project was launched to develop a Social Life Network to provide necessary information to farmers using mobile devices. Agricultural information has strong local characteristics in relation to climate, culture, history, languages, and local plant varieties. These local characteristics as well as the need to provide information in a context-specific manner made us to develop an ontology for agriculture. In this paper we present the approach we used to derive contextual information related to the farmers and the ontological approach that we developed to meet information needs of the farmers at various stages of the farming life cycle.

Author-supplied keywords

  • agricultural information
  • contextual information
  • knowledge representation
  • ontology
  • ontology development

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