Multi-Level Conceptual Modeling and OWL

B. Neumayr, M. Schrefl
Neum09b (2009)
In : Advances in Conceptual Modeling - Challenging Perspectives, Proceedings of the Joint International Workshop on Metamodels, Ontologies, Semantic Technologies and Information Systems for the Semantic Web (MOST-ONISW 2009) held in conjunction with the 28th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER 2009), November 9-12, 2009, Gramado, Brazil, Springer Verlag, ISBN 978-3-642-04946-0, pp. 189-199, 2009.
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Ontological metamodeling or multilevel-modeling refers to describing complex domains at multiple levels of abstraction, especially in domains where the borderline between individuals and classes is not clear cut. Punning in OWL2 provides decideable metamodeling support by allowing to use one symbol both as identifier of a class as well as of an individual. In conceptual modeling more powerful approaches to ontological metamodeling exist: materialization, potency-based deep instantiation, and m-objects/m-relationships. These approaches not only support to treat classes as individuals but also to describe domain concepts with members at multiple levels of abstraction. Based on a mapping from m-objects/m-relationships to OWL we show how to transfer these ideas from conceptual modeling to ontology engineering. Therefore we have to combine closed world and open world reasoning. We provide semantic-preserving mappings from m-objects and m-relationships to the decideable fragment of OWL, extended by integrity constraints, and sketch basic tool support for applying this approach.