Ebook: Formal Ontologies Meet Industry
This volume contains papers that analyze and discuss issues related to methods, theories, tools and applications based on formal ontologies. There is today wide agreement that knowledge modeling and the semantic dimension of information plays an increasingly central role in networked economy: semantic-based applications are relevant in distributed systems such as networked organizations, organizational networks, and in distributed knowledge management. These knowledge models in industry aim to provide a framework for information and knowledge sharing, reliable information exchange, meaning negotiation and coordination between distinct organizations or among members of the same organization. It has been shown that formal ontologies play a central role in describing in a common and understandable way the logical and practical features of the application domain. The success of the methodologies associated with knowledge modeling and ontologies led to increased need of a comparison between different approaches and results, with the aim of evaluating the interdependencies between theories and methods of formal ontology and the activities, processes, and needs of enterprise organizations. This book pays particular attention to ontology in relation to business, enterprise, enterprise knowledge, practice and linguistics.
This volume collects the papers that have been presented at the 3rd International Workshop on Formal Ontologies Meet Industry (FOMI 2008), that was held in Turin, Italy, on June 5th and 6th, 2008. FOMI is an international forum where academic researchers and industrial practitioners meet to analyze and discuss issues related to methods, theories, tools and applications based on formal ontologies.
There is today wide agreement that knowledge modeling and the semantic dimension of information plays an increasingly central role in networked economy: semantic-based applications are relevant in distributed systems such as networked organizations, organizational networks, and in distributed knowledge management. These knowledge models in industry aim to provide a framework for information and knowledge sharing, reliable information exchange, meaning negotiation and coordination between distinct organizations or among members of the same organization.
New tools and applications have been and are being developed in diverse application fields, ranging from business to medicine, from engineering to finance, from law to electronics. All these systems have exploited the theoretical results and the practical experience of previous work. In many cases, it has been shown that formal ontologies play a central role in describing in a common and understandable way the logical and practical features of the application domain.
The success of the methodologies associated with knowledge modeling and ontologies led to increased need of a comparison between different approaches and results, with the aim of evaluating the interdependencies between theories and methods of formal ontology and the activities, processes, and needs of enterprise organizations.
The FOMI 08 Workshop aims to advance in this direction by bringing together researchers and practitioners interested in ontology application, paying particular attention to the topics listed below.
• Ontology and business: ontology and ontological methodologies in business; adaptation of ontologies for companies and organizations; ontology effectiveness and evaluation in business
• Ontology and enterprise: ontology-driven enterprise modeling; ontology development and change within organizations; ontology-driven representation of products, services, functionalities, design, processes;
• Ontology and enterprise knowledge: ontologies for the know-how; ontologies for corporate knowledge;
• Ontology in practice: ontologies for electronic catalogs, e-commerce, e-government; ontologies for marketing; ontologies for finance; ontologies for engineering; ontologies for medical sciences;
• Ontology and linguistics: ontology-driven linguistic representation in organization knowledge; linguistic problems in standards and in codification processes; ontologies and multilingualism in business and organizations.
12 papers were selected for presentation at the conference. Beyond them, this volume also includes abstracts of the talks given by the invited speakers, who are Hans Akkermans, from the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and Wernher Behrendt, from Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft. We thank them for having accepted the invitation to participate in the workshop. We also thank all the members of the Program Committee for their work and for their suggestions. Finally, we would like to thank the members of the Local Organization Committee, Daniele Radicioni, Alessandro Mazzei, Cristina Bosco and Serena Villata: without their tireless activity the Workshop would not have been possible.
Stefano Borgo, Leonardo Lesmo
I develop a few suggestions how formal ontology can meet industry and practice. This is not just a matter of useful ontology-based applications. That is a necessary but also rather trivial idea that perpetuates the gap between fundamental and applied research and keeps alive associated outdated linear process ideas of innovation. Instead, I suggest that for further progress the ontology field is to move from a semantic to a pragmatic approach in the communication-theoretic sense. Formal pragmatics stands a better chance to provide a rational and scientific foundation for an integrated ontology theory as well as practice than the deductivist formal semantics approach.
We argue that unless the use of formal ontology becomes part and parcel of Systems Engineering culture, industrial use of knowledge based systems will remain a fringe activity and consequently, success stories will remain scarce. The way towards reaping the benefits of formal ontology is to view it as the most powerful instrument for sustainable standardization and as a necessary but not sufficient, condition for building knowledge based systems. Foundational ontology may become the conceptual backbone of all interoperable systems, but it will only realize its potential when it is backed by ontology engines that compute ontological meaning from ontological descriptions. The paper charts the way from organizational practice expressed in ontologies, to the engineering discipline of building knowledge based systems and it illustrates the difficulties by some lessons learned in a semi-industrial research context in the field of mechatronics.
