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Towards Evolvable Ontology-Driven Development with Normalized Systems

Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS,volume 1375)


Normalized Systems (NS) enables sustainable software development and maintenance using code generation of evolvable information systems from models of so-called NS Elements. To promote semantic interoperability with other conceptual models, RDF and OWL technologies can be used for knowledge representation in NS as it is common within the Semantic Web and Linked Open Data domains. Previous research resulted in initial NS-OWL bi-directional transformation and a prototype tool for its execution. In this extended paper, these efforts are further elaborated into an evolvable solution based on NS Expanders. The transformation utilizes RDF to encode all domain-specific structural knowledge of an NS model to ensure bi-directionality. In addition, it also maps entities of NS metamodel to OWL concepts to serve as an ontology for underlying data. Because of the metacircular NS metamodel, any NS model including the metamodel itself, can be transformed. Moreover, the transformation of application data to or from RDF is also possible. Having the NS metamodel, NS models, and potentially also data in RDF opens further research possibilities in terms of analysis and integrations. The use of NS Expanders caused that the solution can be easily extended and refined, e.g. when the metamodel is updated. The results of our research are expected to help with the design of real-world information systems, including the NS tooling and the metamodel.


  • Normalized systems
  • Ontology engineering
  • Model-driven development
  • Transformation
  • RDF
  • Expanders

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    OntModel is an instance of OWL model in Apache Jena.


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The research was performed in collaboration of Czech Technical University in Prague, University of Antwerp, and NSX bvba. The research was supported by Czech Technical University in Prague grant No. SGS20/209/OHK3/3T/18.

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Suchánek, M., Mannaert, H., Uhnák, P., Pergl, R. (2021). Towards Evolvable Ontology-Driven Development with Normalized Systems. In: Ali, R., Kaindl, H., Maciaszek, L.A. (eds) Evaluation of Novel Approaches to Software Engineering. ENASE 2020. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 1375. Springer, Cham.

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