Issues in mapping metamodels in the ontology development metamodel

Colomb, Robert M., Gerber, Anna and Lawley, Michael (2004). Issues in mapping metamodels in the ontology development metamodel. In: Proceedings of the First International Workshop on the Model-Driven Semantic Web. The First International Workshop on the Model-Driven Semantic Web, Monterey, California, (). 20-24 September, 2004.


Author Colomb, Robert M.
Gerber, Anna
Lawley, Michael
Title of paper Issues in mapping metamodels in the ontology development metamodel
Conference name The First International Workshop on the Model-Driven Semantic Web
Conference location Monterey, California
Conference dates 20-24 September, 2004
Proceedings title Proceedings of the First International Workshop on the Model-Driven Semantic Web
Publication Year 2004
Sub-type Fully published paper
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Although the request for proposal for the Ontology Development Metamodel called for a metamodel and UML profile supporting OWL, the working party has decided that there are a number of modeling languages used for ontology development so that several languages will be supported in the ODM [odm], namely RDF/RDFS/OWL, Simple Common Logic (SCL), Topic Maps and the Entity-Relationship model, as well as UML.

There are several ways to integrate several metamodels in one structure:

• Designate one metamodel as primary and represent the others by subclassing

• Designate one metamodel as primary and translate the others into it

• Keep the metamodels separate and map them into one another using QVT [qvt].

The first two ways were thought undesirable because they would inevitably distort the metamodels not designated primary and would unduly complicate the primary metamodel. Since QVT can retain the association between the source and target model elements in a mapping, the mapping approach allows each metamodel to retain its integrity. To avoid an n2 mapping specification, the ODM working party decided to define a star configuration of bidirectional mappings with a single metamodel as a core. The core should not be one of the designated metamodels since they are autonomous, but since OWL was central to the RFP, the core was chosen as an abstract syntax for a published version of Description Logic.

Translation between metamodels has the fundamental problem that there may not be a single and separate model element in the target corresponding to each model element in the source (indeed, if the metamodels are not simply syntactic variations, this would be the normal situation). We will call this situation structure loss. This is why QVT maintains traceability between source and target elements. In the worst case one can always see where a given model element instance came from to help interpret it. But if we are going to work in the target metamodel we want to refer to the source as little as possible. The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the reasons for structure loss, looking at what difference the loss makes and therefore how serious the problem is in particular cases.

Our work has not progressed sufficiently that we have any claim to a comprehensive theory of structure loss. We will look at three particular situations to see some of the issues:

• UML and ER have two elements mapping into a single element property in DL or OWL

• SCL is a very much stronger theory than any of the others

• OWL Full allows classes as individuals, a second-order structure, and none of the others do

1 The work reported in this paper has been funded in part by the Co-operative Centre for Enterprise Distributed Systems Technology (DSTC) through the Australian Federal Government's CRC Programme (Department of Education, Science and Training).
2 School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, The University of Queensland, QLD 4072 Australia
3 DSTC Pty Ltd
Subjects EX
280111 Conceptual Modelling
700199 Computer software and services not elsewhere classified
Q-Index Code EX

 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Thu, 23 Aug 2007, 19:34:20 EST