Using ontologies to capture the semantics of a (business) process for digital preservation

  • Rudolf Mayer
  • Gonçalo Antunes
  • Artur Caetano
  • Marzieh Bakhshandeh
  • Andreas Rauber
  • José Borbinha


IT-supported business processes and computationally intensive science (called e-science) have become increasingly ubiquitous in the last decades. Along with this trend comes the need to make at least the most important of these processes available for the long term, to allow later analysis of their execution, or even a re-execution. As such, the preservation of scientific experiments and their results enables others to reproduce and verify the results as well as build on the result of earlier work. All but the simplest processes require to be described by a multitude of information objects, as well as their interconnections and relations, to be successfully preserved. To enable a semantic description of these objects in a structured manner, we developed a formal meta-model that can be utilised in the digital preservation of a process. The meta-model describes classes of elements and their relations, in the form of ontologies, with a core ontology describing the generic concepts, and extension mechanisms to map supplementary ontologies describing more specific aspects. In this paper, we present the overall architecture and individual ontologies, and motivate their usefulness via the application to use cases from different domains.


Digital preservation Process preservation Preservation metadata Context 



Part of this work was supported by the project TIMBUS, co-funded by the EU under the FP7 contract 269940, by national funds through FCT (Fundaçãao para a Ciência e a Tecnologia), under project PEstOE/EEI/LA0021/2013, the grant (SFRH/BD/69121/2010) to Gonçalo Antunes, and COMET K1, FFG - Austrian Research Promotion Agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudolf Mayer
    • 1
  • Gonçalo Antunes
    • 2
  • Artur Caetano
    • 2
  • Marzieh Bakhshandeh
    • 2
  • Andreas Rauber
    • 1
    • 3
  • José Borbinha
    • 2
  1. 1.Secure Business AustriaViennaAustria
  2. 2.INESC-IDLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Vienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria

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