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Notice: this is more a litterature and project review that a use case description. However, this might be really helpful to start describing a more precise use case on this domain, and an important source of requirements!

a) We published a paper in JoDI a couple years ago that was intended to
demonstrate various use cases of distributed thesaurus-based query
expansion, with links to a live demonstrator. We have posted previously
to the SKOS list but I'm mentioning it here as we tried to detail some
of practical use contexts for a distributed thesaurus service and drew
on past discussions on the NKOS list. The (full text) url is below -
I've briefly linked it into to the questionnaire below also.  

Binding C., Tudhope D. 2004. KOS at your Service: Programmatic Access to
Knowledge Organisation Systems. Journal of Digital Information, 4(4), 
The links from the article to the demonstrator are broken but
demonstrator can be run at
(follow Demonstration - Query Builder for full demo)
It's not intended as a final user interface but to illustrate different
possible components, including concept expansion.

b) Initial experiments with the SKOS API are discussed at
Tudhope D., Binding C. 2006. Towards Terminology Services: experiences
with a pilot web service thesaurus browser. ASIST Bulletin, 32(5), 6-9,

c) Other references that may be relevant (in case you have not come
OCLC work on terminology services, see
and further links, refs (Andrew Haughton contributes to SKOS list)

d) HILT 

e) I co-authored a JISC commisioned state of art review of Terminology
executive summary with link to Word version
y_review_sep_06.pdf  (pdf version)
Section 4.3 (and particularly 4.3.2) describes work on terminology web
services and layered services.

The review also references the new BSI 8723 and NISO standards.
Eg BSI 8723. Structured vocabularies for information retrieval:
Part 2 has useful info on display possibilities
Part 4: Interoperability between vocabularies has very nice discussion
of mapping issues. (Contact Stella Dexter Clark)