Towards an Ontology-Driven Blockchain Design for Supply Chain Provenance

17 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2016

See all articles by Henry Kim

Henry Kim

York University - Schulich School of Business

Marek Laskowski

York University; University of Guelph

Date Written: August 23, 2016

Abstract

An interesting research problem in our age of Big Data is that of determining provenance. Granular evaluation of provenance of physical goods -- e.g. tracking ingredients of a pharmaceutical or demonstrating authenticity of luxury goods -- has often not been possible with today's items that are produced and transported in complex, inter-organizational, often internationally-spanning supply chains. Recent adoption of Internet of Things and Blockchain technologies give promise at better supply chain provenance. We are particularly interested in the blockchain as many favoured use cases of blockchain are for provenance tracking. We are also interested in applying ontologies as there has been some work done on knowledge provenance, traceability, and food provenance using ontologies. In this paper, we make a case for why ontologies can contribute to blockchain design. To support this case, we analyze a traceability ontology and translate some of its representations to smart contracts that execute a provenance trace and enforce traceability constraints on the Ethereum blockchain platform.

Keywords: blockchain, smart contracts, distributed ledger, Ethereum, provenance, traceability, supply chain provenance, ontology, enterprise modeling

JEL Classification: E80

Suggested Citation

Kim, Henry and Laskowski, Marek, Towards an Ontology-Driven Blockchain Design for Supply Chain Provenance (August 23, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2828369 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2828369

Henry Kim (Contact Author)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Marek Laskowski

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

University of Guelph ( email )

Guelph, Ontario
Canada

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
2,748
rank
3,895
Abstract Views
5,937
PlumX Metrics