Ontologies are the Esperanto for the Babel Fish of the 21st Century (part 08)



TODO: This section and it’s sub sections needs a lot more work.The current System Integrator and Vendor lead standards ownership process will still continue but will start to be heavily influenced and in some cases superseded by end user and end user industry representative group involvement in the standards process. The driver is monetary as always. As, through successive M&A’s or through extending value chain with suppliers, re sellers, customers, constant enhancements and new builds for transformations between data types starts to take its toll in the boardroom. Blood on the walls (see Why Do We Need Ontologies above) through successive failures to consider ontologies in the procurement cycle.However there are several challenges apparent in the standards domain, with competing standards bodies promulgating competing standards that in many cases have overlapping technical footprints[28]. This has a tendency to confuse end users and will eventually be a driver to increased end user participation, directly or indirectly, in the standards process. It shall also probably be a driver for further Government involvement though legislation and compliance policing.

 The following links to a poster from innoq describing just the Web Services Standards as of Q1 2007 and some of the myriad standards on which they are dependent. An impression of the poster can be seen in the graphic below.


The [http://www.soa-consortium.org/ SOA Consortium] aims to aid in the understanding rationalization of these standards.

”The SOA Consortium is a new SOA advocacy group comprised of end users, service providers, and technology vendors, committed to helping the Global 1000 successfully adopt SOA by 2010.”

In a bid to aid SOA adoption IBM has made an Interoperability Specifications Pledge with an “irrevocable patent covenant” allowing the Open Source use of around 150 specifications that IBM lays claim to.


The Object Management Group (OMG) has several initiatives that include an ontological perspective a couple of which are outlined below.



The OMGs SOA SIG is attempting to rationalize the SOA standards proliferation explosion that has happened over the last few years [28]. These efforts can be viewed in the OMG’s SOA Standards Harmonization Activity wiki. Other OMG SIGs are or will play similar roles in the domains with which they participate.


The Analysis & Design Platform Task Force has also published a draft RFI entitled “Event Driven Architecture (EDA) And its relationship with SOA & BPM DRAFT RFI”. The summary of which is reproduces below.

”The EDA Sub-group of the OMG SOA SIG seeks information from members of the EDA, BPM and SOA community as well as anyone interested in promoting standards in this area. Requested information will be evaluated by the EDA Subgroup, resulting in the development of Requests for Proposal(s) (RFP) for Standardization of Event definition, relationship between EDA, BPM and SOA that will ultimately allow development of standards for:
* Complete Life Cycle of Events (Event Metrics)
* Ontology of Events
* Sense and Respond Services
* Processing of complex events.
Please note that it is our intent to develop modeling standards for the EDA/SOA and EDA-Business Process interaction and provide standards for the implementation of that interaction as well. Please note that it is not mandatory to answer all questions.”

The OMG has listed it’s view of existing EDA standards from the OMG and other standards orgs (JCP, OASIS, W3C), last updated, March 17 2007.


Event Metamodel and Profile (EMP) RFP makes the following statement re ontologies and events;

“One or more common ontology components representing common terminology and conceptual knowledge as well as a metamodel to unify the diverse notions of Events that exist in the industry.”

It also contains the following graphic which lists the ontology of events as part of the mandatory components for the proposed specification. Further that they shall be dependent on the W3C standards XML, XSD,  and W3C semantic web standards RDF and the ontology sepcific OWL.

Omg Emp Architecture RFP[55]


Profile and Metamodel for Services (UPMS) RPF.

”This RFP call for a standard for modeling services, i.e., a specification of the modeling elements and their relationships used to define services and their interactions. The intention is that submission could be used for modeling any kind of service – including business and software service.”[48]


Ontology Definition Metamodel (ODM) Final Adopted Specification

Ontology Definition Metamodel (ODM), utilises (is built upon), amongst other things, the semantic web ontology Web 2.0 standards of the W3C.


Semantic Web

The Semantic Web, as proposed by the W3C Tim Berners-Lee, is the intelligent processing of distributed data sources over web enables technologies. Ontologies and the standards that they are built on are a key enabler of the semantic web [2][20].

  • XML
  • XML-Schema
  • RDF
  • RDFS
  • OWL
  • OWL-S

Semantic Web Architecture Stack



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