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[ontolog-forum] ConferenceCall 2008 02 14 follow-up: Use of Upper Ontolo

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Peter Yim" <peter.yim@xxxxxxxx>
From: "Michelle Raymond" <michellearaymond@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 16:06:59 -0600
Message-id: <f8e7bfd30802141406j7b4d06ffx57b346053e0511a6@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Peter,    (01)

Your comment in today's session about hoping the National Building Information
Model has an Upper Ontology to keep things connected was a good one.
The Buildings and Facilities Domain space is such that it has many
sub-domains,
super-domains and related-domains and thus screams for an Upper
Ontology to keep it in check.    (02)

Since a goal of the NBIMS is to provide a process for ontologies to be
submitted by various non-core domains and be evaluated and accepted
into the the BIM Standard, I have been niavely assuming that the
existing meta-model and its continued development fit the requirements
to be an Upper Ontology.  My here-to limited exploration of the
surrounding architecture gave me the hooks I needed to consider the
Standard for a basis of information delivery to decision support
services and my immediate information need was met.  You sparked me to
look further and after scanning the "Overview, Principles, and
Methodologies" document, I am happy to  report that I would consider
the BIM founded in an Upper Ontology.    (03)

I'd like to hear your opinion.    (04)

The full "NATIONAL BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING STANDARD, Version 1 -
Part 1: Overview, Principles, and Methodologies" document can be found
at http://www.facilityinformationcouncil.org/bim/pdfs/NBIMSv1_p1.pdf    (05)

Below is an extract from page 49, section 3 "Information Exchange Concepts"
of the document noted.    (06)

Best regards,    (07)

Michelle Raymond    (08)


"Commitments may be made to use a specific controlled vocabulary or
ontology for a domain of interest. The NBIMS domain of interest
ultimately encompasses all information views related to capital
facilities. Enforcement of an ontology's grammar may be rigorous or
lax. Frequently, the grammar for a light-weight ontology is not
completely specified, that is, it has implicit rules that are not
explicitly documented. It is important that NBIMS have a tight
structure to the adopted ontology so as to minimize misinterpretation
and to allow unambiguous understanding in software exchanges between
the many domains and interests of the capital facilities industry.
While vendors may use terms they created to help their marketing and
branding, it is hoped that, in time, proprietary terms will be linked
to the standard language presented in NBIMS.    (09)

Currently there are no software applications which can support the
entire scope of endeavors in the capital facilities industry. It is
likely there never will be. As the uses of BIM expand, the NBIMS
Committee, through the NBIM Standards, hopes to create a capability
where each party can choose software best suited to its own
requirements confident that they will be able to freely collaborate
with others and efficiently exchange data.    (010)

A meta-model is an explicit model of the constructs and rules needed
to build specific models within a domain of interest. In the case of
NBIMS the heart of the meta-model is in the Information Delivery Model
(IDM). A valid meta-model is an ontology, but not all ontologies are
modeled explicitly as meta-models. A meta-model can be viewed from
three different perspectives,
 as a set of building blocks and rules used to build models,as a set
of building blocks and rules used to build models,
 as a model of a domain of interest, andas a model of a domain of interest, and
 as an instance of another model, and this where the model views come
into play.    (011)

When modelers use a modeling tool to construct models, they are making
a commitment to use the ontology implemented in the modeling tool.
This model making ontology is usually called a meta-model, with 'model
making' as its domain of interest.    (012)

One of the primary roles of NBIMS is to set the ontology and
associated common language that will allow information to be machine
readable between team members. Ultimately, these boundaries will
encompass everyone who interacts with the built and natural
environments. In order for this to occur, the team members who share
information must be able to map to the same terminology. Common
ontologies will allow this communication to occur."   - 2007,
"NATIONAL BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING STANDARD, Version 1 - Part 1:
Overview, Principles, and Methodologies" pg 49.    (013)

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