Many tasks require correct and meaningful communication and
integration among intelligent agents and information resources.
A major barrier to such interoperability is semantic heterogeneity:
different applications, databases, and agents may ascribe disparate
meanings to the same terms or use distinct terms to convey the same
Even when software applications use the same terminology, they often
different semantics with the terms. This clash over the meaning of the
terms prevents the seamless exchange of information among the applications.
The development and application of ontologies play a central role in
achieving semantic integration.
An ontology is a computer-interpretable specification
that is used by an agent, application, or other
information resource to declare what terms it uses, and what the terms mean.
Ontologies support the semantic integration of software systems through
a shared understanding of the terminology in their respective ontologies.
One obstacle to the development of expressive formal ontologies for
various domains has been the lack of an adequate set of generic
can be used to specify the semantics of primitive concepts. For example, any
product ontology must refer to relationships from geometry and topology, and
different manufacturing standards may require different ontologies for time.
It will therefore be necessary to first identify existing ontologies
within the research
community that will be able to provide these foundations for
and then to integrate these ontologies with the semantics for the
of the manufacturing standards.
The objective of the COLORE project is to construct an open repository of
first-order ontologies that will serve as a testbed for ontology
integration techniques, and that can support the design, evaluation,
and application of ontologies in first-order logic.
All ontologies are specified using Common Logic (ISO 24707),
which is a recently standardized logical language for the specification
of first-order ontologies and knowledge bases.
An additional application of this worl will be the development of
new manufacturing ontologies.
Several standards exist which support interoperability among manufacturing
of particular interest are
ISO 10303 STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product data),
ISO 14694 (NC Data), ISO 15531 MANDATE (Manufacturing Data Exchange),
ISO 5608 (Cutting Tools), ISO 1832 (Cutting Tool Inserts),
ISO 16100 (Manufacturing Software Capability),
ENV 12204 (Constructs for Enterprise Modelling), and
ENV 40003 (Framework for Enterprise Modelling).
There are also several emerging standards in the area of
(B2B) electronic commerce being proposed by organizations such as
Open Applications Group, Object Management Group, and RosettaNet;
these standards include Semantic Vocabulary for Business Rules (SVBR),
Business Process Modelling Language (BPMN), and SysML.
Nevertheless, these standards have many overlapping concepts, and each
often has a different intended semantics for these concepts.
This clash of semantics arises from the lack of a explicit formal
axiomatization of the terminology within an ontology.
Furthermore, the formalisms
currently being used to represent manufacturing concepts are weak;
consequently, the standards are difficult to verify by customers, complex to
maintain, and costly to harmonize.
By providing ontologies for the above standards, we can
enable the integration of manufacturing software applications in domains
require the use of multiple standards.
Ideally, ontologies for supply chain management and
enterprise integration can be incorporated into manufacturing standards
thus avoiding the barriers to interoperability
that could result from a lack of harmonization.