Approaches to Semantics in Knowledge Management

Approaches to Semantics in Knowledge Management

Cristiano Fugazza (University of Milan, Italy), Stefano David (Polytechnic University of Marche, Italy), Anna Montesanto (Polytechnic University of Marche, Italy) and Cesare Rocchi (Polytechnic University of Marche, Italy)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-034-9.ch007


There are different approaches to modeling a computational system, each providing different semantics. We present a comparison among different approaches to semantics and we aim at identifying which peculiarities are needed to provide a system with uniquely interpretable semantics. We discuss different approaches, namely, Description Logics, Artificial Neural Networks, and relational database management systems. We identify classification (the process of building a taxonomy) as common trait. However, in this chapter we also argue that classification is not enough to provide a system with a Semantics, which emerges only when relations among classes are established and used among instances. Our contribution also analyses additional features of the formalisms that distinguish the approaches: closed versus. open world assumption, dynamic versus. static nature of knowledge, the management of knowledge, and the learning process.
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A Sample Scenario

The scenario we will illustrate is the trading of goods; it involves companies, products, articles, markets, and consumers. We introduce these concepts in order to sketch our sample scenario; they will be represented in the different approaches with the addition of instance data to populate the schema.

The main categorization defined by the example is the one distinguishing among different kinds of enterprises. A company is a generic entity that provides something (e.g., a service, a product, or another type of goods). Manufacturer, distributor, and reseller are further categorizations of company, while the concept suppliers denote the union of distributors and resellers. A product is produced by a manufacturer, is sold by a reseller, and is distributed in a specific market by a distributor. An article is a product which is made by the business entity under consideration (e.g., the manufacturer owning the knowledge base), as opposed to a generic, possibly competing, company. As for a generic product, an article has a name, a sale price, and it is distributed in a target market, a further categorization of market. Finally, a consumer is someone who buys an article.

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