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Customer Complaint Ontology (CContology)

Final Draft 21 May 2005

Brief Description

This ontology has been developed in the CCFORM project (IST-2001-38248), to support online customer compliant management. The project aims to study the foundation of a central European customer complaint portal, any consumer can register a complaint against any party, about any problem, in 11 languages, at one portal. The ontology is used a conceptual framework underpinning this portal. It comprises classifications of complaint problems, complaint resolutions, complainant, complaint-recipient, ``best-practices'', and complaining rules The main uses of this ontology are 1) to enable consistent implementation (and interoperation) of all software complaint management mechanisms based on a shared background vocabulary, which can be used by many stakeholders. 2) to play the role of a domain ontology that encompasses the core complaining elements and that can be extended by either individual or groups of firms; and 3) to generate CC-forms based on its ontological commitments and to enforce the validity (and/or integrity) of their population.

Ontology Design

The CContology is built according to the Double-Articulation and Modularization methodological principles (See [J05]). It consists of a domain axiomatization (the lexons, context, and the term glossary) and seven application axiomatization modules, (Complaint Problems, Complaint Resolutions, Complaint, Complainant, Complaint-Recipient, Address, and Contract). See the figure below. Applications (such as the CCform) uses the composition of these 7 modules. Notice that the CCform (as an application) is committing to the domain ontology through this composition (i.e. the 7 application axiomatizations). The advantages of this methodology and design can be found in [J05].

The Ontology Design


The domain axiomatization:

The application axiomatizations:


  • Mustafa Jarrar: Towards Effectiveness and Transparency in e-Business Transactions, -An Ontology for Customer Complaint Management. 2007
    PDF Format (BibTex)

  • Mustafa Jarrar, Ruben Verlinden, and Robert Meersman: Ontology-based Customer Complaint Management. In OTM 2003 Workshops, proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Regulatory Ontologies and the Modeling of Complaint Regulations. Volume 2889, LNCS, pages:594-606, Springer. ISBN: 3540204946. Sicily, Italy. November 2003.
    PDF Format


Dr. Mustafa Jarrar

email: mjarrar (-a-t-)

Tel: +32 629.34.87

Fax: +32 2 629.38.19


This work is dedicated to the memory of Peter Scoggins, the CCFORM project coordinator. Peter didn’t only contribute himself to the development of this ontology, but also he was the person who opened our eyes on the importance of this topic. We would like to thank all members of the CCFORM project for their cooperation, and particularly Alastair Tempest, Bistra Vassileva, Albert Bokma, Milos Molnar, Céline Damon, Christophe Benavent, Martin Ondrusek and Bernard Istasse, Anne Salaun, Yves Poullet, Sophie Louveaux, Bob Schmitz, Brian Hutchinson and many other partners for their comments on the early draft of the CContology.