Thank you (to you and the rest of the expert panel) for a very
comprehensive session earlier today. (02)
I guess I should have been slightly more specific in my remark about
the hope that the NBIM conceptual model, and subsequently it's
trans-lingual mapping of concepts to unique identifiers (as shown on
slide#47 of the deck at
) which I found fascinating (although I have my doubts on whether it
is even feasible to construct a useful enough set for the purposes
stated), to have been extended from (or mapped to) some open formal
upper ontology. I inadvertently left out the word *formal* when I made
the remark earlier (although I was assuming it was implied, I now
realize that one should not have made that assumption when someone
like yourself is trying to convey that to your domain experts.) (03)
(For Deborah too ...) I believe the 2006 Upper Ontology Summit
communique  summed up the position fairly well. Almost anyone of
the open upper ontology custodians and a lot of folks on this forum
would agree that, to be able to, as you said, interoperate across
multiple domain, in highly contextual and complex situations like
those in emergency response, rooting domain ontologies in open upper
ontology or lattice of ontologies (as John Sowa would have put it) is
an effective way (if not the only viable way) for large scale semantic
I would refer anyone interested to that communique , as well as the
talks given by each and every one of those custodians (which can be
found in the Ontolog archives under:
http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nidZ ) for more
Thanks & regards. =ppy
On Thu, Feb 14, 2008 at 2:06 PM, Michelle Raymond
> Your comment in today's session about hoping the National Building
> 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
> super-domains and related-domains and thus screams for an Upper
> Ontology to keep it in check.
> 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.
> I'd like to hear your opinion.
> 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
> Below is an extract from page 49, section 3 "Information Exchange Concepts"
> of the document noted.
> Best regards,
> Michelle Raymond
> "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.
> 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.
> 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,
> • as an instance of another model, and this where the model views come
> into play.
> 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.
> 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.
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