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The Relation between a Framework for Collaborative Ontology Engineering and Nicola Guarino's Terminology and Ideas in ``Formal Ontology and Information Systems''

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The Relation between a Framework for Collaborative Ontology Engineering and Nicola Guarino's Terminology and Ideas in ``Formal Ontology and Information Systems''

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Presented at the IFIP WG 12.7 VASCO 2013 Workshop

In this paper, we investigate the relation between Guarino's seminal paper ``Formal Ontology and Information Systems'' and the DOGMA ontology-engineering framework. As DOGMA is geared towards the development of ontologies for semantic interoperation between autonomously developed and maintained information systems, it follows that the stakeholders in this project form a community and adds a social dimension to the ontology project. The goal of this exercise is to examine how the different terminologies and ideas relate to one and another, thus providing a reference for clarifying DOGMA's ideas and notation inside Guarino's framework.

Presented at the IFIP WG 12.7 VASCO 2013 Workshop

In this paper, we investigate the relation between Guarino's seminal paper ``Formal Ontology and Information Systems'' and the DOGMA ontology-engineering framework. As DOGMA is geared towards the development of ontologies for semantic interoperation between autonomously developed and maintained information systems, it follows that the stakeholders in this project form a community and adds a social dimension to the ontology project. The goal of this exercise is to examine how the different terminologies and ideas relate to one and another, thus providing a reference for clarifying DOGMA's ideas and notation inside Guarino's framework.

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The Relation between a Framework for Collaborative Ontology Engineering and Nicola Guarino's Terminology and Ideas in ``Formal Ontology and Information Systems''

