The social dynamics of ontological commitment

On the Social Dynamics of Ontological Commitment

 Christophe Debruyne (STARlab, VUB), Robert Meersman


Ontologies are formal, shared, and computer-stored (approximate) de-scriptions of a universe of discourse. They are key in the realization of semantic interoperability between autonomously developed information systems and the Semantic Web. The problem is not so much what ontologies in computer science are, but how ontologies come to be. An ontology is the result of a series of interaction  leading to agreements to a better approximation of a communities perceived reality, often for a specific goal.  Methods and tools are thus needed to support those communities in ontology construction. As those interactions happen in natural language, the resulting ontology should be grounded in that same language as well. We present the DOGMA framework for ontology engineering and GOSPL, a collaborative ontology engineering methodology built ontop of DOGMA. DOGMA is a framework in which the basic element is a binary-fact, grounded in natural language with the communities own terminology. GOSPL captures the social interactions and the natural language definitions of concepts to drive the ontology engineering.


[1]  C. Debruyne and R. Meersman. Semantic interoperation of information sys-
tems by evolving ontologies through formalized social processes. In J. Eder,
M. Bielikov´a, and A M. Tjoa, editors, ADBIS, volume 6909 of LNCS, pages
444–459. Springer, 2011.

[2]  M. Jarrar and R. Meersman. Ontology engineering - the DOGMA approach.
In T. Dillon, E. Chang, R. Meersman, and K. Sycara, editors, Advances
in Web Semantics I, volume 4891 of LNCS, pages 7–34. Springer Berlin /
Heidelberg, 2009.

[3]  R. Meersman and C. Debruyne.   Hybrid ontologies and social semantics.
In Proc. of 4th IEEE International Conference on Digital Ecosystems and
Technologies (DEST 2010). IEEE Press, 2010.


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