This paper discusses some of the current challenges for knowledge exploitation and sharing in petrochemical domains and provides one approach to utilizing ontologies to solve some of those problems. By building ontological profiles that accurately classify kinds of crude oils, petroleum products and refineries, the ontology proved capable of providing significant inferential capabilities that were useful for optimizing numerous phases of the petrochemical life cycle.
The daily work activities of knowledge workers (KWers) are characterized by a highly dynamic working style that challenges support by task management (TM) systems. In this paper we present the KASIMIR personal task management system that operates on Nepomuk Social Semantic Desktop. KASIMIR features a combination of a task sidebar with a set of task plug-ins into common desktop applications such as email clients and web browsers to tightly integrate the TM into the KWer's knowledge production activities. Thereby, KASIMIR exploits a KWer's task management activities to seamlessly create metadata within the KWer's personal semantic network. Based on this example, we present a mechanism that leverages actions the KWer performs anyway within the knowledge work process to create metadata. This is a powerful alternative to the common problem of enterprise environments that KWers lack the willingness to contribute effort to create annotations without receiving direct benefit. The evaluation of KASIMIR's task plug-in approach showed that it was well received.
In ontology the underlying nature of things is sought. Thus it is that the roles things play can sometimes be neglected. Some different sorts of things that get called roles: places in relations, ways of participating in activities, and ways of being a part of a system, are considered. Roles are then analysed from a 4-dimensional and extensional perspective. We find that in individuals a role is a state of some individual that participates in a relationship or an activity, whereas with classes it is the class itself that participate in a place in a relation. In systems (both social and functional roles) we find that roles are replaceable parts of the system that are the purpose the part plays in the whole. A 4-dimensionalist ontology of roles, linked to an upper ontology is presented, and this is used to set out the key properties of roles as found here and by others.
Recent evaluations of mapping systems show that lack of background knowledge, most often domain specific knowledge, is one of the key problems of mapping systems these days. In fact, at present, most state of the art systems, for the tasks of mapping large ontologies, perform not with such high values of recall (~ 30%), because they mainly rely on label and structure based similarity measures. Disregarding context knowledge in ontology mapping is another drawback that almost all current approaches suffer from. In this paper we use the semantic web as background knowledge and introduce a novel approach for capturing context knowledge from the ontology for improving mapping results. We have successfully tested our approach with the public test cases of the Ontology Alignment Evaluation Initiative 2005 and achieved promising results.
Counterfeits and copies are central notions in e-commerce. But an adequate ontological characterization of them is not still available. This paper tries to fill the gap. It offers an ontological analysis of the notion of counterfeit as opposed to that of copy. While it seems clear that there cannot be a copy without an original, for instance, of a picture, it is far from clear that a counterfeit needs an original object in the same way. In the paper we analyze some proposals of what a counterfeit is: a first one (D1) closely connecting the notion of counterfeit and copy, a second one (D2) according to which a counterfeit presents itself falsely as having a certain origin that would give it more value than it actually has, and a third proposal (D3), elaborating the second, which takes into account the supposed origin, the type of the object in question, and the intent to mislead. We argue that none of the three proposals is without problems. Exploiting the notion of historical property we propose that being a counterfeit or a forgery is dependent on the intention of the producer (D4) and independent of the notion of copy, even if there are some similarities between the two notions.
Large-scale control systems, as encountered in the domain of road traffic management, typically deal with highly-dynamic environments providing information about a large number of real-world objects, which stem from multiple heterogeneous sources and are anchored in time and space. Human operators of such systems face information overload which endangers the recognition of critical situations. Situation awareness systems should support operators fulfilling their tasks by leveraging their awareness of the ongoing situations. However, current approaches to SAW miss a common conceptual model necessary for various aspects of SAW. Although the application of ontologies for filling this gap has been proposed in recent years, ontology-driven SAW systems are nevertheless still in their infancy. In this paper, we shape the vision of an ontology-driven SAW system by the analysis of application scenarios facilitating the features of formal ontologies. We illustrate the suggested scenarios with examples from the field of road traffic management and argue that an ontology-driven SAW system does not replace but may actually enhance traditional probabilistic approaches to SAW.
