DMS Ontology

GTN-P Controlled Vocabulary

A controlled vocabulary is a list of authorised terms that is used to label information in a consistent way and thus provides a way to organize knowledge for subsequent retrieval. From these terms, which are predefined by the designer of the controlled vocabulary, the user must make his selection to indicate the content of the work. A controlled vocabulary ensures that each concept is described using only one authorised term and concurrently, each authorised term describes only one concept. Basically, a controlled vocabulary helps to talk to each other by reducing amiguity and contributing to common grounding and shared understanding., i.e. in a database.

Detailed controlled vocabulary (with definitions and descriptions of the single terms)


Here, we present two kinds of controlled vocabularies:

  • permafrost thesaurus
  • permafrost ontology


Permafrost Thesaurus

A thesaurus is basically a reference book in which words that have the same or similar meanings are grouped together. Thesauri are often used to display the information about a particular field. In contrast to a dictionary, a thesaurus is not necessarily in alphabetical order.

In 1988, the Council of the International Permafrost Association (IPA) authorized the establishment of a Terminology Working Group with the mandate "to develop a set of internationally accepted permafrost terms for use in engineering and science, with equivalents in various languages, and to disseminate and encourage the use of such terminology". The resulting glossary was published in hard copy and the full, illustrated, multi-language version of the glossary is available on the Frozen Ground Data Center webpages

The permafrost glossary contains a comprehensive collection of nearly 600 terms related to permafrost and related ground ice terms together with their definitions and references from which they have been derived. However, the glossary (the terms with their definitions are sorted alphabetically) has to be be transformed into a real thesaurus in the future.

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Permafrost Ontology

An ontology represents knowledge as a hierarchy of concepts. The components of ontologies are objects, types of these objects, parametres of these objects, and relations of these objects. A shared vocabulary must be used to denote the objects, properties, and interrelationships. The configuration of a permafrost ontology has not been implemented entirely yet, but presently we can present a tabular ontology.

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Strategy and Implementation Plan