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Re: [ontology-summit] {quality-methodology} Building Ontologies to Meet

To: "'Ontology Summit 2013 discussion'" <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Anatoly Levenchuk" <ailev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2013 23:46:37 +0400
Message-id: <004f01cdf746$dd256800$97703800$@asmp.msk.su>

By the way we at TechInvestLab had an attempt to use discipline of situational method engineering for description of ontology engineering methodology. Our «ISO 15926 Reference Data Engineering Methodology, version 3.0» (http://techinvestlab.ru/files/RefDataEngenEnglish/RefDataEngen_ver_3_English.doc) is about one year old and roughly based on ISO 24744:2007 «Software Engineering -- Metamodel for Development Methodologies» (http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=38854). We informally checked that our methodology have all the prescribed by ISO 24744 parts that needed for comprehensive development method description.


We will be glad to get any comments to out attempt of ontology-related (“reference data” is one of many euphemisms for “ontology”) methodology development effort.


We have plans to rewrite current version 3 of our text in a couple of month to have account of ISO 15926 new developments (mainly ISO 15926 ontology patterns usage) in a method content aspect and have a compliance to contemporary situational method engineering standard OMG «Essence-Kernel and Language for Software Engineering Methods» (http://semat.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/2012-11-01.pdf, have plans to be approved by OMG in February 2013) in a method format aspect.


Best regards,

Anatoly Levenchuk




From: ontology-summit-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontology-summit-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Sjir Nijssen
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2013 7:40 PM
To: Ontology Summit 2013 discussion
Subject: Re: [ontology-summit] {quality-methodology} Building Ontologies to Meet Evaluation Criteria


Dear Matthew,


Thank you for making a good step away from the “sacred” but fairly useless often quoted definition of ontology.


See further in line below as [[Sjir2: ….]


I welcome your reaction as well as reactions from other colleagues.





Sjir Nijssen


Chief Technical Officer

PNA Group


Tel:     +31 (0)88-777 0 444

Mob: +31 (0)6-21 510 844

Fax:    +31 (0)88-777 0 499

E-mail: sjir.nijssen@xxxxxxxxxxxxx




Van: ontology-summit-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontology-summit-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] Namens Matthew West
Verzonden: zondag 20 januari 2013 13:56
Aan: 'Ontology Summit 2013 discussion'
Onderwerp: Re: [ontology-summit] {quality-methodology} Building Ontologies to Meet Evaluation Criteria


Dear Sjir,


Dear Colleagues,

This is the opening post for Track C: Building Ontologies to Meet Evaluation Criteria.

When you make posts on this track please us the {quality-methodology} label in the subject line as I have above.



There are two approaches to assuring the quality of an ontology: [[Sjir:  Ontology is currently an homonym; please make first a series of clear definitions (enriched with many examples) such that the homonym problem is solved.]],


MW: Well I’m not sure there is a generally agreed definitions of what an ontology is [[Sjir2: indeed, I agree with you and I believe this forum should admit that clearly, and start work to get to a series of definitions that can be assigned to the widely varying kinds of “ontologies” mentioned in this forum.]], but we are not talking about the philosophical study of what exists. [[Sjir2: I agree.]]  My definition for the purposes of this summit is:


A formal (i.e. computer processable) representation of (some of) the things that exists and (some of) the rules that govern them.


[[Sjir2: Another proposal: A complete and truely conceptual (in the sense of ISO TR9007) ontology is a formal (i.e. computer processable) representation of

a.        the kinds of things considered within scope of a certain ontology,

b.      the kinds of facts about instances of these kinds of kinds and

c.       all the associated integrity rules about the fact populations and fact population transitions.

d.      There is always a human understandable representation (in a CNL), that is extended with a set of all relevant concept definitions.]]



Examples can be as diverse as Cyc, a database schema, and Master Data.


1.       Measure the quality of the result against the requirements that it should meet and fix the defects. [[Sjir: I suggest to take the three principles (Helsinki, 100 % and Conceptual) of ISO TR9007 into account.]]

MW: I’m sorry, I don’t follow you there. Could you elaborate please?


[[Sjir2: ISO TR9007 (TR stands for Technical Report, often a predecessor of a standard) was an effort by ISO that started in 1978 and was finished in 1987. It includes a validatable definition of a conceptual schema (The description of the possible states of affairs of the universe of discourse including the classifications, rules, laws, etc., of the universe of discourse. (Page I-4) ) and the following three principles:


The Helsinki Principle

Any meaningful exchange of utterances depends upon the prior existence of an agreed set of semantic and syntactic rules. The recipients of the utterances must only use these rules to interpret the received utterances, if it is to mean the same as that which was meant by the utterer. ISO TC97/SC5/WG3- Helsinki 1978 (Page 0-2)


Conceptualization Principle

A conceptual schema should only include conceptually relevant aspects, both static and dynamic, of the universe of discourse, thus excluding all aspects of (external and internal) data representation, physical data representation and access as well as all aspects of a particular external user representation such as message format, data structures, etc. (page I-9)


100 Percent Principle

All relevant general static and dynamic aspects, i.e. all rules, laws, etc., of the universe of discourse should be described in the conceptual schema. The information system cannot be held responsible for not meeting those described elsewhere, including in particular those in application programs. (page I-8)



2. Use a process or methodology to ensure the quality of the resultant ontology. [[Sjir: I stongly agree with this.]]

That is, Proactive versus Reactive.

The advantage of using a methodology are that you get it (or at least more of it) right first time, thus avoiding the cost of rework to fix the defects.  [[Sjir: I stongly agree with this.]]

- Do such methodologies exist for ontologies? [[Sjir: that depends on what you mean by ontology. Informally yes, but that is outside the “ontology”” community.]]

MW: I believe there are also some within the “ontology” community, as well as the broader data modelling/relational database community. [[Sjir2: please let me know which ones.]]





Matthew West                            

Information  Junction

Tel: +44 1489 880185

Mobile: +44 750 3385279

Skype: dr.matthew.west





This email originates from Information Junction Ltd. Registered in England and Wales No. 6632177.

Registered office: 2 Brookside, Meadow Way, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6 3JE.



- How mature are they?


- Do they take account of different ontology roles, lifecycles? [[Sjir: yes, lifecycles have tob a taken into account if you want it become mainstream.]]

- Do they take account of the different usages of ontologies

  - As applications

  - As integrating ontologies between applications?


We hope to investigate the state of the art in ontology development methodologies in respect of how they contribute to ontology quality, including key achievements and gaps that currently exist.


Achievements: what's there?

Gaps: what's not there?


Our objectives include:

1. Examine the explicit and implicit methodologies that are known to exist.

2. Understand the role that upper ontologies play in ontology development methodologies.

3. Understand the role of ontological patterns in ontology development methodologies.

4. Identify how to apply the intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of ontology evaluation identified by the other tracks, within the applicable development methodologies.

5. Identifying how to frame the applicable ontology development methodologies within the frameworks of established quality assurance regimes (such as ISO 9000 and CMMI) for industrial applications.


Do you think there are some other objectives we should set ourselves? What is your experience in these areas?


As well as the discussion here, we have two virtual sessions on 7 Feb and March where invited speakers will present on some of the above.



Matthew West and Mike Bennett

Track C Co-Champions




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