Contextual Alignment of Ontologies in the eCoin Semantic Interoperability Framework

MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4567-06

CISL Working Paper No. 2006-01

35 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2006  

Aykut Firat

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Stuart Madnick

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Benjamin Grosof

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: January 2006

Abstract

The prospect of combining information from diverse sources for superior decision making is plagued by the challenge of semantic heterogeneity, as data sources often adopt different conventions and interpretations when there is no coordination. An emerging solution in information integration is to develop an ontology as a standard data model for a domain of interest, and then to define the correspondences between the data sources and this common model to eliminate their semantic heterogeneity and produce a single integrated view of the data sources. We first claim that this single integrated view approach is unnecessarily restrictive, and instead offer the view that ontologies can simultaneously accommodate multiple integrated views provided the accompaniment of contexts, a set of axioms on the interpretation of data allowing local variations in representation and nuances in meaning, and a conversion function network between contexts to reconcile contextual differences. Then, we illustrate how to achieve semantic interoperability between multiple ontology-based applications. During this process, application ontologies are aligned through the reconciliation of their context models, and a new application with a virtual merged ontology is created. We illustrate this alternative approach with the alignment of air travel and car rental domains, an actual example from our prototype implementation.

Keywords: Intelligent Information Integration, Query Rewriting, Ontology Merging

Suggested Citation

Firat, Aykut and Madnick, Stuart and Grosof, Benjamin, Contextual Alignment of Ontologies in the eCoin Semantic Interoperability Framework (January 2006). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4567-06; CISL Working Paper No. 2006-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=874097 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.874097

Aykut Firat

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

77 Massachusetts Ave.
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Stuart E. Madnick (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E53-321
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6671 (Phone)
617-253-3321 (Fax)

Benjamin Grosof

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E53-317
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-8694 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.mit.edu/~bgrosof

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