Semantics, Ontologies & UBL

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Dec 10, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Semantics, Ontologies & UBL


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A presentation to the UBL TC members
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by


Leo Obrst
,
Jack Park
,
Peter Yim


April 2, 2002

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Outline


Purpose of this presentation


XML and Web Interoperability


Vision of the Semantic Web


Ontology & Ontologies


The ebXML
-
CC & UBL approach


UBL & Ontologies


commonalities & differences


What can we learn from Ontologists when constructing UBL


Some Frontiers of the Semantic Web pioneers


What will help facilitate smooth migration and optimize re
-
use


What’s Next?


References


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Purpose of this presentation


To start a dialog between UBL TC members with
colleagues working on Knowledge Representation,
Ontologies and certain aspects of the future
“Semantic Web”


Allow both to take a closer look at what the other
party is doing


To confirm a gut feel that UBL is essentially building
a “business ontology” (even if we don’t call it by that
name)


Explore “if” and “how” we can continue this dialog
so that it can be beneficial to both parties’ work

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As for the Way (“Tao”), the Way that can be
spoken of is not the constant Way;

As for names, the name that can be named is not
the constant name.

“Tao Te Ching”
-

Lao Tzu

(circa 500 B.C.)

The nameless is the beginning of the ten
thousand things;

The named is the mother of the ten thousand things;


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XML and Web Interoperability

HTML

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010

Publishing medium

Data exchange & Transactions

Knowledge exchange


XML

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The Issue

"The great thing about XML is that it enables the incredible
experimentation we see in the marketplace.


But there are
hundreds of XML groups creating Internet commerce
'languages'. This, coupled with the various transaction
standards in common use, presents formidable obstacles
to organizations wishing to build or participate in global
trading webs."




Howard Smith
,

Director, Ontology.org, &


Director of Strategy, E
-
Business, CSC Europe, 2000




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Vision of the Semantic Web


“The Semantic Web is an extension of the current web in which
information is given well
-
defined meaning, better enabling
computers and people to work in cooperation.”
[SA2001]


“The Semantic Web will bring structure to the meaningful
content of Web pages, creating an environment where software
agents roaming from page to page can readily carry out
sophisticated tasks for users.”
[SA2001]


“The Semantic Web is a vision: the idea of having data on the
web defined and linked in a way, that it can be used by machines
-

not just for display purposes, but for using it in various
applications.”

[SW]


[SA2001]: T. Berners
-
Lee, J. Hendler, and O. Lassila. 2001. “The Semantic Web”


In The Scientific American, May, 2001 issue

http://www.scientificamerican.com/2001/0501issue/0501berners
-
lee.html

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Towards Semantic Interoperability

“Interoperable computing solutions imply the
existence of a sharable ontology, or common set
of object semantics. Implementers will still be able
to use localized and otherwise customized XML
markup languages if they choose, but it should be
possible to express and validate the semantics of
the design as well as the raw XML syntax.”


Robin Cover
, “XML & Semantic Transparency”,

http://www.oasisopen.org/cover/xmlAndSemantics.html


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Ontology & Ontologies*
[1]


An ontology defines the terms used to describe and represent an area
of knowledge.


Ontologies are used by people, databases, and applications that need to
share domain information (a domain is just a specific subject area or
area of knowledge, like medicine, tool manufacturing, real estate,
automobile repair, financial management, etc.).


Ontologies include computer
-
usable definitions of basic concepts in
the domain and the relationships among them … They encode
knowledge in a domain and also knowledge that spans domains. In this
way, they make that knowledge reusable.


The word ontology has been used to describe artifacts with different
degrees of structure. These range from simple taxonomies (such as the
Yahoo hierarchy), to metadata schemes (such as the Dublin Core), to
logical theories. The Semantic Web needs ontologies with a significant
degree of structure.

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Ontology & Ontologies*
[2]


Ontologies are usually expressed in a logic
-
based language, so that
detailed, accurate, consistent, sound, and meaningful distinctions can
be made among the classes, properties, and relations.


