Tools for Assembling Modular Ontologies in Ontolingua

Richard Fikes, Adam Farquhar, James Rice

The Ontolingua ontology development environment provides a suite of ontology authoring tools and a library of modular, reusable ontologies. The environment is available as a World Wide Web service and has a substantial user community. The tools in Ontolingua are oriented toward the authoring of ontologies by assembling and extending ontologies obtained from a library. In this paper, we describe Ontolingua’s formalism for combining the axioms, definitions, and words (non-logical symbols) of multiple ontologies. We also describe Ontolingua’s facilities that enable renaming of words from multiple component ontologies and that provide unambiguous mapping between words and text strings during input and output. These features support cyclic inclusion graphs and enable users to extend ontologies in multiple ways such as adding simplifying assumptions and extending the domains of polymorphic operators.

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