Formal versus material ontologies for information systems interoperation in the semantic web

Colomb, Robert M. (2006) Formal versus material ontologies for information systems interoperation in the semantic web. The Computer Journal, 49 1: 4-19. doi:10.1093/comjnl/bxh147


Author Colomb, Robert M.
Title Formal versus material ontologies for information systems interoperation in the semantic web
Journal name The Computer Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0010-4620
1460-2067
Publication date 2006-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/comjnl/bxh147
Volume 49
Issue 1
Start page 4
End page 19
Total pages 16
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publisher Oxford University Press for the British Computer Society
Language eng
Subject 0807 Library and Information Studies
0802 Computation Theory and Mathematics
Abstract Information systems ontology is intended to facilitate interoperability among the many applications which are now becoming available on the Internet. In particular, it is intended to facilitate the development of intelligent agents which can automate a large part of the task of a user achieving some end employing multiple autonomous applications. A large number of ontologies exist supporting specific kinds of interoperation among selected, generally mutually aware, applications. The intent of the upper ontology movement is to develop an abstract description of what there is in the world, in an application-independent form, which can be used both to help build specific ontologies and to help in finding common ground among them. This paper argues that, for the purposes of information systems interoperation and the semantic web, application-independent upper ontologies are unlikely to be successful because of semantic heterogeneity. However, the paper argues for a distinction in upper ontologies between formal and material ontologies, based on analogies with concepts in Kant's synthetic a priori, and that formal ontologies whose focus is on how we see the world are more likely to be successfully developed in the absence of applications than are material ontologies, which attempt to catalog the world a priori.
Keyword distributed data
software analysis
data mapping
online information
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

 
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Created: Thu, 06 Apr 2006, 00:04:45 EST