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Latest news
May, 30 2010
Version 4.00 of the finance ontology is published.
Until financing of the ontology development is provided, no more updates are planned.

More logging info

Creative Commons License
The finance ontology and the website pages of Eddy Vanderlinden are licensed according
Creative Commons Attribution-Share alike 2.0 Belgium license.
In a nutshell

Reduce risks
Increase operational efficiency
Reduce costs
Increase operational agility

by improving:
    knowledge about products and
         their production
    production processes
    production monitoring

Objective of the finance ontology website

Knowledge management:
1. Collection of product- and process knowledge
2. Setup of a knowledge management system
3. Monitor and interpret generated new knowledge
4. Maintain the knowledge models
by means of an owl-format ontology.

Knowledge implementation:
1. Setup of a knowledge base
2. Build the services
3. Build the interfaces: human and soft
by means of a triple- or quad store.


ý finance ontology usage (creative commons license)
ý knowledge audit
ý assistance with semantic application development
ý continuous development of the ontology
ý consulting around the ontology and its implementation
ý custom development of the ontology on specific areas
ý education on ontologies and their usage
ý organization of co-operative ontology development

Ontology development

We use ontologies as the knowledge storage and management instruments of the finance domain.
RDF and OWL ontologies are read by men and machines.

This ontology is
a good starting point
for developments in
the finance industry.

The ontology is
documented here.
RDF ontology icon

Ontologies use the
technique to show
specialization of
with inheritance
of properties.

Version 3.04: After opening the link, right-click on the image in the iFrame and choose 'Save As' if you want a copy.
Version 4.00: The taxonomy is too elaborated to be represented the same way.
Open taxonomy version 3.04
Open taxonomy version 4.00
Finance ontology taxonomy

Find here a context scheme to situate the different contexts involved

Implementation of semantic applications requires a different methodology and technology in
  • business process analysis and description
  • technical analysis
  • IT development
  • programming
  • data awareness
Here is an overview of these differences.
Eddy Vanderlinden

þ Collected during 30 years strong and weak points of service production and management.
þ Analysed the underlying causes for failure and success.
þ Listed the criteria for an optimal solution.
þ Went on a journey through alternative approaches.
þ Selected semantic technologies as the solution.
þ Advocates them with enthusiasm because of the business case and real world use cases.
þ Hates hypes.
Integration partner

We have chosen OpenLink as integration partner.

The choice was not made overnight.
OpenLink brings the ontology to life. In other words, OpenLink's Virtuoso universal server transforms knowledge into applications in a high demanding environment.

The justifications for the choice are listed here.


The solutions which satisfy our criteria are found in the semantic web community.

It are the technologies which those hard working people apply to web information we re-use in a controlled data environment.

Some references to the community:
       Protégé 3.4 (Stanford)
       Protégé 4.0 (Manchester)
       W3C wiki on semantic standards
       Semantic web org wiki
       HP laboratories
       W3C activities on semantic web

Knowledge audit

  • The degree of availability
  • The accessibility
  • The update
  • The safeguard
  • The application
of knowledge

                               at different
                               hierarchical levels.

Request an external knowledge audit.
Plato and Aristoteles - Part of a fresco of Raphaël
Financial crisis

In March 2008 by E-mail, in June 2008 by registered letter, we asked for proper action from international and national control authorities to avoid a financial disaster.
Unfortunately, end of September, the worse happened.

The finance ontology is a substantial element in avoiding the same happening in the future.
Knowledge in Arabic from artist Mohamed Ali

Breaking the conspiracy for ignorance is a presentation held at several occasions.

It is the most comprehensive description of the reasons why our solution is needed.

Test it for yourself
Find out whether the solution is valid for your situation.
Link to the presentation
Treasury room of Bruges

The need to model information is justified in a longer dissertation.

Modelling of information can be done in many ways.
Find here an overview and resource locations on different methods.
Knowledge in Arabic from artist Mohamed Ali

Have a look at our blog.

Subjects of the posts are Finance, semantic technologies and application of semantic technologies in Finance.

