Building Conceptual Schemas by Refining General Ontologies

  • Jordi Conesa
  • Xavier de Palol
  • Antoni Olivé
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2736)


In practice, most conceptual schemas of information systems and databases are developed essentially from scratch. This paper deals with a new approach to that development, consisting on the refinement of a general ontology. We identify and characterize the three activities required to develop a conceptual schema from a general ontology, that we call refinement, pruning and refactoring. The focus of the paper is on the differences of the new approach with respect to the traditional one. The pruning activity may be automated. We formalize it and present a method for its realization. Besides, we identify a particular problem that appears during the refactoring activity, determining whether two types are redundant, and provide two sufficient conditions for it. We illustrate the approach with the development of a conceptual schema by refinement of the Cyc ontology. However, our results apply to any general ontology. The conceptual modeling language we have used is the UML, but we believe that our results could be applied to any similar language.


General Ontology Information System Conceptual Schema Entity Type Integrity Constraint 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jordi Conesa
    • 1
  • Xavier de Palol
    • 1
  • Antoni Olivé
    • 1
  1. 1.Departament de Llenguatges i Sistemes InformàticsUniversitat Politècnica CatalunyaBarcelona (Catalonia)

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