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20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
20100427 Earthster Core Ontology
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20100427 Earthster Core Ontology

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An Overview of work on the Earthster Core Ontology, a core ontology for Life Cycle Analysis.

An Overview of work on the Earthster Core Ontology, a core ontology for Life Cycle Analysis.

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  • 1. Earthster Core Ontology<br />A core domain ontology for Life Cycle Assessment<br />
  • 2. Introductions<br />Earthster is a project, led by Greg Norris, to provide free open source solutions supporting Life Cycle Analysis – that is evaluating the environmental and social impacts of products. <br />Brian McBride is a consultant, ontologist, developer and general dogsbody who has worked on semantic web technologies since 2000. He was co-chair of the RDFCore WG in W3C and the initiating developer of the Jena Java library.<br />Epimorphics is a Semantic Web startup based in the UK specialising in Linked Open Data. <br />http://www.earthster.org/<br />http://www.epimorphics.com/<br />
  • 3. Menu<br />A little bit about LCA<br />Why semantic web?<br />A fragment of ECO<br />A sense of the rest<br />The ECO-system<br />A little bit on method<br />ERF – an application<br />Wrapup<br />Season to taste with questions and discussion anytime<br />
  • 4. Life Cycle Assessment<br />What is a product’s impact on the environment and society?<br />In production aka cradle to gate?<br />In use – total lifecyle?<br />
  • 5. Life Cycle Assessment<br /><ul><li>Impact assessment is currently a complex, artful process – this description is considerably simplified
  • 6. Define the goals of the assessment
  • 7. Analyse your supply chain
  • 8. Create an inventory of emissions and aggregated along the supply chain
  • 9. Assess the impact of those effects on issues of interest e.g. global warming, human health, ...
  • 10. There are impact assessment methods that define weighted contributions and give a score e.g. Emissions of CO2equivalent for GHG or DALYs for human health.</li></li></ul><li>Earthster Aim:Publish LCA Data on the Web<br />To inform folks about the sustainability implications of the decisions we make<br />At all points in the supply chain:<br />Simple measures for the consumer <br />Decision support for the industrial buyer<br />Detailed information for the product/process designer<br />Enable consumer pressure to flow back down the supply chain to improve the sustainability characteristics of products<br />
  • 11. Why Semantic Web?<br />Effects<br />Publish the data on the web makes it most freely available – and that is what the semantic web is for<br />Linking to other data sources – that is what Linked Open Data is for<br />Find an alternative pesticide that targets the same class of organism<br />Link to Good Relations data<br />Operations<br />Interoperability<br />Harmonize competing systems by defining a common conceptual model<br />Harmonize competing vocabularies by defining common reference data<br />LCA research is ongoing – the data required is changing over time<br />Finding the best available data<br />
  • 12. ECO: A Core Domain Ontology<br />Aim is to offer a vocabulary for core concepts in LCA<br />Not lists of instances<br />Instances are present if they are a logical necessity of the concept<br />Core ontology changes when core concepts change not when a new instance is invented<br />Trying to express the consensus conceptual model for the field<br /> Reverse engineering existing file formats and database schemas<br />
  • 13. A Fragment of ECO - 1<br />Process<br />Model<br />Models<br /><ul><li> Distinguish between statements about a process and a model of the process
  • 14. Allows multiple inconsistent descriptions of the process with a contradiction
  • 15. Gives us somewhere to hang model metadata without named graphs or reification</li></li></ul><li>A Fragment of ECO – 2<br />Process<br />Model<br />Quantified Effect<br />hasQuantifedEffect<br />Models<br />Quantity<br />Effect<br /><ul><li> Effect is a new abstraction not found in current LCA data structures
  • 16. Key feature is that it is aggregatable
  • 17. Abstraction of product flow, waste flow, elementary flow, land use, wages paid, ...
  • 18. Don’t yet know if it will stick with the LCA community </li></li></ul><li>A Fragment of ECO - 3<br />Process<br />Model<br />Quantified Effect<br />hasQuantifedEffect<br />Models<br /><ul><li> Follows the SUMO upper ontology model for quantities and units
  • 19. Adds the notion of an uncertainty distribution – not part of SUMO
  • 20. There is a separate ontology of uncertainty distributions – they are not a logical necessity of the concept of an uncertainty distribution
  • 21. What about the Zero uncertainty distribution – that is a logical necessity</li></ul>Quantity<br />Effect<br />magnitude<br />units<br />Uncertainty distribution<br />