  1. 1. The Relation between a Framework for Collaborative Ontology Engineering and Nicola Guarino’s Terminology and Ideas in “Formal Ontology and Information Systems” Christophe Debruyne 2013-05-01 2013-05-01| page 1
  2. 2. Table of contents Introduction Formal Ontology and Information Systems Open vs. Closed Information Systems Developing Ontology Guided Methods and Applications Relation between the two Formalisms Conclusion 2013-05-01| page 2
  3. 3. Introduction Ontology by [Gru93] An ontology is commonly defined as: “a [formal,] explicit specification of a [shared] conceptualization”. Gruber’s definition was based on the definition of Genesereth and Nilsson’s notion of a conceptualization [GN87] that used an extensional notion for describing one particular state of affairs. Guarino and Gieretta in [GG95] argued that a different intensional account of the notion of conceptualization has to be introduced Guarino then wrote his – currently – most influential work “Formal Ontology and Information Systems” in which he provided definitions for conceptualization, ontological commitment and ontology. 2013-05-01| page 3
  4. 4. Introduction The problem is not only what ontologies in computer science are, but how they also come to be shared artifacts in a network of humans and computerized systems. Over the past years, quite a few (collaborative) ontology-engineering methods have been developed, each with their own characteristics; e.g., the formalism adopted, approach of agreement processes, application domain, etc. The goal of this presentation are: Relate the two different formalisms and terminologies; Provide a reference for disambiguation (e.g., the slightly different notion of ontological commitment in the two frameworks. 2013-05-01| page 4
  5. 5. Formal Ontology and Information Systems Figure : “The intended models of a logical language reflect its commitment to a conceptualization. An ontology indirectly reflects this commitment (and the underlying conceptualization) by approximating this set of intended models.” (Figure from [Gua98]) 2013-05-01| page 5
  6. 6. Open vs. Closed Information Systems [Gua98] provided a definition for ontologies; Ontologies are key for semantic interoperability between autonomously developed and maintained information systems; Open vs. Closed Information Systems; Are similar in “exercise”. 2013-05-01| page 6
  7. 7. Open vs. Closed Information Systems Information System AGREEMENT (N.L.) End users Designer Business Domain Expert Conceptual Schema Design Tool "Real world" Business Domain Abstraction from instances Communicate at instance level Observe/Interact => Test by instances Observe/ Abstract DB Schema DBMS DB Apps ENTERPRISE CONTEXT - DEFINED BY REQUIREMENTS Figure : Information Systems in an enterprise context. 2013-05-01| page 7
  8. 8. Open vs. Closed Information Systems Shared World Community Observe/Interact Enterprise IS 1 Enterprise IS 2  Agreement Interaction ONTOLOGY leads to results in Replacing Semantic Interoperability Enables Figure : Agreements leading to ontology for enabling semantic interoperability 2013-05-01| page 8
  9. 9. DOGMA Developing Ontology Guided Methods and Applications. Definition (DOGMA Ontology Descriptions) DOGMA Ontology Descriptions Ω = Λ, ci, K Λ a lexon base, a finite set of plausible binary fact types called lexons γ, t1, r1, r2, t2 , with γ ∈ Γ context-identifiers. ci a function mapping context-identifiers and terms to concepts K a finite set of ontological commitments containing A selection of lexons A mapping from application symbols to ontology terms Predicates over those terms and roles to express constraints Note: fact orientation, double articulation 2013-05-01| page 9
  10. 10. DOGMA The hybrid aspect of ontologies Ontologies are resources shared among humans working in a community, and (networked) systems Mapping of terms to a concept is the result of a community agreement Capture those agreements, turn communities into first class citizens of the ontology, resulting notion called hybrid ontology Fundamental technology: formalized glossaries, special linguistic resources to support the agreement process 2013-05-01| page 10
  11. 11. DOGMA Definition (Hybrid Ontology Description ) Hybrid Ontology Description HΩ = Ω, G Ω a DOGMA Ontology Description The contexts in Γ are referring/called communities G is a glossary, a quadruple with components Gloss, a set of linguistic, human-interpretable glosses g1, mapping community-term pairs to glosses g2, mapping lexons to glosses Pairs of glosses agreed to be referring to the same concept 2013-05-01| page 11
  12. 12. DOGMA Community commitments contains a selection of lexons + constraints to ensure proper semantic interoperability within a community Application commitments refer to one or more community commitments, possibly extended with application-specific knowledge (lexons + constraints) and mappings from application symbols to concepts and relations in the ontology. 2013-05-01| page 12
  13. 13. DOGMA Without agreement on synonymy, all following lexons are different: Person Context, Person, with, of, Name Person Context, Dog, with, of, Name Person Context, Person, with, of, Age Project Context, Person, with, of, Name 2013-05-01| page 13
  14. 14. Relation between the two Formalisms Previous work DOGMA follows the intensional notion of a conceptualization of Guarino, but arrived at it from a database-inspired perspective [Mee99a, JM09]. DOGMA, however, also pursues this idea to arrive at concrete software architectural and engineering conclusions [JM09]. Other than this statement in [JM09], there is no existing publication on the relationship between the work of Guarino and DOGMA. 2013-05-01| page 14
  15. 15. Relation between the two Formalisms Analyzing lexons (I) The sets T and R for term- and role-labels in lexons correspond to the predicate symbols in V. The context-identifier γ provides an interpretation from terms to concepts. The context-identifier γ actually corresponds to Guarino’s interpretation function I. In other words, if one selects in the lexon base all lexons holding in a particular context with context-identifier γ, one is able to reconstruct Guarino’s interpretation function I: all concepts x referred to by ci(γ, t) (for each term t in those lexons) will refer to the interpretation of a unary predicate. 2013-05-01| page 15
  16. 16. Relation between the two Formalisms Analyzing lexons (II) DOGMA’s is based on ORM and NIAM, which are fact-oriented modelling language. Because of DOGMA’s fact-orientation, the use of the predicates denoted by the term- and role-labels are already constrained [Hal89]. A binary fact type A, R, S, B is actually translated into the following first order logic statements [Hal89]: ∀x∀y(R(x, y) → (A(x) ∧ B(y)) ∀x∀y(R(x, y) ↔ S(y, x)) These constraints already reduce the set of possible models with language L. 2013-05-01| page 16
  17. 17. Relation between the two Formalisms Analyzing commitments (I) A commitment k ∈ K of the DOGMA Ontology Description corresponds with one ontology from Guarino’s framework. It is a selection of lexon from the lexon base that is constrained such that it approximates as good as possible the domain it aims to describe. Those constraints correspond with the notion of axioms and typically include notions such as: type- and role hierarchies, totality constraints, uniqueness constraints, value constraints, etc. Value constraints are interesting to note that they limit domain elements for the interpretation of concept referred to by a term. The only place in DOGMA where we have a notion of labels referring to individuals. 2013-05-01| page 17
  18. 18. Relation between the two Formalisms Analyzing commitments (II) A community commitment further restrains all possible models of the lexons committed to. An application commitment will even further restrain those by providing additional lexons, constraints, and narrowing down all possible models by providing additional constants via the mappings. However mapping from database to ontology, and database assumed to be replacing the conceptualization. (!) Thus constant symbols for referring to individuals are done so via mappings, returning the constant symbols of the application. 2013-05-01| page 18
  19. 19. Relation between the two Formalisms Analyzing commitments (III) It follows that one needs to break down the commitments and combine pieces with the lexon base (cfr. ci function) to reconstruct Guarino’s ontological commitment. In other words, there is a high cohesion between ontological commitments and ontologies in the DOGMA ontology engineering framework. 2013-05-01| page 19
  20. 20. In Conclusion The goal was to provide a point of reference for understanding some aspects of the DOGMA framework. We presented the terminology used by Guarino. We presented the DOGMA framework We related the two frameworks and terminologies. 2013-05-01| page 20
  21. 21. References I C. Debruyne, T. K. Tran, and R. Meersman, Grounding ontologies with social processes and natural language (to appear)., Journal of Data Semantics (2013). N. Guarino and P. Giaretta, Ontologies and Knowledge Bases: Towards a Terminological Clarification, Towards Very Large Knowledge Bases: Knowledge Building and Knowledge Sharing (1995), 25–32. M. Genesereth and N. Nilsson, Logical foundations of artificial intelligence, Morgan Kaufmann, San Mateo, CA, 1987. T. Gruber, Toward principles for the design of ontologies used for knowledge sharing, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 43 (1993), 907–928. N. Guarino, Formal ontology and information systems, International Conference On Formal Ontology In Information Systems FOIS’98 (Trento, Italy), Amsterdam, IOS Press, June 1998, pp. 3–15. T. A. Halpin, A logical analysis of information systems: static aspects of the data-oriented perspective, Ph.D. thesis, University of Queensland, 1989. M. Jarrar and R. Meersman, Ontology engineering – the DOGMA approach, Advances in Web Semantics I (T. S. Dillon, E. Chang, R. Meersman, and K. Sycara, eds.), LNCS, vol. 4891, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2009, pp. 7–34. 2013-05-01| page 21
  22. 22. References II R. Meersman, Semantic ontology tools in IS design, ISMIS (Z. W. Ras and A. Skowron, eds.), LNCS, vol. 1609, Springer, 1999, pp. 30–45. R. Meersman, The use of lexicons and other computer-linguistic tools in semantics, design and cooperation of database systems, The Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Cooperative Database Systems for Advanced Applications (CODAS99) (Y. Zhang, M. Rusinkiewicz, and Y. Kambayashi, eds.), Springer, 1999, pp. 1–14. 2013-05-01| page 22

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