Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Overall Objectives

Scientific Directions

Our research work is currently organized into two research lines, both with theoretical and applied sides:

  1. Ontology-mediated query answering (OMQA). Modern information systems are structured around an ontology, which provides a high-level vocabulary, as well as knowledge relevant to the target domain, and enables a uniform access to possibly heterogeneous data sources. As many complex tasks can be recast in terms of query answering, the question of querying data while taking into account inferences enabled by ontological knowledge has become a fundamental issue. This gives rise to the notion of a knowledge base, composed of an ontology and a factbase, both described using a KR language. The factbase can be seen as an abstraction of several data sources, and may actually remain virtual. The topical ontology-mediated query answering (OMQA) problem asks for all answers to queries that are logically entailed by the given knowledge base.

  2. Reasoning with imperfect knowledge and decision support. To solve real-world problems we often need to consider features that cannot be expressed purely (or naturally) in classical logic. Indeed, information is often “imperfect”: it can be partially contradictory, vague or uncertain, etc. These last years, we mostly considered reasoning in presence of conflicts, where contradictory information may come from the data or from the ontology. This requires to define appropriate semantics, able to provide meaningful answers to queries while taming the computational complexity increase. Reasoning becomes more complex from a conceptual viewpoint as well, hence how to explain results to an end-user is also an important issue. Such questions are natural extensions to those studied in the first axis. On the other hand, the work of this axis is also motivated by applications provided by our INRA partners, where the knowledge to be represented intrinsically features several viewpoints and involves different stakeholders with divergent priorities, while a decision has to be made. Beyond the representation of conflictual knowledge itself, this raises arbitration issues. The aim here is to support decision making by tools that help eliciting and representing relevant knowledge, including the stakeholders' preferences and motivations, compute syntheses of compatible options, and propose justified decisions.