For over a decade now, a community of researchers has contributed to the development of the Unified Foundational Ontology (UFO) - aimed at providing foundations for all major conceptual modeling constructs. This ontology has led to the development of an Ontology-Driven Conceptual Modeling language dubbed OntoUML, reflecting the ontological micro-theories comprising UFO. Over the years, UFO and OntoUML have been successfully employed in a number of academic, industrial and governmental settings to create conceptual models in a variety of different domains. (...) These experiences have pointed out to opportunities of improvement not only to the language itself but also to its underlying theory. In this paper, we take the first step in that direction by revising the theory of types in UFO in response to empirical evidence. The new version of this theory shows that many of the meta-types present in OntoUML (differentiating Kinds, Roles, Phases, Mixins, etc.) should be considered not as restricted to Substantial types but instead should be applied to model Endurant Types in general, including Relator types, Quality types and Mode types. We also contribute a formal characterization of this fragment of the theory, which is then used to advance a metamodel for OntoUML 2.0. Finally, we propose a computational support tool implementing this updated metamodel. (shrink)
Preference relations are intensively studied in Economics, but they are also approached in AI, Knowledge Representation, and Conceptual Modelling, as they provide a key concept in a variety of domains of application. In this paper, we propose an ontological foundation of preference relations to formalise their essential aspects across domains. Firstly, we shall discuss what is the ontological status of the relata of a preference relation. Secondly, we investigate the place of preference relations within a rich taxonomy of relations (e.g. (...) we ask whether they are internal or external, essential or contingent, descriptive or nondescriptive relations). Finally, we provide an ontological modelling of preference relation as a module of a foundational (or upper) ontology (viz. OntoUML). The aim of this paper is to provide a sharable foundational theory of preference relation that foster interoperability across the heterogeneous domains of application of preference relations. (shrink)
Informally speaking, a truthmaker is something in the world in virtue of which the sentences of a language can be made true. This fundamental philosophical notion plays a central role in applied ontology. In particular, a recent nonorthodox formulation of this notion proposed by the philosopher Josh Parsons, which we labelled weak truthamking, has been shown to be extremely useful in addressing a number of classical problems in the area of Conceptual Modeling. In this paper, after revisiting the classical notion (...) of truthmaking, we conduct an in depth analysis of Parsons’ account of weak truthmaking. By doing that, we expose some difficulties in his original formulation. As the main contribution of this paper, we propose solutions to address these issues which are then integrated in a new precise interpretation of truthmaking that is harmonizable with. (shrink)
Axiom weakening is a novel technique that allows for fine-grained repair of inconsistent ontologies. In a multi-agent setting, integrating ontologies corresponding to multiple agents may lead to inconsistencies. Such inconsistencies can be resolved after the integrated ontology has been built, or their generation can be prevented during ontology generation. We implement and compare these two approaches. First, we study how to repair an inconsistent ontology resulting from a voting-based aggregation of views of heterogeneous agents. Second, we prevent the generation of (...) inconsistencies by letting the agents engage in a turn-based rational protocol about the axioms to be added to the integrated ontology. We instantiate the two approaches using real-world ontologies and compare them by measuring the levels of satisfaction of the agents w.r.t. the ontology obtained by the two procedures. (shrink)
We introduce a number of logics to reason about collective propositional attitudes that are defined by means of the majority rule. It is well known that majoritarian aggregation is subject to irrationality, as the results in social choice theory and judgment aggregation show. The proposed logics for modelling collective attitudes are based on a substructural propositional logic that allows for circumventing inconsistent outcomes. Individual and collective propositional attitudes, such as beliefs, desires, obligations, are then modelled by means of minimal modalities (...) to ensure a number of basic principles. In this way, a viable consistent modelling of collective attitudes is obtained. (shrink)
The problem of merging several ontologies has important applications in the Semantic Web, medical ontology engineering and other domains where information from several distinct sources needs to be integrated in a coherent manner.We propose to view ontology merging as a problem of social choice, i.e. as a problem of aggregating the input of a set of individuals into an adequate collective decision. That is, we propose to view ontology merging as ontology aggregation. As a first step in this direction, we (...) formulate several desirable properties for ontology aggregators, we identify the incompatibility of some of these properties, and we define and analyse several simple aggregation procedures. Our approach is closely related to work in judgment aggregation, but with the crucial difference that we adopt an open world assumption, by distinguishing between facts not included in an agent’s ontology and facts explicitly negated in an agent’s ontology. (shrink)
