Many types of part-whole relations have been proposed in the literature to aid the conceptual modeller to choose the most appropriate type, but many of those relations lack a formal specification to give clear and unambiguous semantics to them. To remedy this, a formal taxonomy of types of mereological and meronymic part-whole relations is presented that distinguishes between transitive and intransitive relations and the kind of entity types that are related. The demand to use it effectively brings afore new requirements (...) for automated reasoning over a hierarchy of relations. To ensure logically and ontologically correct inferencing over both the class and role hierarchy, the new reasoning service RBox compatibility for Description Logics reasoners is introduced. The proposed combination of formal semantics and the new reasoning service will improve the representation of the application domain when using part-whole relations in conceptual models and ontologies. (shrink)
Development of ontology development tools and ontology-enhanced software applications requires thorough understanding of ontology languages in order to implement them according to their specification. We present a formal specification of the ontologies part of the Web Services Modeling Language WSML documentation as a conceptual model in ORM2. Such an approach abstracts the semantics about ontological constructs, axioms, and properties from their implementation in arbitrary formats, thereby making the model easily understandable and reusable. This formal model in ORM2, which is understandable (...) by both logician and software developer, can be used as any other conceptual model to develop applications, thereby ensuring smooth transition from theory to implementations that are faithful to the theory. (shrink)
An essential aspect of conceptual data modeling methodologies is the language’s expressiveness so as to represent the subject domain as precise as possible to obtain good quality models and, consequently, software. To gain better insight in the characteristics of the main conceptual modeling languages, we conducted a comparison between ORM, ORM2, UML, ER, and EER with the aid of Description Logic languages of the DLR family and the new formally defined generic conceptual data modeling language CMcom that is based on (...) DLRifd. ORM, ER, EER, and UML class diagrams are proper fragments of ORM2 and CMcom has the most expressive common denominator with these languages. CMcom simplifies prospects for automated, online, interoperability among the considered languages so that modelers not only can continue using their preferred modeling language yet be compatible with the other ones, but also have a common ground that eases database and software integration based on commonly used conceptual data models. (shrink)
Multiple different understandings and uses exist of what granularity is and how to implement it, where the former influences success of the latter with regards to storing granular data and using granularity for reasoning over the data or information. We propose a taxonomy of types of granularity and discuss for each leaf type how the entities or instances relate within its granular level. Such unambiguous distinctions can guide a conceptual modeler to better distinguish between the types of granularity and the (...) software developer to improve on implementations of granularity. (shrink)
A recurring problem in conceptual modelling and ontology development is the representation of part-whole relations, with a requirement to be able to distinguish between essential and mandatory parts. To solve this problem, we formally characterize the semantics of these shareability notions by resorting to the temporal conceptual model E RVT and its formalization in the description logic DLRUS.
Unlike identification with keys and reference schemes in ER and ORM, UML uses internal, system-generated, identifiers, with a little-known underspecified option for user-defined identifiers. To increase the ontological foundations of UML, we propose two language enhancements for UML, being formally defined simple and compound identifiers and the notion of defined class, which also have a corresponding extension of UML’s metamodel.
Few ontologies in the ecological domain exist, but their development can take advantage of gained experience in other domains and from existing modeling practices in ecology. Taxonomies do not suffice because more expressive modeling techniques are already available in ecology, and the perspective of flow with its centrality of events and processes cannot be represented adequately in a taxonomy. Therefore, formal ontologies are required for sufficient expressivity and to be of benefit to ecologists, which also enables future reuse. We have (...) created a formal mapping between the software-supported ecological modeling method and software tool STELLA and ontology elements, which simplifies bottom-up ontology development considerably and has excellent potential for semi-automated ontology development. However, the conducted experiments also revealed that ontology development for ecology is close to being part of ecological research that through the formalized representation of the knowledge more clearly points to lacunas and suggestions for further research in ecology. (shrink)
One of the relations used with granularity is indistinguishability, where distinguishable entities in a finer-grained granule are indistinguishable in a coarser-grained granule. This relation is a subtype of equivalence relation, which is used in the other direction to create finer-grained granules. Together with the notion of similarity, we formally prove some intuitive properties of the indistinguishability relation for both qualitative and quantitative granularity, that with a given granulation there must be at least two granules (levels of granularity) for it to (...) be granular, and derive a strict order between finer and coarser granules. Based on these results, granulation hierarchy is defined as extra assisting structure to augment implementations. (shrink)
