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Ontology Design

From MIKE2.0 Methodology

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Contents

Objectives

An Ontology is a controlled vocabulary of five things:

  • named types of topics (a Class in RDF)
  • named text-attributes of a topic (a Property in RDF)
  • named link-attributes of a topic (also a Property in RDF)
  • named types of data (a Datatype in RDF)
  • named individuals that are 'built-in' to an ontology e.g., taxomonies

An ontology is important both as a common enterprise-wide controlled vocabulary plus its definitions of semantic rules for each of the name categories above. The ontology is vital to semantic, pattern-matching processing occurring during parsing, modelling & mining of text content within the enterprise.

Ontologies are central resources within semantic webs primarily because all semantic processing is done with reference to the type(s) of topic(s) within its scope. Fielding a quality ontology is absolutely critical to minimize costs associated with building a semantic enterprise.

This activity includes tasks for the design of an enterprise's Upper Level Ontology, a Phase 2 activity within the MIKE2 Methodology. Related activities correspond to Phase 2 of the methodology that address ontology construction testing and improvement.

The Enterprise Ontology is an Upper Level Ontology presumed or required by policy to be referenced by Application Ontologies.

The Ontology Design activity establishes policies and best practices to use during construction of an Upper Level Enterprise Ontology; these best practices are followed during construction of Application Ontolgies built upon the Upper Level Enterprise Ontology.

In addition to best practices, this activity examines and develops policies regarding entity naming; certain legal issues; open-source ontologies; external standards; useability; process and database integration; maintenance; internationalization; and related software development.

Key Inputs

  • Protocol:Resource Description Framework, Policy:Business Functional Requirements, Schema:Existing Databases Schemas, Ontology:Open-source & Other External Ontologies

Key Outputs

  • Ontology:Upper Level Enterprise Ontology, Design:Enterprise Ontology Blueprint

Core Supporting Assets

List core or key Supporting Assets with explanations or expansions as appropriate.


Yellow Flags


Potential Changes to this Activity


Tasks

Develop Entity Naming Policies

Objectives:

Reduce costs associated with inconsistent naming for classes, properties, datatypes and individuals, in the ontology. Choices relating to each major word group -- common and proper nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs -- are aimed to eliminate questions about hyphens, spaces and camel-case.

Input:

  • Role:Subject matter experts, Manual:Best practices

Output:

  • Policy:Entity Naming Policies

Develop Legal Policies

Objectives:

Determine the legal permissions applicable for first, the enterprise's own ontology and second, for external ontologies that may be incorporated into the enterprise ontology.

Input:

  • Role:Enterprise management, Role:Subject matter experts

Output:

  • Policy:Ontology Legal Policies

Target External Ontologies

Objectives:

Determine specifically (a) which external ontologies are to be, or are allowed to be, incorporated into the enterprise ontology and-or into applications' ontologies; (b) the extent to which external ontologies may be used by applications in publications of the organization; (c) the policies relating to draft and-or maintenance of external ontologies; (d) the impact of adoption of external ontologies on candidate and existing tools of the organization.

Input:

  • Role:Enterprise architects, Role:Subject matter experts

Output:

  • Policy:External Ontology Policies

Develop Best Modelling Practices

Objectives:

Identify authoritatively the modelling approach to use in common situations such as (a) numeric strings and coded and-or markup strings of text (b) multiple functional role representations and actors, especially those relating to symmetric relations (c) multiple mereological (part-whole) transitive relations (d) complementary class and role relations that are permissible.

Input:

  • Role:Enterprise architects, Role:Subject matter experts, Category:Documents

Output:

  • Manual:Ontology Modelling Practices, Schema:Exemplar Document Models

Identify semantic tools

Objectives:

Provide key directives about the tools to assume are to be used by the semantic enterprise, to allow performance or other factors to be leveraged as much as possible. Often tools have capabilities which may be profitably accommodated during design of the enterprise ontology; and deficiencies which are to be worked-around by the ontology.

Input:

  • Role:Enterprise architects, Role:Subject matter experts

Output:

  • Tool:Target Semantic Tools

Formulate Useability Parameters

Objectives:

Identify factors by which the enterprise ontology and application ontologies are to be measured, with the goal of minimizing its deployment costs. Potential factors may address (a) how easily (expert) users are able to locate, recall or add entities (classes properties and datatypes) to or within the ontology; (b) the depth of class and property hierarchies in ontologies with their associated impacts on performance; (c) the concordance of ontology entities with concepts routinely referenced in working environments.

Input:

  • Role:Enterprise architects, Role:Subject matter experts

Output:

  • Policy:Ontology Useability Factors

Define business processes

Objectives:

Identify business processes applicable to modifying expanding refactoring and correcting both enterprise and application ontologies.

Input:

  • Role:Enterprise architects, Role:Subject matter experts

Output:

  • Policy:Ontology Business Processes

Define database relations

Objectives:

Identify and technically characterize interfaces with existing relational databases affected by data represented by either the enterprise ontology or application ontologies. Provide mappings of fundamental entities and data values existing in both semantic and relational databases.

Input:

  • Role:Enterprise architects, Role:Subject matter experts

Output:

  • Design:Ontology/Database Touchpoints
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