UMBEL to be retired by the end of 2019!

UMBEL to Be Retired by End of Year


CORALVILLE, IA, May 7, 2016 -- After nearly a dozen years of active service, Cognonto Corporation is retiring UMBEL (Upper Mapping and Binding Exchange Layer) at the end of 2019. UMBEL was one of the first knowledge graphs designed to help disparate content interoperate on the Internet. It was based on the (also now-retired) OpenCyc version of the Cyc knowledge structure. Its development and use heavily influenced and informed the KBpedia knowledge graph, an improved successor designed to also support machine learning and knowledge-based artificial intelligence, or KBAI.

As of this announcement, all further development on UMBEL has ceased. It will be formally retired on December 31, 2019.

"While Fred Giasson and I are ceasing our roles as editors of UMBEL and are ending our support of its Web sites and code, we would also be pleased to transfer any rights to the system, including UMBEL's Web addresses and intellectual property, to any entity that is willing to keep these resources active. There may be users that may want to see the continuation of the system for their own purposes," said Michael Bergman, UMBEL's other co-editor. The specific resources available are:

Said Giasson and Bergman, "Realistically, with the emergence of KBpedia, we do not anticipate these resources to be in demand; nonetheless, we would be pleased to discuss transfer of these assets." Interested parties should contact Bergman at

According to its editors, UMBEL has been a great source of learning over the past decade. UMBEL helped point the way to 'super types', the importance of disjointedness, the essential need for broad alternative labels ('semsets'), and the importance of a modular architecture and typologies.


UMBEL has two broad purposes. UMBEL’s first purpose is to provide a general vocabulary of classes and predicates for describing and mapping domain ontologies, with the specific aim of promoting interoperability with external datasets and domains. UMBEL’s second purpose is to provide a coherent framework of reference subjects and topics for grounding relevant Web-accessible content. UMBEL presently has about 34,000 of these reference concepts drawn from the Cyc knowledge base, organized into 31 mostly disjoint SuperTypes.


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