Using Ontology Design Patterns to Represent Sustainability Indicator Sets

  • Lida Ghahremanlou
  • Liam Magee
  • James A. Thom
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10161)


Sustainability indicators are increasingly being used to measure the economic, environmental and social properties of complex systems across different temporal and spatial scales. This motivates their inclusion in open distributed knowledge systems such as the Semantic Web. The diversity of such indicator sets provides considerable choice but also poses problems for those who need to measure and report. To address the modelling problems of indicator sets, we propose the use of Value Partition pattern to construct two design candidates: generic and specific. The generic design is more abstract, with fewer classes and properties, than the specific design. Documents describing two indicator systems – the Global Reporting Initiative and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – are used in the design of both candidate ontologies. We show the use of existing structural ontology design patterns can help to solve problems of ontology representations for modelling sustainability indicator sets.


Sustainability Indicator Sets Sustainability Reporting Ontology Design Patterns Value Partition 



We thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. This research has been supported in part by an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded linkage project LP0990509 on Accounting for Sustainability: Developing an Integrated Approach for Sustainability Assessments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Coventry UniversityCoventryUK
  2. 2.University of Western SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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