The Distributed Ontology Language (DOL) is currently being standardized within the OntoIOp (Ontology Integration and Interoperability) activity of ISO/TC 37/SC 3. It aims at providing a unified framework for (1) ontologies formalized in heterogeneous logics, (2) modular ontologies, (3) links between ontologies, and (4) annotation of ontologies. This paper presents the current state of DOL's standardization. It focuses on use cases where distributed ontologies enable interoperability and reusability. We demonstrate relevant features of the DOL syntax and semantics and explain how these integrate into existing knowledge engineering environments.
The Distributed Ontology Language DOL, currently being standardized as ISO WD 17347 within the OntoIOp (Ontology Integration and Interoperability) activity of ISO/TC 37, provides a unified framework for (1) ontologies formalized in heterogeneous logics, (2) modular ontologies, (3) links between ontologies, and (4) ontology annotation. A DOL ontology consists of modules formalized in languages such as OWL or Common Logic, serialized in the existing syntaxes of these languages. On top, DOL's meta level allows for expressing heterogeneous ontologies and links between ontologies, including (heterogeneous) imports and alignments, conservative extensions, and theory interpretations. We present the abstract syntax of these meta-level constructs, with three alternative semantics: direct, translational, and collapsed semantics.
The design of ontologies for new commonsense domains continues to pose challenges, particularly in cases where multiple potential axiomatizations satisfy the requirements for the ontology. One approach is to specify the requirements with respect to the intended semantics of the terminology; from a mathematical perspective the requirements may be characterized by the class of structures(referred to as the required models) which capturethe intended semantics. This approach leads to a natural notion of the correctness as a relationship between the models of the axiomatization of the ontology and the required models for the ontology. In this paper, we consider three possible generalizations of the notion of the correctness of an ontology in the case in which the ontology and the required models have different signatures.We show that these notions of correctness lead to different approaches for ontology evaluation and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each approach.
This paper discusses an axiomatic approach for the integration of ontologies, an approach that extends to first order logic a previous approach (Kent 2000) based on information flow. This axiomatic approach is represented in the Information Flow Framework (IFF), a metalevel framework for organizing the information that appears in digital libraries, distributed databases and ontologies (Kent 2001). The paper argues that the integration of ontologies is the two-step process of alignment and unification. Ontological alignment consists of the sharing of common terminology and semantics through a mediating ontology. Ontological unification, concentrated in a virtual ontology of community connections, is fusion of the alignment diagram of participant community ontologies - the quotient of the sum of the participant portals modulo the ontological alignment structure.
We present a semantically-driven approach to uncertainties within and across ontologies. Ontologies are widely used not only by the Semantic Web but also by artificial systems in general. They represent and structure a domain with respect to its semantics. Uncertainties, however, have been rarely taken into account in ontological representation, even though they are inevitable when applying ontologies in `real world' applications. In this paper, we analyze why uncertainties are necessary for ontologies, how and where uncertainties have to be represented in ontologies, and what their semantics are. In particular, we investigate which ontology constructions need to address uncertainty issues and which ontology constructions should not be affected by uncertainties on the basis of their semantics. As a result, the use of uncertainties is restricted to appropriate cases, which reduces complexity and guides ontology development. We give examples and motivation from the field of spatially-aware systems in indoor environments.