OntologySummit2009: Perspectives from the Standards Community
Lead Editor: HowardMason
- To identify ways in which ontology could help in standards development and exploitation
- ( ... coming!)
- Standard identity for shared objects
Many objects end up being identified multiple times in different standards. For example, units of measure are given different identities in various standards, and there are known to be two initiatives to give URI identifiers to them currently in progress. What is really needed is that the authoritative source (in this case the BIPM or ISO TC12) that should provide the URIs for all to just use.
- Rules in standards
Many standards include rules, e.g. conformance classes that determine whether an implementation is conformant. In natural language it is always difficult to avoid ambiguity. This can be reduced by stating the the rules in logical form.
- Native file formats with standard meta-data - especially for engineering analysis
The traditional approach to standardisation has been to replace native file formats with standard ones. This approach is not always the best one, because for some applications native file formats can be better.
In engineering analysis, system vendors define very effective formats for representing fields using meshes. There may be little benefit in defining an equivalent standard format. However, within a standard file format there is precise meta-data about what the field is - the variable, the coordinate system, the units of measure, the region within which it exists, and the state for which it exists.
This meta-data may be contained within a native file format, but is often incomplete. Also whereas a representation of a field is accessed by very few systems - perhaps only the system that created it - the meta-data is accessed by very many.
A simulation data management system may be concerned with information about a field such as:
- what it is (e.g. a pressure load over a surface);
- the state in which it exists, and properties of the state (e.g. level flight at 1000 kph);
- the region within which it exists (e.g. top surface of the wing).
A simulation data management system may reference a native file that provides a description of the field, and specify the activity that created the description (e.g. an analysis or wind tunnel test).
This approach requires standard engineering analysis meta-data which can be used along side native file formats. Standards such as ISO 10303-104 "Finite element analysis" have defined many of the meta-data concepts, but these concepts are only available within a standard file format. An ontology derived from ISO 10303-104 would enable these concepts to be used to provide information about files in a native format.
Alongside an ontology of standard concepts, an ontology of analysis file types is also require so that the format of a native file that describes a field can be stated unambiguously.
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