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IEEE Standard Upper Ontology Study Group

Subject: Standard Upper Ontology --  2nd Announcement
Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 18:45:10 -0400
From: "Schoening, James CECOM RDEC
To: "Onto-Std (E-mail)"  ...

(The 1st announcement was followed by the crashing of our Listserv, so
please try the new subscription address.)

Greetings Ontology Stakeholders, 

Multiple attempts have been made in recent years to start the
development of a standard upper ontology.  This message introduces a
new initiative.  It will start off by using the structure of an IEEE
Study Group to explore the development of this standard.  Here are
some key points.
a.  The IEEE Standard Upper Ontology Study Group has been approved by
IEEE and is offered as a forum to explore this project.  Its mission
is to take up to 6-months to define a Scope and Purpose (see draft
below) for this standard, determine technical feasibility, determine
the best forum for this project (there is no assumption it will be
IEEE), see if we have enough participants to proceed, and to
coordinate with other organizations.  If all criteria are met, we will
seek approval to form a group to develop the standard.

b.  A list has been set up for the discussions of this Study Group,
with 28 subscribers so far.  All are welcome. IEEE membership is NOT
required to join this list or Study Group. To subscribe, cut and paste
the message:

      subscribe Standard-Upper-Ontology

and send it (in the body of msg) to the address:

(If you have trouble subscribing, send me a note and I'll add your

c.  A Chair will be elected once we have a critical mass of
participants, so please subscribe soon.

There is a commonly held belief that substantial resources will be
needed to complete this project.  It is proposed we make whatever
early progress we can with volunteers.  If funds are essential, this
early progress and organizational structure should help in obtaining
them.  However, we should also see if enough participants can be found
who do have the resources to participate without central funding.

I should introduce myself, since I am not from the ontology community.
My name is James Schoening and I come from several user communities
that have a need for this standard. I Chair the IEEE Learning
Technology Standard Committee ( ) , Co-Chair a
U.S.  Department of Defense panel dealing with XML, and do research in
Command and Control, all of which have varied needs for a standard
upper ontology.

Please subscribe to the list for this Study Group and help kick off
discussions.  Also, please forward this message to others.

James Schoening
U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command
Ft. Monmouth, NJ 07703

===================Draft Scope and Purpose ===============

STUDY GROUP TITLE: Standard Upper Ontology

SCOPE:  (What is being developed)

This standard will specify the syntax and semantics of a
general-purpose upper ontology.  An ontology is defined as the
specifications and relationships of a set of concepts, understandable
by both computers and humans.  This standard will be limited to just
an upper level ontology, which will contain approximately 2000 of the
most fundamental and commonly used concepts.  It will serve as a
foundation upon which a large common ontology of 20,000+ concepts
could be built.

PURPOSE: (Why standard is being developed, and who will benefit.) 

This standard will enable:

        a. Database developers to define new data elements in terms of
        a common ontology, and thereby gain some degree of
        interoperability with other compliant databases.

        b. Owners of existing databases to map existing data elements
        just once to a common ontology, and thereby gain some degree
        of interoperability with other compliant or mapped databases.

        c. Developers of XML metadata to define or map their tags to a
        common ontology, and thereby gain some degree of
        interoperability with other systems.

        d. Domain ontologies to interoperate (to some degree) with
        other compliant domain ontologies.

        e. E-commerce applications from different domains to
        interoperate at both the data and semantic levels.

        f. Learners to learn or create terms having a precise meaning
        by defining them in terms of the concepts of the fundamental

        g. Individuals from different domains to communicate using
        standard concepts.

        h. The definition of words in terms of the fundamental
        concepts of the ontology, and thus allow more detailed and
        accurate inferences to be drawn from natural language texts.
        (This is just a start.  )

Edited by Tim Finin & Yannis Labrou of UMBC ebiquity and the UMBC Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department. Comments to Hits in red Who points to it? shows inverse links. Built by bk2site.