Semantic Interoperation of Information Systems by Evolving Ontologies through Formalized Social Processes

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Presentation of Debruyne, C., and Meersman, R. (2011) Semantic Interoperation of Information Systems by Evolving Ontologies through Formalized Social Processes. In Proc. of Advances in Databases and Information Systems 2011 (ADBIS 2011) - September 2011

Abstract: For autonomously developed information systems to interoperate in a meaningful manner, ontologies capturing the intended semantics of that interoperation have to be developed by a community of stakeholders in those information systems. As the requirements of the ontology and the ontology itself evolve, so in general will the community, and vice versa. Ontology construction should thus be viewed as a complex activity leading to formalized semantic agreement involving various social processes within the community, and that may translate into a number of ontology evolution operators to be implemented. The hybrid ontologies that emerge in this way indeed need to support both the social agreement processes in the stakeholder communities and the eventual reasoning implemented in the information systems that are governed by these ontologies. In this paper, we discuss formal aspects of the social processes involved, a so-called fact-oriented methodology and formalism to structure and describe these, as well as certain relevant aspects of the communities in which they occur. We also report on a prototypical tool set that supports such a methodology, and on examples of some early experiments.

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Semantic Interoperation of Information Systems by Evolving Ontologies through Formalized Social Processes

  1. 1. Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes Christophe Debruyne and Robert Meersman30/10/11 Herhaling titel van presentatie 1
  2. 2. Introduction  Information systems (IS) on the Web are in general developed and maintained autonomously  For IS to interoperate, an ontology is needed –  Agreement among all the stakeholders –  Ontologies evolve while the agreements are developed –  Ontologies are an externalization of the semantics outside an IS  Ontology Engineering (OE) is a critical activity Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.2
  3. 3. Contribution  We discuss the social processes involved in ontology engineering and the role of natural language descriptions  We present a method and formalism to structure these  We developed a prototype that supports the method Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.3
  4. 4. Method  Use of structured NL –  Vehicle to elicit useful and relevant concepts from community communication –  Mapping of these social processes to evolutionary process of the emerging ontology In conceptualizations, rigorously separate facts from all application specific interpretations –  Interpretations are performed by constraining the mapping between application systems and the fact base of the ontology Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.4
  5. 5. ! ! ! Context- Method identifiers, pointers to a community  DOGMA Ontology Descriptions <!, ci, K> –  ! a lexon base, a finite set of plausible binary fact types called lexons <!, t1, r1, r2, t2> <Vendor Community, Offer, has, is of, Title> –  ci a partial function mapping context-identifiers and terms to concepts –  K a finite set of ontological commitments containing –  A selection of lexons –  A mapping from application symbols to ontology terms –  Predicates over those terms and roles to express constraints Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.5
  6. 6. Method   Example of a commitment Ω-RIDL: Verheyden et al. (SWDB 2004), Trog et al. (RuleML 2007)Semantic Interoperation of IS throughFormalized Social Processes30/10/11 Pag.6
  7. 7. Method  The hybrid aspect of ontologies –  Ontologies are resources shared among humans working in a community, and (networked) systems –  Mapping of terms to a concept is the result of a community agreement –  Capture those agreements, turn comunities into first class citizens of the ontology, resulting notion called hybrid ontology –  Fundamental technology: formalized glossaries, special linguistic resources to support the agreement process Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.7
  8. 8. Method  Hybrid Ontology Description (HOD) !!=<!,G> –  ! is a DOGMA Ontology Description –  The contexts in ! are called communities –  G is a glossary, a triple with components –  Gloss, a set of linguistic, human-interpretable glosses –  g1, mapping community-term pairs to glosses –  g2, mapping lexons to glosses ⟨VCard Community, Email Address⟩ à “The address of an email, a system of world-wide electronic communication in which a user can compose a message at one terminal that can be regenerated at the recipient’s terminal when the recipient logs in” Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.8
  9. 9. Method  Glossaries –  Glossary coherence: descriptions of lexons imply the description of its terms –  Glossary consistence: for every two community-term pairs, if those terms are described with the same gloss, then the communities involved should agree that they refer to the same concept –  The converse does not necessarily hold –  Too strong a constraint to be practical Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.9
  10. 10. Method  Glossaries –  Term-equivalence EQT. Given communities !1, !2 and term t, we say that the two term glosses g1(!1,t)=gloss1 and g1(!2,t)=gloss2 are term-equivalent if any two communities agree that the given term refers to the same concept for both –  Community-equivalence EQ!. Given community ! and two terms t1, t2, we say that the two term glosses g1(!,t1)=gloss1 and g1(!,t2)=gloss2 are community-equivalent if that community agrees that the described terms refer to the same concept. Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.10
  11. 11. Method  Glossaries –  Term adoption. We say that community !1 adopts community- term pair <!2,t> iff –  g1(!1,t)=gloss1 and g1(!2,t)=gloss2 are defined –  EQT(gloss1,gloss2) they first “match” the two glosses –  ci(!1,t)=ci(!2,t) they agree that both concepts are equal –  Term adoption is an assymetrical property Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.11
  12. 12. MethodSemantic Interoperation of IS throughFormalized Social Processes30/10/11 Pag.12
  13. 13. Method  Social Processes Business Semantics Management: De Leenheer et al. Computers in Industry 2010 Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.13
  14. 14. Method  Social Processes –  Scope: create motivation, scope problem, add/remove members, propose resources –  Create: request to add lexon, request to add constraint –  Refine: request to remove lexon, request to remove constraint, request to change supertype of term, request to change lexon hierarchy –  Articulate: request to add/remove/change gloss, request to add/ remove synonym –  At any time: request for edit/peer review/information/help, comment and reply Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.14
  15. 15. Method   Implementation of the ontology OWL, RDF(S), …Semantic Interoperation of IS throughFormalized Social Processes30/10/11 Pag.15
  16. 16. Method  Externalizations/Re-internalization –  Commitments in the feed back loop –  Commitments provide valuable information on how members commit to the ontology –  Used to generate queries to guide the dialogue in achieving agreement Onto-Clippy! Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.16
  17. 17. Tool  First version built in Collibra’s tool suite for ontology engineering –  http://www.collibra.com/ –  Built around XWiki technology  Second version built as a web application –  Built to be driven by social processes –  Follows the proposed formalism Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.17
  18. 18. Tool (old)Semantic Interoperation of IS throughFormalized Social Processes30/10/11 Pag.18
  19. 19. Experiment  45 students, 3 communities: –  Vendors –  Request for Proposals (RFP) –  Product (common for both)  Goal à reach agreement within and across communities to exchange data  Results led to refinement of the ideas and a new version of the prototype. Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.19
  20. 20. Pag.
  21. 21. Discussion orientedPag.
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  23. 23. MethodSemantic Interoperation of IS throughFormalized Social Processes30/10/11 Pag.23
  24. 24. Conclusions  We discussed the social processes involved in ontology engineering and the role of natural language descriptions  We presented a method and formalism to structure these  We developed a prototype that supports the method Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.24
  25. 25. Future Work  Additional experiments –  Open Semantic Cloud for Brussels (http://www.oscb.be/) –  TAS3 Trusted Architecture for Securely Shared Services  Identification of more operators on glosses and concepts  Capturing the types of agreements Semantic Interoperation of IS through Formalized Social Processes 30/10/11 Pag.25
  26. 26. Questions?Semantic Interoperation of IS throughFormalized Social Processes30/10/11 Pag.26

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