Software development

The core application can be developed on a tested platform or on the platform of your choice.

A large community of developers is available to deliver customized front-end applications.
The choice of the means is related to balancing notably: 
  • requested sophistication in the the application: applets versus single widget,
  • speed and performance in server communication: (lazy) load versus asynchronous communication,
  • appearance of the interface: basic or aesthetic
An example is here.
Sample project

Securities handling is subject to lots of changes:
  • UCITS IV EU directive on pan-European investment funds
  • Eurosystem: the unified clearing and settlement system of the ECB for T2S securities
  • ISO 20022 new SWIFT messages

A sample project plan is available.

Contact us for a quotation on semantic technologies developments.


Choosing for a semantic data solution is a strategy with many impacts.
It revolutionizes  the way operations are managed, performed and controlled, as well as the communication and reporting around these topics.

A listing of impacts is found in the frequently asked questions page here.


Utilities are mainly used today in browsing the ontology.

Many are instructive
on the nature of
ontologies and
require a manual to
interpret the results.

A selection of tools can is available here.

RDF/OWL information is :
  • represented as triples of subject, predicate, object. See examples
  • stored in specially designed databases called triple or quad stores or;
  • retrieved and handled by a dedicated language: SPARQL

The choice of the database requires balancing different parameters
like access speed, inference possibilities, reasoning engines to be
coupled, available
database servers,
communication with the
user interface, ...

Read more on our tests here.
Risk management

Operational risks
The reduction of operational risks is treated in the presentation "Breaking the conspiracy for ignorance" (see earlier).

External risks
This page is about how risks profiles are integrated in the ontology.
Read more here
Universal methodology

Asserted and inferred knowledge

Information accessible by men and machines
Use case

The finance ontology supports, in the field of finance transactions and securities handling, the management, control of- and reporting over products, processes and procedures.

An ontology contains synonyms, a lexicon, concept descriptions, properties and inverse properties, relations,...

You'll find them through all the browsers.

On the need for a thesaurus please consult here
Knowledge base

While business rules were in the past often dictated by IT possibilities, the approach is inversed in knowledge modelling: without knowledge, no model and no application.
This :
  • forces business units to take responsibility for the end-to-end processes;
  • allows a common understanding of the products and processes;
  • allows an effective real-time risk control: of the processes, of the products, of the positions
Justification from knowledge management perspective
Ontology development tools

Many tools are today available.
The choice involves balancing the capabilities in:
  • price
  • collaborative development possibilities
  • tools optimizing reasoning functions
  • automation of tasks
  • supported data sources
  • supported standards: RDF(S), OWL ?, SPARQL, ARQ, ... ?
  • documentation generation

To request more information, please use the form here.

Ensure product- and production knowledge through :
        formal and unambiguous documentation of concepts, processes and procedures

        derivation of knowledge through the description logics application and tools

        proper tools to access the knowledge by men and machines

Ensure proper demonstration of the control of production and risks through:
        comparison and replacement of the generic data by actual data for any financial institution: the building of a knowledge base;

        detection of the conceptual failures by this exercise;

        running coherence tests on production data;

Target public

  • Persons interested in finance

  • External auditors of financial institutions and institutional investors

  • Persons interested in ontologies and knowledge management

  • Persons in charge of securities handling

  • Persons in charge of quality control in securities handling

  • Risk managers

  • Business analysts in the field of securities handling

  • Internal auditors of financial institutions and institutional investors

  • IT persons working in securities handling environment

  • Information providers for securities data
What ?
Who ?
Why ?
Plato and Aristoteles - Part of a fresco of Raphaël
Philosophical background

on ontologies can be found via the links above.
They broaden the vision on our method and form the background of our generic solution.

Learn more about the terminology used with respect to ontologies here.

The documentation on ontologies is published in the form of JavaDocs, called OWLDoc for the circumstance.
Help in how to read the documentation is found here.


We offer consulting in the domain of finance.

Specific competence areas are:

  • domain knowledge acquisition, management and representation
  • process management in finance operations
  • IT project management (Prince 2 methodology)