A formal theory of the ecological niche is indispensable not only for semantic precision in philosophy to understand and compare it with other meanings of niche, but also when computer scientists and ecologists desire to create interoperable software where one can retrieve the niche of a species and compare their parameters. The proposed model is a more fine-grained description of the ecological niche, including the distinction between its complex concept, the abstract niche (‘fundamental niche’) with its hypervolume in multidimensional space, (...) and its realisations (‘realised niches’). The presented ecological niche may initiate new avenues for research in ecology, particularly concerning the conditions/categories of a hypervolume, as well as further philosophical inquiry and comparison with other niches. (shrink)
There are various recent efforts to broaden applications of ontologies with vague knowledge, motivated in particular by applications of bio(medical)-ontologies, as well as to enhance rough set information systems with a knowledge representation layer by giving more attention to the intension of a rough set. This requires not only representation of vague knowledge but, moreover, reasoning over it to make it interesting for both ontology engineering and rough set information systems. We propose a minor extension to OWL 2 DL, called (...) rOWL, and define the novel notions of rough subsumption reasoning and classification for rough concepts and their approximations. (shrink)
To address the problems of both structured coordination of linked and modularised ontologies and to query a large dynamic ontology system, we propose a basic granularity framework and a set of functions to query such a granulated system. The granularity framework enforces a constrained and structured modularization. This facilitates automation of both dividing a large body of represented information as well as relinking the pieces. The functions enable basic cross-granular querying in a transparent and scalable way, as they rely on (...) the unambiguous management layer provided by the granularity framework, and are reusable for ontologies represented and stored in different formats. (shrink)
From the side of modelers and early-adopter industry, interest in reasoning over conceptual models and other online usage of conceptual models is growing. To obtain a more precise insight in the characteristics of the main conceptual modeling languages, we define the (semi-)standardized ORM, ORM2, UML, ER, and EER diagram languages in terms of the new generic conceptual data modeling language CMcom that is based on the DL language DLRifd. CMcom has the most expressive common denominator with these languages. CMcom advances (...) prospects for automated, online, interoperability among diverse conceptual data models and ensures compatibility with and between industrygrade conceptual data modeling languages. (shrink)
An approach in achieving semantic interoperability among heterogeneous systems is to offer infrastructure to assist with linking and integration using a foundational ontology. Due to the creation of multiple foundational ontologies, this also means linking and integrating those ones. In order to achieve this, we have selected the widely used foundational ontologies DOLCE, BFO, and GFO, and their related modules, on which to perform ontology mediation (alignment, mapping, and merging). The foundational ontologies were aligned by identifying correspondences between ontology entities (...) using seven tools, documentation, and our manual alignments, and comparing their effectiveness. Thereafter, based on the alignments, we created correspondences in the ontology files resulting in entity mappings and merged ontologies. However, during the mapping process, it was found that differences in foundational ontologies, such as their hierarchical structure, conflicting axioms due to complement and disjointness, and incompatible domain and range restriction, cause logical inconsistencies in foundational ontology alignments, thereby greatly reducing the number of mappings. We analyse and present these logical inconsistencies with possible solutions to some of them. (shrink)
There are few successful applications of automated reasoning over OWL-formalised bio-ontologies, and requirements are often unclearly formulated. Of what is available, usage and prospective scenarios of automated reasoning is often different from the straightforward classification and satisfiability. We list nine types of scenarios and specify the requirements in more detail. Several of these requirements are already possible in practice or at least in theory, others are in need of further research, in particular regarding the linking of the OWL ontology to (...) data, reasoning over roles, and dynamically linking modular ontologies. (shrink)
Both terrorism and game theory are contested concepts within the social sciences, but in this paper, I will show that a rational approach (game theory) towards the emotion-laden idea and practice of terrorism does aid understanding of the “terrorist theatre”. First, an outline will be provided on the type of actors (game players) that are, or may be, involved to a more or lesser extend in (supporting) terrorism. Then several game models will be assessed on their applicability. This includes averting (...) the joint bargaining paradox when asymmetric actors cooperate to achieve a joint goal, governments who may fare better from their point of view when dividing up refugees into geographically separate areas to decrease the possibility of cooperation between aggrieved groups and recognizing two-speed negotiations, which can have a (detrimental) effect on (deadline) negotiations. Further, an adaptation of the audience cost model explained the “war of nerves” of the terrorist theatre involving the generation of fear amongst its targets and the updating of information on moderate actors by action of extremists. Several mutations of the Prisoner’s Dilemma were discussed as options to prevent mutual harm. (shrink)