Ontologies figure prominently in the emerging Semantic Web as a way
of representing the semantics of documents and enabling the semantics
to be used by web applications and intelligent agents.


Ontologies can prove very useful for a community as a way of
structuring and defining the meaning of the metadata terms that are
currently being collected and standardized.


Using ontologies, tomorrow's applications can be "intelligent", in the
sense that they can more accurately work at the human conceptual
level.


*Quoted from: Requirements for a Web Ontology Language, W3C Working Draft 07 March 2002.

http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD
-
webont
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req
-
20020307/#onto
-
def

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What is Ontology?



Ontology is the
standardization of meanings

(i.e.,
terms and concepts of a language)


An Ontology models the meaning (“semantics”) of a
Domain(s)


Ontology thus includes:


Objects

(things) in the many domains of interest


The
relationships

between those things


The
properties

(and property values) of those things


The
functions and processes

involving those things


Constraints
on and
rules

about those things

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Big O: Ontology; Little O: ontology


Philosophy:

“a particular system of categories accounting for a
certain vision of the world” or domain of discourse, a
conceptualization

(Big O)


Artificial Intelligence:

“an engineering product consisting of a
specific vocabulary used to describe a part of reality, plus a set
of explicit assumptions regarding the intended meaning of the
vocabulary words”,
“a specification of a conceptualization”

(Little O)


Ontological Engineering:

towards
a formal, logical theory
,
usually ‘concepts’ (i.e., the entities, usually classes
hierarchically structured in a special subsumption relation),
‘relations’, ‘properties’, ‘values’, ‘constraints’, ‘rules’,
‘instances’

-

These definitions are derived from Guarino, 98; Guarino & Giaretta, 95

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A Simple Common Picture*

*Guarino, N. 1998. Formal Ontology in Information Systems, p. 7. In Formal Ontology in Information Systems, N.


Guarino, ed. Amsterdam.: IOS Press. Proceedings of the First International Conference (FOIS’98), June 6
-
8, Trent, Italy,


Conceptualization C

Models M(L)

Ontology

Language L

Intended models I
M
(L)

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Ontology Spectrum

Logical Domain Theory

Animal

Mammal

Reptile

Bird

Dog

Snake

Cat

Cocker Spaniel

Entities
:

Metal working machinery, equipment and
supplies, metal
-
cutting machinery, metal
-
turning
equipment, metal
-
milling equipment, milling insert,
turning insert, etc.

Relations
: subclass
-
of; instance
-
of; part
-
of; has
-
geometry; performs, used
-
on;etc.

Properties
:

geometry; material; length; operation;
UN/SPSC
-
code; ISO
-
code; etc.

Values
: 1; 2; 3; “2.5 inches”; “85
-
degree
-
diamond”;
“231716”; “boring”; “drilling”; etc.

Axioms/Rules:

If milling
-
insert(X) & operation(Y) &
material(Z)=HG_Steel & performs(X, Y, Z), then has
-
geometry(X, 85
-
degree
-
diamond).

Lee

Management

Technical

Program

Personnel

St
af
f

Assistant

Director

Director

DARPA

Navy

Intelligence

Etc.

Ali

Ralph

Mary

Brad

A6

A5

A4

Paul

Jim

Technologies

Telecommunications

Agent

Knowledge

Representation

Natural

Language

Program

Project

Task

Semantic

Interoperability

Company

Division

Department

IISys

requires

knows

has_expertise_in

works

has

Machine Interpretable Vocabulary and Types:

Entities, Relations, Properties, Values, Constraints,

Rules, Axioms

Minimal Hierarchic Structure

Syntax/Format & Well
-
defined NL Definition: Terms

Syntax/Format, Structure, Semantics: Terms + Meaning

Mathematically Rigorous, Rich & Consistent Formal Syntax,

Structure, Semantics: Terms + Machine
-
Interpretable Meaning

Thesaurus

Conceptual Model

Lady


Has Narrower Meaning Than

Is Sub
-
Classification of


Is Subclass of


Is Disjoint Subclass of
with transitivity property

Schema

Object Model

Communities: AI/KR/NL, DB,
Library/Info. Science, OO

AI/KR/NL

DB

Li/IS

OO

UML

DL

ML

FOL

R

ER

EER

Taxonomy/ Classification System

Terms
: Metal working machinery, equipment and
supplies, metal
-
cutting machinery, metal
-
turning
equipment, metal
-
milling equipment, milling insert,

turning insert, etc.

