A Formal Foundation for Ontology-Alignment Interaction Models

A Formal Foundation for Ontology-Alignment Interaction Models

Marco Schorlemmer (IIIA, CSIC, Spain), Yannis Kalfoglou (University of Southampton, UK) and Manuel Atencia (IIIA, CSIC, Spain)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/jswis.2007040103
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Ontology alignment foundations are hard to find in the literature. The abstract nature of the topic and the diverse means of practice make it difficult to capture it in a universal formal foundation. We argue that such a lack of formality hinders further development and convergence of practices, and in particular, prevents us from achieving greater levels of automation. In this article we present a formal foundation for ontology alignment that is based on interaction models between heterogeneous agents on the Semantic Web. We use the mathematical notion of information flow in a distributed system to ground our three hypotheses of enabling semantic interoperability and we use a motivating example throughout the article: how to progressively align two ontologies of research quality assessment through meaning coordination. We conclude the article with the presentation—in an executable specification language—of such an ontology-alignment interac-tion model.

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