Ontology-driven unification of conceptual data modelling languages
Unificación de Lenguajes de Modelado Conceptual de Datos dirigidos por Ontologías
Introduction and objectives Descripción y objetivos - participants partecipantes - outputs resultados
Project funded by the South African Department of Science and Technology and the Argentinian Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología, e Innovación Productiva, 2012-2015 (3 years)
OverviewIntroduction and background
There has been a growing interest in the development and use of domain ontologies, strongly motivated by the Semantic Web initiative. Such domain ontologies aim at the construction of computer-processable logical theories that represent some part of the real world. This overlaps with the established field of conceptual data modelling, which aims at providing models for software applications. Both play an important role in several areas.
Artificial intelligence turns out to require the representation of a lot of human knowledge in order to act "intelligently". To achieve this, they rely on conceptual models using knowledge representation languages, such as semantic networks and the recently W3C standardised Web ontology language OWL, which is based on Description Logics, of which its main strength is its infrastructure for automated reasoning.
Within conceptual modelling, one can identify, among others, Object Role Modelling (ORM), the Unified Modeling Langauge (UML), and Extended Entity-Relationship diagrams (EER). ORM is a fact-oriented modeling approach for specifying and transforming information at the conceptual level, which relies heavily on natural language, has a very expressive and intuitive diagram language, and uses sample populations. Entity-Relationship (ER) modelling is the traditional method and language of choice for relational database design. Within object-oriented software development, the community has also proposed viewing software components (classes/objects) as models of real-world entities, using UML. UML, accepted by the Object Management Group, is the de-facto standard language in software engineering, since its approach facilitates the transition to object-oriented code. UML includes class diagrams that may be annotated with expressions in a textual constraint language as well as formally with the Object Constraint Language (OCL).
These usages and approaches to ontologies and conceptual models entail the use of some language, which influences the kinds of details that can be considered to model. Also, all languages and associated methodologies have tools that support the engineer in the task of creating, validating, and updating models in that specific language. These tools help in creation of large models and there are proof-of-concept tools to integrate them, but they are limited to only those represented in the same language. With company mergers, upscaling of scientific collaboration in the life sciences, and the emergence of the next generation Internet---the Semantic Web---integration among different sources has become an imperative. The subtle representational and expressive differences in the languages makes this task very difficult, and current tools offer only very limited functionality in importing and exporting partial models into other languages. In addition, the strengths of each language are limited to that language only, mainly due to historical reasons.
We aim at developing the formal conceptual apparatus and tools to integrate heterogeneous conceptual models, based on clear semantic specifications and with tractable algorithms to ensure implementability and usability. This will enable (i) the creation, editing, managing, and storing of several interconnected existing ontologies and conceptual data models, (ii) the cross-fertilization of each language's strength to the other.
The specific objectives of the project are threefold:
- To identify underlying common structures of ORM, ER, and UML so as to achieve integration of existing models (logical theories) represented in these languages.
- To analyse conceptual mechanisms that will facilitate the management of large models that result from merging or linking different models. A useful mechanism is abstraction, which has received some attention in the past, but nevertheless has been showed quite elusive, and logic-based modularity is another possibility.
- To extend existing conceptual modelling tools with the results obtained and to enhance the ontology and conceptual data model creation and maintenance functionalities.
Palabras claves: Representación del conocimiento, Ingeniería de ontologias, Web Semántica, Modelado conceptual, Lógicas para la Descripción
- Maria Keet (PI, South Africa), University of Cape Town (UCT)
- Pablo Ruben Fillottrani (PI, Argentina), Universidad Nacional del Sur (UNS), Bahía Blanca
- Deshendran Moodley, UKZN
- Zubeida Khan, UCT
- Sergio Alejandro Gomez, UNS
- Karin Mabel Cenci, UNS
- Maria Clara Casalini, UNS
- Publications artículos
- Khan, Z.C., Keet, C.M., Fillottrani, P.R., Cenci, K.M. Experimentally motivated transformations for intermodel links between conceptual models. 20th Conference on Advances in Databases and Information Systems (ADBIS'16). J. Pokorny et al. (eds.). Springer LNCS vol 9809, 104-118. August 28-31, Prague, Czech Republic. supplementary material
- Keet, C.M., Fillottrani, P.R. An ontology-driven unifying metamodel of UML Class Diagrams, EER, and ORM2. Data & Knowledge Engineering, 2015, 98: 30-53.
- Khan, Z.C., Keet, C.M. ROMULUS: a Repository of Ontologies for MULtiple USes populated with foundational ontologies. Journal on Data Semantics, 2016, 5(1):19-36 DOI: 10.1007/s13740-015-0052-1 accepted version
- Fillottrani, P.R., Keet, C.M. Evidence-based Languages for Conceptual Data Modelling Profiles. 19th Conference on Advances in Databases and Information Systems (ADBIS'15). Morzy et al. (Eds.). Springer LNCS vol. 9282, 215-229. Poitiers, France, Sept 8-11, 2015. -- supplementary data further below on this page
- Keet, C.M., Fillottrani, P.R. An analysis and characterisation of publicly available conceptual models. 34th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER'15). Johannesson, P., Lee, M.L. Liddle, S.W., Opdahl, A.L., Pastor Lopez, O. (Eds.). Springer LNCS vol 9381, 585-593. 19-22 Oct, Stockholm, Sweden.
