Chapter 7. Ontology Design Patterns


  • Ontology and ontology patterns are the applied use of long-time, fundamental engineering patterns of indirection and abstraction.

  • Ontology can come in a wide variety of types, usage, and formalism.

  • Classic ontology is the kind of ontology that deals with domain concepts, metadata, representation, and commonsense logic.

  • Ontology architecture patterns help identify places in systems architecture where ontology can be useful and guide the creation process.

  • Ontology transformation remains a crucial topic of research and development.

As a term, ontology has been with us for several hundred years. As an important emerging discipline of computer science, ontology has had a much shorter lifetime. Today, ontology is a tool used by system architects that can enable greater efficiency and quality for information technology. Indeed, the use of ontology is inexorably tied to the processing and understanding of semantics in digital systems.

There is some irony that ontology, a tool to assist with the processing of data semantics, has so many definitions. Apart from being a tool for software, ontology is also a tool for philosophers thinking about the nature of being. But even for pragmatic software jockeys, ontology can still be a label for a score of different model types with varying degrees of expressiveness.

In this chapter, we will examine various system and software architectures that ontology can augment within the enterprise. Essential patterns ...

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