  • 22. A Fragment of ECO - 4<br />Lake<br />Water<br />SO2<br />Quantified Effect<br />Quantity<br />Elementary Flow<br /><ul><li>Current LCA data structures have a fixed set of possible elementary flows, or at best a fixed set of properties of elementary flows</li></ul>magnitude<br />units<br />Uncertainty distribution<br />
  • 23. A Fragment of ECO - 5<br />Lake<br />Water<br />SO2<br />Quantified Effect<br />Quantity<br />Elementary Flow<br /><ul><li>ECO allows for more flexibility than that e.g. Could specify the size of the lake into which they emissions occur or provide some information about the kind of fish that live in it
  • 24. Should we have allowed that extension:
  • 25. giving in to the temptation to ‘improve’ the current shared conceptual model
  • 26. done in a way that extends the legacy and does not contradict it
  • 27. extensibility is a key advantage of the approach</li></li></ul><li>Other things in ECO<br />Non-elementary flows – products through the supply chain<br />Supply chain connections<br />Allocations – for processes with multiple outputs<br />Attributes – what percentage of inputs are certified organic?<br />Impact assessments<br />Expressions and variables<br />Markets and other aggregations – e.g. NA Electricity<br />Statistical and IO data<br />Annotations and other metadata<br />Scale: 66 classes, 81 properties, 7 individuals<br />
  • 28. Other Parts<br />OWL Full axioms<br />Mostly in OWL DL – only a few FULL axioms<br />Bridging ontologies<br />To SUMO, FOAF, TIME, GoodRelations, ...<br />Mimimize ontological commitment<br />Extension ontologies<br />FASC, distributions, file formats, attributes, impact assessments, flow reference data, ...<br />
  • 29. Documentation<br />How much fun is it trying to understand a mid-to-large ontology from an OWL file?<br /><ul><li> Description and rationale
  • 30. Gentle introduction
  • 31. for ontologists
  • 32. Defines scope and purpose
  • 33. Document:
  • 34. principles
  • 35. examples
  • 36. maybe non-examples
  • 37. identity criteria
  • 38. Good discipline to write down </li></ul>design choices and reasons<br />
  • 39. Scope and Purpose<br />There is no such thing as the perfect ontology for a domain<br />The ontologist has to make modelling choices<br />Those choices are influenced by the scope and purpose of the ontology<br /><ul><li> Rings of focus model
  • 40. ring 1 : model in detail
  • 41. ring 2 : model lightly
  • 42. ring 3 : aiming for no discontinuities
  • 43. ring 4 : don’t care</li></li></ul><li>Status<br />Study the domain<br />Talk to domain experts<br />Read<br />Study existing systems<br />Put together version 0.1<br />Try it out on a test application or two<br />Put together version 0.2<br />Socialise it with leading community members<br />Put together version 0.3<br />Seek wider community input<br />
  • 44. Earthster Reference Flows<br />Problem: Current databases and impact assessment methods use different vocabularies<br />Relevant effects get missed from impact assessments<br />Duplicate effects get ‘invented’<br />Hard: if the method specifies paraquat ion and you have numbers for paraquat<br />Are they equivalent?<br /> Is there a fudge factor?<br />
  • 45. Replace lists with structure<br />Currently LCA databases work with lists of elementary flows and give them Ids<br />ECO has structure for these elementary flows:<br />Flowable<br />Energy – use source + density to identify<br />Substance<br />Chemical – use CAS numbers to identify<br />Isoptopes – use CAS number + atomic weight<br />Ores – use mix of substances<br />Other – adhoclist – bring in a structure if one emerges<br />Compartment<br />taxonomy<br />Time frame<br />These form a taxonomy<br />Using Skos rather than class structure to stay flexible<br />With an extensible set of modifiers<br />
  • 46. Aim ...<br />Much smaller lists to manage<br />Manage modifier attributes instead<br />Ability to extend the list of flows without ambiguity<br />Automated matching of legacy flows to the structure<br />Involve the community<br />Is there a fudge factor?<br />Publish reference data on the web<br />Crowd source corrections/updates<br />Relate different flows in different vocabularies through subsumption<br />Offers a shared resource for defining a vocabulary – that allows competition with interoperability<br />
  • 47. Summary<br />Making better decisions from a sustainability perspective – that’s an important problem<br />Open sharing of information enables market pressure to operate<br />Field<br />Somewhat fragmented<br />Evolving<br />Information rich – the value is in the data<br />Codifiable knowledge<br />Links to other data has economic value<br />Good space for using Semantic Web technology<br />
  • 48. Image Attributions<br /> Hot, flickr:judepics<br /> Industry, flickr:hans s<br /> Crushed by the Wheels of Industry,flikr: ProblemKind<br />Hong Kong supermarket in Chinatown,flikr: vauvau<br /> Crushed by the wheels of Industry 2, flikr:Problemkind<br /> Barn Owl, flickr:AviaVenefica<br />
  • 49. Image Attributions<br /> Offshore Windfarm Turbine, flicr:phault<br /> Macro Leaf, flickr:seeks2dream<br /> Spaghetti al burro, flickr:cesarastudillo<br /> Stop, flickr:active metabolite<br /> On Target, flickr:viZZual.com<br />
  • 50. Questions? Thoughts? Observations?<br />

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