A formal foundation for ontology-alignment interaction models
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems, Volume 3, Number 2, p.50-68 (2007)
Ontology alignment foundations are hard to find in the literature. The abstract nature of the topic and the diverse means of practice make it difficult to capture it in a universal formal foundation. We argue that such a lack of formality hinders further development and convergence of practices, and in particular, prevents us from achieving greater levels of automation. In this article we present a formal foundation for ontology alignment that is based on interaction models between heterogeneous agents on the Semantic Web. We use the mathematical notion of information flow in a distributed system to ground our three hypotheses of enabling semantic interoperability and we use a motivating example throughout the article: how to progressively align two ontologies of research quality assessment through meaning coordination. We conclude the article with the presentation—in an executable specification language—of such an ontology-alignment interaction model.