Developing Ontologies for Collaborative Engineering in Mechatronics

Violeta Damjanovic, Wernher Behrendt, Manuela Plössnig, Merlin Holzapfel (2007): Developing Ontologies for Collaborative Engineering in Mechatronics In: Proceeding of the 4th European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC 2007), Innsbruck, Austria, June 03-07, 2007

Creating a coherent set of ontologies to support a collaborative design process amongst different firms which develop mechatronic products is a challenge due to the semantic heterogeneity of the underlying domain models and the amount of domain knowledge that needs to be covered. We tackle the problem of semantic heterogeneity by employing the DOLCE foundational ontology and by aligning our models to it. We approach the problem of scale, i.e. the amount of knowledge modeled by keeping the models at a descriptive level which is still granular enough to connect them with domain and task specific engineering tools. In order to manage the complexity of the modeling task we separate the models into the foundational layer, the mechatronic layer consisting of three domain ontologies, one process model and one cross-domain model, and the collaborative application layer. For the development process, we employ a methodology for dynamic ontology creation, which moves from taxonomical structures to formal models.

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