Relations
:

use, used
-
for, broader
-
term, narrower
-
term,
related
-
term

Logical Concepts

Controlled Vocabulary

Problem: Very General

Semantic Expressivity: Very High

Problem: Local

Semantic Expressivity: Low

Problem: General

Semantic Expressivity: Medium

Problem: Local

Semantic Expressivity: High

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E
-
Business

Area of

Interest

-
Mostly This

Middle Ontology

(Domain
-
spanning

Knowledge)

Most General Thing

Upper Ontology

(Generic Common

Knowledge)

Products/Services

Processes

Organizations

Locations

Lower Ontology

(individual domains)

Procurement

Accounting

Lowest Ontology

(sub
-
domains)

Quotations

But Also This!

Ontology: General Picture

Business

Purchase

Orders

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The UBL approach & features


Conscious choice of defining the ebXML Core
Components (CCs) and the UBL Business
Information Entities (BIEs) at the semantic level


UBL defined naming and design rules


employment of a “context” methodology


User (industrial specific) extensibility


Externally maintained repository of BIEs and
Documents


All code lists are external (both for creation and
maintenance) which UBL will just point to





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UBL & Ontologies


shared purpose


Both are trying to develop shared International
Standards


Both are attempts to logically model our real
world


UBL is addressing a key ontology domain


that
of “business”


Both are trying to enable semantic interoperability

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Comparison


UBL Ontologies



BIE (Entity); type; object
class; property (qualifier);
representation;
occurrence/cardinality;
instances; context driver


Confined to a “single” or
“restricted set” of relationships
& rules


CC tripartite Naming Rule:


Object Class;


Property Term (w/ Qualifier);


Representation Term


Single inheritance only


Entity; relationships;
properties; instances;
cardinality;
functions/processes;
constraints/rules; context


Almost any relationship and
rules can be

modeled


RDF
tripartite Data Model:



Subject


Predicate


Object


Multiple inheritance is possible

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When Ontology Meets Business


-

Information & Transaction Needs


Organize & Manage a Standard Shared Information Space across Business
Content & Commerce Applications


Create a Common Representation for Business Products & Services


Reusable Shared Description


Scalable, Extensible, Maintainable Consistent Semantics


Common Representation will Support:


Categorization of Products & Services from both Buyer & Seller
Perspectives: Buyers’ Guides, Sellers’ Catalogs, Buyer’s Navigation &
Search


Parametric Search: identification and definition of properties & attributes
of Products & Services for search


“Domain” Representation beyond Databases Enables:


“Intelligent” Search: rich search based on interrelationships and meaning,
not just keyword occurrence in product spec sheets and descriptions


Intelligent Assistance to Buyers & Sellers: related products, cross
-
selling,
context
-
based classification/search/navigation/transactions

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What can we learn from Ontologists
when constructing UBL?
[1]


Logical rigor, generality, reuse, modularity,
refinement


Useful for domain ontologies (UBL) to inherit middle,
upper ontologies


Don’t reinvent wheel 10 million times


Ontology engineering: formal conceptual
modeling & ontological analysis using principled
semantic guidelines


Ontology: shared vocabulary & meaning (&
structure)

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What can we learn from Ontologists
when constructing UBL?
[2]


Theory of formal distinctions & connections about
entities, relations, categories


Properties: identity, rigidity, unity; what changes, what
remains same?


