Project Team Exmo

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Section: Overall Objectives

Overall Objectives

We assume that expressing formalised knowledge on a computer is useful, not especially for the need of the computer, but for communication. In future information systems, formalised knowledge will be massively exchanged. Exmo's goal is the development of theoretical and software tools for enabling interoperability in formalised knowledge exchange. Exmo contributes to an emerging field called the semantic web which blends the communication capabilities of the web with knowledge representation.

There is no reason why knowledge should be expressed in a single format or by reference to a single vocabulary (or ontology). In order to interoperate, these representations will have to be matched and transformed. Moreover, in the communication process computers can add value to their memory and medium role by formatting, filtering, classifying, consistency checking or generalising knowledge.

We currently build on our experience of alignments as representing the relationships between two ontologies on the semantic web. Ontology alignments express correspondences between entities in two ontologies. They allow maximising sharing on the semantic web: various algorithms can produce alignments and various uses can be made of these alignments. Such alignments can be used for generating knowledge transformations (or any other kind of mediators) that will be used for interoperating. In order to guarantee properties of these transformations, we consider the properties of alignments and generate transformations preserving them.

Our current roadmap focusses on the design of an alignment infrastructure and on the investigation of alignment properties (and especially semantic properties) when they are used for reconciling ontologies.

On a longer term, we want to explore "semiotic" properties, i.e., properties which concern the interpretation of the communicated representation by a human user. This goal should require an analysis of the extra-semantic rules that govern the choice of subsets of models.

Anticipated applications are in transformation system engineering (in which the information system is seen as a transformation flow) and semantic web infrastructure.