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Re: Ontologies with standard behavior of an information domain

From: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 28 May 2008 09:06:55 -0400
Message-Id: <ABA5C1C4-80BC-4AAC-9E40-AD29E5024178@gmail.com>
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org
To: Zille Huma <zille.huma@upb.de>

On May 28, 2008, at 8:36 AM, Zille Huma wrote:

> Actually, My interest is to use ontologies in business domain and  
> then define the semantics of web services on the basis of these  
> business ontologies. For example, in the given example, the  
> semantics of a HotelBooking web service can be defined more  
> precisely with an underlying tourism ontology. Thanks for  
> mentioning the ontologies that also contain standard behavior  
> information. I am more curious about how the behavior can be  
> captured in ontology, i.e., what is the structure of any behavioral  
> node in an ontology.  What in your opinion is a better way to  
> capture behavioral information in an ontology, e.g., behavior may  
> be captured in the form of business process or stand alone  
> activities, etc.

Hi Zille,

In my own work, I've been using the Basic Formal Ontology (http:// 
ifomis.org/bfo) as the upper level ontology, which defines processes  
as distinct from things that are not processes (continuants).  
Processes(occurents) are dependent, via the has_participant relation,  
on continants. They have parts, which are other processes that occupy  
a piece of the space time of the whole process.

The underlying philosophy of representation is called "Realism",  
which I can best describe as an attempt, when defining terms, to make  
clear an "audit trail", if you will, to entities in the real world,  
i.e. an understandable correspondence between what is being defined  
in the ontology to things that exist or happen actually. If you are  
interested in reading more, check out http://ontology.buffalo.edu/smith/

In some ways this avoids the question of what is better, since the  
comparison is of what is represented to what is out in the world. But  
of course this doesn't answer the full question in practice. In  
practice you would first want to make clear what you want to be able  
to say, and then determine what you will need to be able to ask and  
have answered using your ontology.  Answers to such questions might  
determine the formalism, or level of detail at which you represent  
your processes.

As an example, if all you want to do is record something in an  
Ontology and then read it out, then there is little constraint. If  
you want it to be able to be merged with other people's work, then  
there are some. If you want to be able to state general temporal  
relations between activities and have consistency of your ontology  
checked, then you can't even do this within the framework of the  
current  web ontology languages.

Experience in the OBI project suggests that you work early on  
outlining such "competency questions" for your ontology.

If you give some such competency questions, I could see if I have any  
experience that might be relevant to your representation issues, or  
perhaps point you at people that do.

Received on Wednesday, 28 May 2008 13:07:41 UTC

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