Part
-
whole relations: mereotopology, aggregation,
mass/count (plurality)


Levels: physical, functional, biological, intentional,
social


Taxonomic constraints


Property analysis: legal agent, group, social entity,
organization




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Some Frontiers of the Semantic Web


XTM


Provides rich semantic layer above information resources
[TM]


Evolving Standards: ISO 13250 and XTM
[TO]


OASIS XTM TC’s


Topic Maps Vocabulary for XML Standards and Technologies


Topic Maps Published Subjects


Topic Maps Published Subjects for Geography and Languages
(GeoLang)



WOW
-
G / OWL
[WOW
-
G]


Building on DAML+OIL, using RDF/S & XML


IEEE Standard Upper Ontology: SUMO, IFF, OpenCyc?


European Union’s OntoWeb consortium
[OntoWeb]


Content Standards, Ontology Language Standards, Ontology
Environment, Industrial Applications, Language Technology SIGs

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Web Ontology Work: Timeline

2001

2002

2003

2004

OWL* v1.0

11/1/02

W3C WOW
-
G

OntoWeb

IEEE

SUO

SUMO, IFF v1.0

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UBL & the Semantic Web


UBL is “now” (should have been yesterday)


addressing a real need so that business can
effectively be served


The Semantic Web is somewhere in the “future”


representing how the Internet could have served
humanity better


However, if done right, UBL can help provide a
bridge for us to transition from “here” (the Web as
we know it now) to “there”
--

the Web where we
can have true semantic interoperability

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What will help facilitate smooth
migration and optimize re
-
use


Continue this current dialog
--

between UBL
designers and Semantic Web (especially
WOL) designers


Begin to develop Reference Implementations
with each other in mind


Recruit ontologists into the UBL team


… suggestions please …


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What’s Next


Schedule another session for Q&A ?


Invite Leo and/or Jack to our next UBL face
-
to
-
face
meeting?


Establish liaison relationship between UBL and
WOW
-
G?


Make UBL a use case for the W3C
-
WebOnt work?


Assess within the UBL TC how our work can better
align with that of other web ontology work groups


… other suggestions please …

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References
[1]


For the Business, Management or Strategist
--



"The Next Web"
--

Business Week, Mar. 4, 2002 issue


[BW subscribers only] at
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/02_09/b3772108.htm




or [temporary]

http://ubl.cim3.org/~lcsc/tempMeetingResources/for_2002
-
04
-
02_a/temp/TimBernersLees_Next_Web
--
BW_020304.html



"The Semantic Web"
--

Scientific American, May 2001 issue
-

[SA2001]





at
http://www.sciam.com/2001/0501issue/0501berners
-
lee.html



“The Semantic Web: A Primer”


Edd Dumbill, Nov. 2000


at
http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2000/11/01/semanticweb/index.html


For the Developers or Technologist
--



"The Semantic Web: An Introduction"



at
http://infomesh.net/2001/swintro/



"Requirements for a Web Ontology Language"
-

W3C Working Draft 07 Mar02



at
http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD
-
webont
-
req
-
20020307/



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References
[2]


XML, RDF, DAML+OIL Language Comparisons
--



DAML:
http://www.daml.org/language/features.html



see Yolanda's Gil's comparison at
http://trellis.semanticweb.org/expect/web/semanticweb/comparison.html



More Semantic Web & Web Ontology Resources
--



[SW] The Semantic Web Portal:
http://www.semanticweb.org


[TM]
XML Topic Maps
, Jack Park, Editor, Addison
-
Wesley, July 2002


[TO]
http://www.topicmaps.org


[WOW
-
G]
http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/WebOnt/


[IEEE
-
SUO]
(
http://suo.ieee.org/



[OntoWeb]
http://www.ontoweb.org/index.htm
).



“On Standardization of the Web Ontology Language” at
http://www.cim3.net/research/semanticweb/Standardization_of_WebOntology
Language_IEEEintelligentSystem_Mar
-
2002.html


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Fin


Questions ?


Comments …


Suggestions