Guiding the representation of n-ary relations in ontologies through aggregation, generalisation and participation

Paula Severi, José Fiadeiro, David Ekserdjian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We put forward a methodological approach aimed at guiding ontologists in choosing which relations to reify. Our proposal is based on the notions of aggregation, generalisation and participation as used in conceptual modelling approaches for database design in order to represent situations that, normally, would require non-binary relations or complex integrity constraints. In order to justify our approach, we provide mathematical definitions of the constructs that we propose and use them to analyse the extent to which they can be implemented in languages such as OWL. A number of results are also proved that attest to the soundness of the methodological guidelines that we propose. The feedback received from using the method in a real-word situation is that it offers a more controlled use of reification and a closer fit between the resulting ontology and the application domain as perceived by an expert.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-98
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Web Semantics
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2011

Keywords

  • Aggregation
  • Generalisation
  • n-Ary relations
  • Ontology engineering
  • Participation dependency
  • Reification

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