In knowledge representation, socio-technical systems can be modeled as multiagent systems in which the local knowledge of each individual agent can be seen as a context. In this paper we propose formal ontologies as a means to describe the assumptions driving the construction of contexts as local theories and to enable interoperability among them. In particular, we present two alternative conceptualizations of the notion of sociomateriality (and entanglement), which is central in the recent debates on socio-technical systems in the social (...) sciences, namely critical and agential realism. We thus start by providing a model of entanglement according to the critical realist view, representing it as a property of objects that are essentially dependent on different modules of an already given ontology. We refine then our treatment by proposing a taxonomy of sociomaterial entanglements that distinguishes between ontological and epistemological entanglement. In the final section, we discuss the second perspective, which is more challenging form the point of view of knowledge representation, and we show that the very distinction of information into modules can be at least in principle built out of the assumption of an entangled reality. (shrink)
We propose a formal framework to examine the relationship between models and observations. To make our analysis precise,models are reduced to first-order theories that represent both terminological knowledge – e.g., the laws that are supposed to regulate the domain under analysis and that allow for explanations, predictions, and simulations – and assertional knowledge – e.g., information about specific entities in the domain of interest. Observations are introduced into the domain of quantification of a distinct first-order theory that describes their nature (...) and their organization and takes track of the way they are experimentally acquired or intentionally elaborated. A model mainly represents the theoretical knowledge or hypotheses on a domain, while the theory of observations mainly represents the empirical knowledge and the given experimental practices. We propose a precise identity criterion for observations and we explore different links between models and observations by assuming a degree of independence between them. By exploiting some techniques developed in the field of social choice theory and judgment aggregation, we sketch some strategies to solve inconsistencies between a given set of observations and the assumed theoretical hypotheses. The solutions of these inconsistencies can impact both the observations – e.g., the theoretical knowledge and the analysis of the way observations are collected or produced may highlight some unreliable sources – and the models – e.g. empirical evidences may invalidate some theoretical laws. (shrink)
We introduce a family of operators to combine Description Logic concepts. They aim to characterise complex concepts that apply to instances that satisfy \enough" of the concept descriptions given. For instance, an individual might not have any tusks, but still be considered an elephant. To formalise the meaning of \enough", the operators take a list of weighted concepts as arguments, and a certain threshold to be met. We commence a study of the formal properties of these operators, and study some (...) variations. The intended applications concern the representation of cognitive aspects of classi cation tasks: the interdependencies among the attributes that de ne a concept, the prototype of a concept, and the typicality of the instances. (shrink)
We analyse the computational complexity of three problems in judgment aggregation: (1) computing a collective judgment from a profile of individual judgments (the winner determination problem); (2) deciding whether a given agent can influence the outcome of a judgment aggregation procedure in her favour by reporting insincere judgments (the strategic manipulation problem); and (3) deciding whether a given judgment aggregation scenario is guaranteed to result in a logically consistent outcome, independently from what the judgments supplied by the individuals are (the (...) problem of the safety of the agenda). We provide results both for specific aggregation procedures (the quota rules, the premisebased procedure, and a distance-based procedure) and for classes of aggregation procedures characterised in terms of fundamental axioms. (shrink)
We present a number of modal logics to reason about group norms. As a preliminary step, we discuss the ontological status of the group to which the norms are applied, by adapting the classification made by Christian List of collective attitudes into aggregated, common, and corporate attitudes. Accordingly, we shall introduce modality to capture aggregated, common, and corporate group norms. We investigate then the principles for reasoning about those types of modalities. Finally, we discuss the relationship between group norms and (...) types of collective responsibility. (shrink)
Relevant logics provide an alternative to classical implication that is capable of accounting for the relationship between the antecedent and the consequence of a valid implication. Relevant implication is usually explained in terms of information required to assess a proposition. By doing so, relevant implication introduces a number of cognitively relevant aspects in the de nition of logical operators. In this paper, we aim to take a closer look at the cognitive feature of relevant implication. For this purpose, we develop (...) a cognitively-oriented interpretation of the semantics of relevant logics. In particular, we provide an interpretation of Routley-Meyer semantics in terms of conceptual spaces and we show that it meets the constraints of the algebraic semantics of relevant logic. (shrink)
It is widely recognized that accurately identifying and classifying competitors is a challenge for many companies and entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, it is a paramount activity which provide valuable insights that affect a wide range of strategic decisions. One of the main challenges in competitor identification lies in the complex nature of the competitive relationships that arise in business envi- ronments. These have been extensively investigate over the years, which lead to a plethora of competition theories and frameworks. Still, the concept of (...) competition remains conceptually complex, as none of these approaches properly formalized their assumptions. In this paper, we address this issue by means of an ontological analysis on the notion of competition in general, and of business competition, in particular, leveraging theories from various fields, including Marketing, Strategic Management, Ecology, Psychology and Cognitive Sciences. Our analysis, the first of its kind in the literature, is grounded on the Unified Foundational Ontology (UFO) and allows us to formally characterize why competition arises, as well as to distinguish between three types of business competitive relationships, namely market-level, firm-level and potential competition. (shrink)