An ontology-based representation of information about a domain is flexible enough to support different strategies in presenting the information. In this paper, we present two applications for creating interactive presentations in a cultural heritage domain, that share the same database of informative units and the same representation of the domain, encoded in a light-weight ontology.
An application for drama-based guided tours assembles the informative units in a location-aware fashion, by exploiting the structure of the ontology to enforce the notion of discourse focusing in the generated presentation. A browsing-based application for accessing the informative units supports semantic search, consulting the ontology to suggest modifications of the user's search to circumscribe or enlarge the result sets.
The present research project establishes the basis of a decision making tool, based on an ontology, to integrally analyze Environmental and Health and Safety risks along the planning and execution phases of a construction project and to define technical solutions and preventive measures. The ontology will allow the classification of all the terms (aspects, impacts, risks, and procedures) related to the Health and Safety Evaluation and to the Environmental Evaluation as well as the relationships that exist among them. On the other hand, each class will be enriched with different properties that will be used by the decision-making tool to identify the main significant Environmental and Health and Safety aspects in each Construction process, and moreover, to evaluate their impact in a specific construction project in order to provide procedures. Therefore, both designers and contractors will asses the environmental and the health and safety risks related to each designed solution or constructive process, facilitating them the choice of the designed solution with fewer impact/risk. As a consequence the construction sector will increase its competitivity by optimizing the resources dedicated to the different management systems of a construction company.
Ontology development method is a method that shows how to construct an ontology. Many approaches have been reported for developing ontologies. Almost all of them are derived from traditional software development methods and consequently, have inherited their weaknesses. In the last decade, agile methods have appeared in software development area. These methods attempt to solve some problems of traditional methods. In this paper, one famous agile method that is known as Extreme Programming (XP) is adapted for ontology construction. Also, we report the ontology constructed using this method.
There is a trend in some manufacturing industries to move from selling products to providing services. As a result, designers must consider the life-cycle costs. In the aero industry, for example, this must be considered as well as weight, performance and manufacturing cost. The IPAS (Integrated Products and Services) project is intended to utilise Semantic Web technologies in order to provide feedback of information/knowledge acquired during operation of a product to the product's designers, and also to reuse knowledge from previous product designs. As part of IPAS, ontologies describing the products and processes have been created in order to allow service knowledge to be represented and shared. The design and implementation of these ontologies, and their planned future evolution, is described here. We also try to draw some lessons from our experiences.
This work focusses on bridging between folksonomies, which provide social but mainly flat and unstructured metadata on web resources, and semantic web ontologies, which instead design structured, machine-processable knowledge spaces. The main purpose is to capture emerging semantics in social tagging systems and to overcome the gap between Semantic Web and Web 2.0, by preserving the complementary advantages of social and ontology-driven methods for describing, categorizing and processing web content. As a way to bridge this gap, we propose a method for linking tags from a folksonomy to concepts of an existing ontology, adopting a statistic approach. We have applied the proposed method to the data collected through the art portal Arsmeteo, relating them to the concepts of an OWL ontology of emotions. Intuitively, by our method we try to capture the latent emotional semantics of the tags. Some of the artworks in Arsmeteo could be visited in real exhibitions. In order to capture the emotional potential of the tagging activity during the visit, we explored the possibility to enable tagging of artifacts in real spaces, by using Semacode technology.
Nowadays, with battles increasingly being fought in urban theaters, enemy combatants can include not only the military but also pseudo-military forces and the civilian population. Given the new battlespace and the realities of the Information Age, military intelligence needs to be processed in new ways in order “to know the enemy”. Just as data models and information systems such as the Joint Consultation Command & Control Information Exchange Data Model and the Blue Force Situational Awareness System provide support for the traditional military, novel information systems that capture enemy force and command structure must be built and utilized to achieve information superiority in asymmetric warfare. An information system with a core of the relationships among humans, relationships among organizations, and relationships among humans and organizations is postulated to improve the commander's understanding of enemy presence in his area of operations. Accordingly, this paper develops a relationship discovery ontology from basic modeling principles and then presents a prototype system built on the Protégé ontology engine. The prototype, populated with synthesized but representative human intelligence messages, has been used to demonstrate that a commander may obtain actionable intelligence to capture adversaries and preempt potential enemy attacks. The author validated the ontology model by comparison with concepts from other technologies, by mapping human intelligence messages to model concepts and properties, and by demonstrating the functionality of the prototype.