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Standard Upper Ontology Working Group (SUO WG)
Scope & Purpose
Scope of Proposed Project:
(The Scope describes what is being done, including
the technical boundaries of the project.)
This standard will specify an upper ontology that will enable
computers to utilize it for applications such as data interoperability,
information search and retrieval, automated inferencing, and
natural language processing. An ontology is similar to a dictionary
or glossary, but with greater detail and structure that enables
computers to process its content. An ontology consists of a set
of concepts, axioms, and relationships that describe a domain
of interest. An upper ontology is limited to concepts that are
meta, generic, abstract and philosophical, and therefore are
general enough to address (at a high level) a broad range of
domain areas. Concepts specific to given domains will not be
included; however, this standard will provide a structure and
a set of general concepts upon which domain ontologies (e.g.
medical, financial, engineering, etc.) could be constructed.
Purpose of Proposed Project:
- A. AUTOMATED REASONING: The standard will be suitable for
automated logical inference to support knowledge-based
- B. INTER-OPERABILITY: The standard will provide a basis for
achieving Inter-Operability among various software and database
- 1) Application developers can define new data elements in
terms of a common ontology, and thereby gain some degree of interoperability
with other conformant systems.
- 2) Applications based on domain-specific ontologies that
are compliant with this standard will be able to interoperate
(to some degree) by virtue of the shared common terms and definitions.
- 3) The SUO will play the role of a neutral interchange format
whereby owners of existing applications will be able to map existing
data elements just once to a common ontology. This provides a
degree of interoperability with other applications whose representations
conform to SUO. This entails the SUO being able to be mapped
to more restricted forms such as XML, database schema, or object
- C: APPLICATION AREAS
- 1) E-commerce applications from different domains that need
to interoperate at both the data and semantic levels.
- 2) Educational applications in which students learn concepts
and relationships directly from, or expressed in terms of, a
common ontology. This will also enable a standard record of learning
to be kept.
- 3) Natural language understanding tasks in which a knowledge-based
reasoning system uses the ontology to disambiguate among likely
interpretations of natural language statements.