Ontology engineering is a hard and error-prone task, in which small changes may lead to errors, or even produce an inconsistent ontology. As ontologies grow in size, the need for automated methods for repairing inconsistencies while preserving as much of the original knowledge as possible increases. Most previous approaches to this task are based on removing a few axioms from the ontology to regain consistency. We propose a new method based on weakening these axioms to make them less restrictive, employing (...) the use of refinement operators. We introduce the theoretical framework for weakening DL ontologies, propose algorithms to repair ontologies based on the framework, and provide an analysis of the computational complexity. Through an empirical analysis made over real-life ontologies, we show that our approach preserves significantly more of the original knowledge of the ontology than removing axioms. (shrink)
In this paper, I investigate the relationship between preference and judgment aggregation, using the notion of ranking judgment introduced in List and Pettit. Ranking judgments were introduced in order to state the logical connections between the impossibility theorem of aggregating sets of judgments and Arrow’s theorem. I present a proof of the theorem concerning ranking judgments as a corollary of Arrow’s theorem, extending the translation between preferences and judgments defined in List and Pettit to the conditions on the aggregation procedure.
How can organisations survive not only the substitution of members, but also other dramatic changes, like that of the norms regulating their activities, the goals they plan to achieve, or the system of roles that compose them? This paper is as first step towards a well-founded ontological analysis of the persistence of organisations through changes. Our analysis leverages Kit Fine’s notions of rigid and variable embodiment and proposes to view the (history of the) decisions made by the members of the (...) organisation as the criterion to re-identify the organisation through change. (shrink)
We argue that a cognitive semantics has to take into account the possibly partial information that a cognitive agent has of the world. After discussing Gärdenfors's view of objects in conceptual spaces, we offer a number of viable treatments of partiality of information and we formalize them by means of alternative predicative logics. Our analysis shows that understanding the nature of simple predicative sentences is crucial for a cognitive semantics.
The impossibility results in judgement aggregation show a clash between fair aggregation procedures and rational collective outcomes. In this paper, we are interested in analysing the notion of rational outcome by proposing a proof-theoretical understanding of collective rationality. In particular, we use the analysis of proofs and inferences provided by linear logic in order to define a fine-grained notion of group reasoning that allows for studying collective rationality with respect to a number of logics. We analyse the well-known paradoxes in (...) judgement aggregation and we pinpoint the reasoning steps that trigger the inconsistencies. Moreover, we extend the map of possibility and impossibility results in judgement aggregation by discussing the case of substructural logics. In particular, we show that there exist fragments of linear logic for which general possibility results can be obtained. (shrink)
We show that logic has more to offer to ontologists than standard first order and modal operators. We first describe some operators of linear logic which we believe are particularly suitable for ontological modeling, and suggest how to interpret them within an ontological framework. After showing how they can coexist with those of classical logic, we analyze three notions of artifact from the literature to conclude that these linear operators allow for reducing the ontological commitment needed for their formalization, and (...) even simplify their logical formulation. (shrink)
We show how to embed a framework for multilateral negotiation, in which a group of agents implement a sequence of deals concerning the exchange of a number of resources, into linear logic. In this model, multisets of goods, allocations of resources, preferences of agents, and deals are all modelled as formulas of linear logic. Whether or not a proposed deal is rational, given the preferences of the agents concerned, reduces to a question of provability, as does the question of whether (...) there exists a sequence of deals leading to an allocation with certain desirable properties, such as maximising social welfare. Thus, linear logic provides a formal basis for modelling convergence properties in distributed resource allocation. (shrink)
We study a fragment of Intuitionistic Linear Logic combined with non-normal modal operators. Focusing on the minimal modal logic, we provide a Gentzen-style sequent calculus as well as a semantics in terms of Kripke resource models. We show that the proof theory is sound and complete with respect to the class of minimal Kripke resource models. We also show that the sequent calculus allows cut elimination. We put the logical framework to use by instantiating it as a logic of agency. (...) In particular, we apply it to reason about the resource-sensitive use of artefacts. (shrink)
