The Role of Foundational Ontologies in Manufacturing Domain Applications

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Abstract

Although ontology has gained wide attention in the area of information systems, a criticism typical of the early days is still rehearsed here and there. Roughly, this criticism says: general ontologies are not suited for real applications. We believe this is the result of a misunderstanding of the role of general ontologies since, we claim, even foundational ontologies (the most general and formal ontologies) have a crucial role in building reusable, adaptable and transparent application systems. We support this view by showing how foundational ontologies can be used in the manufacturing control area. Our approach (partially presented here through an example) provides a domain-specific ontology which is explicitly designed for applications, theoretically organized by a foundational ontology, driven by the application field for all intents and purposes, suitable for communication across different applications.