Modularity of Ontologies in an Arbitrary Institution

  • Yazmin Angelica Ibañez
  • Till Mossakowski
  • Donald Sannella
  • Andrzej Tarlecki
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9200)


The notion of module extraction has been studied extensively in the ontology community. The idea is to extract, from a large ontology, those axioms that are relevant to certain concepts of interest (formalised as a subsignature). The technical concept used for the definition of module extraction is that of inseparability, which is related to indistinguishability known from observational specifications.

Module extraction has been studied mainly for description logics and the Web Ontology Language \(\mathsf {OWL}\). In this work, we generalise previous definitions and results to an arbitrary inclusive institution. We reveal a small inaccuracy in the formal definition of inseparability, and show that some results hold in an arbitrary inclusive institution, while others require the institution to be weakly union-exact.

This work provides the basis for the treatment of module extraction within the institution-independent semantics of the distributed ontology, modeling and specification language (DOL), which is currently under submission to the Object Management Group (OMG).



We thank Thomas Schneider for discussions and feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yazmin Angelica Ibañez
    • 1
  • Till Mossakowski
    • 2
  • Donald Sannella
    • 3
  • Andrzej Tarlecki
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Computer ScienceOtto-von-Guericke University of MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  3. 3.Laboratory for Foundations of Computer ScienceUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  4. 4.Institute of InformaticsUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland

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