Meta-relation and ontology closure in Conceptual Structure Theory

  • Philip H. P. NguyenEmail author
  • Ken Kaneiwa
  • Dan R. Corbett
  • Minh-Quang Nguyen


This paper presents an enhanced ontology formalization, combining previous work in Conceptual Structure Theory and Order-Sorted Logic. Most existing ontology formalisms place greater importance on concept types, but in this paper we focus on relation types, which are in essence predicates on concept types. We formalize the notion of ‘predicate of predicates’ as meta-relation type and introduce the new hierarchy of meta-relation types as part of the ontology definition. The new notion of closure of a relation or meta-relation type is presented as a means to complete that relation or meta-relation type by transferring extra arguments and properties from other related types. The end result is an expanded ontology, called the closure of the original ontology, on which automated inference could be more easily performed. Our proposal could be viewed as a novel and improved ontology formalization within Conceptual Structure Theory and a contribution to knowledge representation and formal reasoning (e.g., to build a query-answering system for legal knowledge).


Ontology formalization Knowledge representation Automated reasoning Conceptual Structure Theory Order-Sorted Logic Type theory Concept type Relation type Meta-relation type Legal reasoning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip H. P. Nguyen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ken Kaneiwa
    • 2
  • Dan R. Corbett
    • 3
  • Minh-Quang Nguyen
    • 4
  1. 1.Justice Technology Services, Department of Justice, Government of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.National Institute of Information and Communications TechnologySeika, SorakuJapan
  3. 3.Schafer CorporationArlingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Quebec at MontrealMontrealCanada

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