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

Abstract

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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