Declarative Representation of Programming Access to Ontologies

Presented at: 9th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC2012)

by Stefan Scheglmann, Ansgar Scherp, Steffen Staab

Using ontologies in software applications is a challenging task due to the chasm between the logics-based world of ontologies and the object-oriented world of software applications. The logics-based representation emphasizes the meaning of concepts and properties, i.e., their semantics. The modeler in the object-oriented paradigm also takes into account the pragmatics, i.e., how the classes are used, by whom, and why. To enable a comprehensive use of logics-based representations in object-oriented software systems, a seamless integration of the two paradigms is needed. However, the pragmatic issues of using logic-based knowledge in object oriented software applications has yet not been considered sufficiently. Rather, the pragmatic issues that arise in using an ontology, e.g., which classes to instantiate in which order, remains a task to be carefully considered by the application developer. In this paper, we present a declarative representation for designing and applying programming access to ontologies. Based on this declarative representation, we have build OntoMDE, a model-driven engineering toolkit that we have applied to several example ontologies. These ontologies have been selected in order to showcase the benefits of the our approach and the OntoMDE toolkit over a range of different ontology characteristics in terms of complexity, level of abstraction, degree of formalization, provenance, and domain-specificity.

Keywords: mapping ontologies and object-oriented models, model-driven engineering, programming access to ontologies

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