- Fillottrani, P.R., Keet, C.M., Toman, D. Polynomial encoding of ORM conceptual models in CFDInc∀-. 28th International Workshop on Description Logics (DL'15). CEUR-WS vol 1350, pp401-414. 7-10 June 2015, Athens, Greece.
- Fillottrani, P.R., Keet, C.M. Conceptual Model Interoperability: a Metamodel-driven Approach. 8th International Web Rule Symposium (RuleML'14), A. Bikakis et al. (Eds.). Springer LNCS 8620, 52-66. August 18-20, 2014, Prague, Czech Republic.
- Keet, C.M., Fillottrani, P.R. Toward an ontology-driven unifying metamodel for UML Class Diagrams, EER, and ORM2. 32nd International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER'13). W. Ng, V.C. Storey, and J. Trujillo (Eds.). Springer LNCS 8217, 313-326. 11-13 November, 2013, Hong Kong. NOMINATED FOR BEST PAPER AWARD
- Khan, Z., Keet, C.M. The foundational ontology library ROMULUS. 3rd International Conference on Model & Data Engineering (MEDI'13). A. Cuzzocrea and S. Maabout (Eds.) September 25-27, 2013, Amantea, Calabria, Italy. Springer LNCS 8216, 200-211.
- Keet, C.M., Fillottrani, P.R. Structural entities of an ontology-driven unifying metamodel for UML, EER, and ORM2. 3rd International Conference on Model & Data Engineering (MEDI'13). A. Cuzzocrea and S. Maabout (Eds.) September 25-27, 2013, Amantea, Calabria, Italy. Springer LNCS 8216, 188-199.
- C.M. Keet: Unification of conceptual data modelling languages. FutureSOC symposium at HPI Potsdam, Germany, 17-19 June, 2015.
- C.M. Keet: On the unification of conceptual data modelling languages. Invited talk at Poznan University of Technology, Poland, 16 June, 2015.
- P.R. Fillottrani: Integration of Conceptual Data Modelling Languages. CS seminar at UCT, March 12, 2015.
- C.M. Keet: Representing and reasoning over relationships in ontologies. Forum on AI Research 2014 (FAIR'14), Stellenbosch, South Africa, 3-5 December, 2014. tutorial
- P.R. Fillottrani: Gestión de Contenido y Tecnología de Redes Sociales. MSc course part of the programme for the Maestría en Bibliotecología y Ciencia de la Información (Master in Librarianship and Information Science), Universidad de Buenos Aires and Biblioteca Nacional Argentina. 2014.
- C.M. Keet: An ontology-driven unifying metamodel for UML class diagrams, EER, and ORM2. Dagstuhl seminar 13211 Automated Reasoning on Conceptual Schemas, 20-24 May 2013.
- C.M. Keet: Toward an ontology-driven unifying metamodel for UML class diagrams, EER, and ORM2. Ontology and Conceptual Modelling Workshop, part of the Forum on Artificial Intelligence Research 2012 (FAIR'12), located at CSIR-Meraka, Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa, d.d. 15-16 Nov, 2012
- D. Moodley: Modelling experiences from the Health Architecture Lab. Ontology and Conceptual Modelling Workshop, part of the Forum on Artificial Intelligence Research 2012 (FAIR'12), located at CSIR-Meraka, Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa, d.d. 15-16 Nov, 2012
- Module links data set and analysis file accompanying the ADBIS16 paper.
- Dataset of 105 models (zipped, 9.7MB) used in various analyses and for various purposes; analysis of its contents: zipped files for DKE SI of ER'13, zipped files for ER15, xls file for DL15.
- Fillottrani, P.R., Keet, C.M. KF metamodel Formalization. Technical Report, Arxiv.org http://arxiv.org/abs/1412.6545. Dec 19, 2014. 26p.
- OWL-ized version of the metamodel, i.e., of what is representable in OWL, and ternaries reified (see the tech report for details); v1.2 of December 2014. It also has a SWAT NL Tools-generated hyperlinked verbalization in pseudo-natural language.
- First Workshop on Logics and Reasoning for Conceptual Models Dec 14, 2013, Stellenbosch (co-located with the LPAR-19 conference), co-organised by the SA PI and sponsored by this project
- Proceedings of the Dagstuhl seminar 13211 "Automated Reasoning on Conceptual Schemas"
- Blog posts, most of which describe informally the content of the papers:
- The ontology-driven unifying metamodel of UML Class diagrams, ER, EER, ORM, and ORM 2, about our article in the Data & Knowledge Engineering journal.
- From data on conceptual models to optimal (logic) language profiles, about our ADBIS'15 paper.
- What’s in a publicly available conceptual data model? about our ER'15 paper.
- First tractable encoding of ORM conceptual data models, about our DL'15 paper.
- A metamodel-driven approach for linking conceptual data models, about our RuleML'14 paper.
- Towards a metamodel for conceptual data modeling languages, about our MEDI'13 and ER'13 papers.
- Ontologies and conceptual modelling workshop in Pretoria.