Shifting Ontological Perspectives in Reasoning about Physical Systems

Zheng-Yang Liu, Arthur M. Farley

Commitment to an ontological perspective is a primary aspect of reasoning about the physical world. For complex analytic tasks, the ability to switch between different ontologies to represent the same target system can be critical. Supplementing the standard device ontology for electronic circuits, we outline elements of a charge-carrier (CC) ontology for reasoning about electronics. Having two ontologies extends our range of reasoning, but raises the issue of how to control their application. We propose a set of ontological-choice rules to govern the process of ontological shift and demonstrate its effectiveness with examples involving the two ontologies in reasoning about electronic circuits.

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