Toward the Use of Upper-Level Ontologies for Semantically Interoperable Systems: An Emergency Management Use Case

  • Linda ElmhadhbiEmail author
  • Mohamed-Hedi Karray
  • Bernard Archimède
Conference paper
Part of the Proceedings of the I-ESA Conferences book series (IESACONF, volume 9)


In the context of globalization and knowledge management, information technologies require an ample need of unprecedented levels of data exchange and sharing to allow collaboration between heterogeneous systems. Yet, understanding the semantics of the exchanged data is one of the major challenges. Semantic interoperability can be ensured by capturing knowledge from diverse sources by using ontologies and align these latter by using upper-level ontologies to come up with a common shared vocabulary. In this paper, we aim in one hand to investigate the role of upper-level ontologies as a mean for enabling the formalization and integration of heterogeneous sources of information and how it may support interoperability of systems. On the other hand, we present several upper-level ontologies and how we chose and then used basic formal ontology (BFO) as an upper-level ontology and common core ontology (CCO) as a mid-level ontology to develop a modular ontology that defines emergency responders’ knowledge starting from firefighters’ module for a solution to the semantic interoperability problem in emergency management.


Semantic interoperability Ontology Upper-level ontology BFO Mid-level ontology CCO Emergency management 



This research was conducted as part of the POLARISC (Plateforme OpérationnelLe d’Actualisation du Renseignement Interservices pour la Sécurité Civile) project. It was funded by the regional operational program FEDER/FSE «Midi-Pyrénées et Garonne 2014–2020» as part of the call for projects “Easynov2016.”


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Elmhadhbi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohamed-Hedi Karray
    • 1
  • Bernard Archimède
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ToulouseToulouseFrance

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