A concept is traditionally defined via the necessary and sufficient conditions that clearly determine its extension. By contrast, cognitive views of concepts intend to account for empirical data that show that categorisation under a concept presents typicality effects and a certain degree of indeterminacy. We propose a formal language to compactly represent concepts by leveraging on weighted logical formulas. In this way, we can model the possible synergies among the qualities that are relevant for categorising an object under a concept. (...) We show that our proposal can account for a number of views of concepts such as the prototype theory and the exemplar theory. Moreover, we show how the proposed model can overcome some limitations of cognitive views. (shrink)
Public deliberation has been defended as a rational and noncoercive way to overcome paradoxical results from democratic voting, by promoting consensus on the available alternatives on the political agenda. Some critics have argued that full consensus is too demanding and inimical to pluralism and have pointed out that single-peakedness, a much less stringent condition, is sufficient to overcome voting paradoxes. According to these accounts, deliberation can induce single-peakedness through the creation of a ‘meta-agreement’, that is, agreement on the dimension according (...) to which the issues at stake are ‘conceptualized’. We argue here that once all the conditions needed for deliberation to bring about single-peakedness through meta-agreement are unpacked and made explicit, meta-agreement turns out to be a highly demanding condition, and one that is very inhospitable to pluralism. (shrink)
We show that linear logic can serve as an expressive framework in which to model a rich variety of combinatorial auction mechanisms. Due to its resource-sensitive nature, linear logic can easily represent bids in combinatorial auctions in which goods may be sold in multiple units, and we show how it naturally generalises several bidding languages familiar from the literature. Moreover, the winner determination problem, i.e., the problem of computing an allocation of goods to bidders producing a certain amount of revenue (...) for the auctioneer, can be modelled as the problem of finding a proof for a particular linear logic sequent. (shrink)
We present an ontological analysis of the notion of group agency developed by Christian List and Philip Pettit. We focus on this notion as it allows us to neatly distinguish groups, organizations, corporations – to which we may ascribe agency – from mere aggregates of individuals. We develop a module for group agency within a foundational ontology and we apply it to organizations.
In this paper, I discuss the analysis of logic in the pragmatic approach recently proposed by Brandom. I consider different consequence relations, formalized by classical, intuitionistic and linear logic, and I will argue that the formal theory developed by Brandom, even if provides powerful foundational insights on the relationship between logic and discursive practices, cannot account for important reasoning patterns represented by non-monotonic or resource-sensitive inferences. Then, I will present an incompatibility semantics in the framework of linear logic which allow (...) to refine Brandom’s concept of defeasible inference and to account for those non-monotonic and relevant inferences that are expressible in linear logic. Moreover, I will suggest an interpretation of discursive practices based on an abstract notion of agreement on what counts as a reason which is deeply connected with linear logic semantics. (shrink)
Many collective decision making problems have a combinatorial structure: the agents involved must decide on multiple issues and their preferences over one issue may depend on the choices adopted for some of the others. Voting is an attractive method for making collective decisions, but conducting a multi-issue election is challenging. On the one hand, requiring agents to vote by expressing their preferences over all combinations of issues is computationally infeasible; on the other, decomposing the problem into several elections on smaller (...) sets of issues can lead to paradoxical outcomes. Any pragmatic method for running a multi-issue election will have to balance these two concerns. We identify and analyse the problem of generating an agenda for a given election, specifying which issues to vote on together in local elections and in which order to schedule those local elections. (shrink)
Among the possible solutions to the paradoxes of collective preferences, single-peakedness is significant because it has been associated to a suggestive conceptual interpretation: a single-peaked preference profile entails that, although individuals may disagree on which option is the best, they conceptualize the choice along a shared unique dimension, i.e. they agree on the rationale of the collective decision. In this article, we discuss the relationship between the structural property of singlepeakedness and its suggested interpretation as uni-dimensionality of a social choice. (...) In particular, we offer a formalization of the relationship between single-peakedness and its conceptual counterpart, we discuss their logical relations, and we question whether single-peakedness provides a rationale for collective choices. (shrink)
This work contributes to the theory of judgement aggregation by discussing a number of significant non-classical logics. After adapting the standard framework of judgement aggregation to cope with non-classical logics, we discuss in particular results for the case of Intuitionistic Logic, the Lambek calculus, Linear Logic and Relevant Logics. The motivation for studying judgement aggregation in non-classical logics is that they offer a number of modelling choices to represent agents’ reasoning in aggregation problems. By studying judgement aggregation in logics that (...) are weaker than classical logic, we investigate whether some well-known impossibility results, that were tailored for classical logic, still apply to those weak systems. (shrink)
In this paper we give some formal examples of ideas developed by Penco in two papers on the tension inside Frege's notion of sense (see Penco 2003). The paper attempts to compose the tension between semantic and cognitive aspects of sense, through the idea of sense as proof or procedure – not as an alternative to the idea of sense as truth condition, but as complementary to it (as it happens sometimes in the old tradition of procedural semantics).