Vocabulary, taxonomy, thesaurus, ontology and meta-model. Woody Pidcock of the Boeing company gives an excellent overview of the differences between a vocabulary, a taxonomy, a thesaurus, an ontology, and a meta-model on metamodel.com. He summarizes the differences as such:
- Bottom line: Taxonomies and Thesauri may relate terms in a controlled vocabulary via parent-child and associative relationships, but do not contain explicit grammar rules to constrain how to use controlled vocabulary terms to express (model) something meaningful within a domain of interest. A meta-model is an ontology used by modelers. People make commitments to use a specific controlled vocabulary or ontology for a domain of interest.