Knowledge Discovery Group

Multimedia Metadata Ontology (M3O)

Today's metadata models and metadata standards often focus on a specific media type only, lack combinability with other metadata models, or are limited with respect to the features they support. Thus they are not sufficient to describe the semantics of rich, structured multimedia documents. To overcome these limitations, we have developed a comprehensive model for representing multimedia metadata, the Multimedia Metadata Ontology (M3O). The M3O has been developed by an extensive analysis of related work and abstracts from the features of existing metadata models and metadata standards. It is based on the foundational ontology DOLCE+DnS Ultralight and makes use of ontology design patterns. The M3O serves as generic modeling framework for integrating the existing metadata models and metadata standards rather than replacing them. As such, the M3O can be used internally as semantic data model within complex multimedia applications such as authoring tools or multimedia management systems. To make use of the M3O in concrete multimedia applications, a generic application programming interface (API) has been implemented based on a sophisticated persistence layer that provides explicit support for ontology design patterns. To demonstrate applicability of the M3O API, we have integrated and applied it with our SemanticMM4U framework for the multi-channel generation of semantically annotated multimedia documents.

Ontology: The M3O is available in the Web Ontology Language (OWL). Below you find links to the different versions of the ontology patterns:

  • 2010/2/28 (extended version; each pattern is provided as singe .owl file)
  • 2009/9/16 (original version; contains the core ontology and a separate annotation pattern and decomposition pattern)

Mapping: There exist also mappings from various metadata formats and metadata models to the M3O. The ontology files of these mappings are available for download:



  • A. Scherp, C. Saathoff, and S. Scheglmann: A Pattern System for Describing the Semantics of Structured Multimedia Documents, Int. J. Semantic Computing 6(3):263-288, 2012. [PDF] [Publisher]
  • A. Scherp, D. Eißing, and C. Saathoff: A Method for Integrating Multimedia Metadata Standards and Metadata Formats with the Multimedia Metadata Ontology, Int. J. Semantic Computing 6(1):25-50, 2012. [PDF] [Publisher]
  • A. Scherp, T. Franz, C. Saathoff, and S. Staab, F-A Model of Events based on the Foundational Ontology DOLCE+DnS Ultralight, Int. Conference on Knowledge Capturing (K-CAP), Redondo Beach, CA, USA, September, 2009. [PDF] [Publisher]

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