In all types of communication, the ability to share information is often hindered because the meaning of information can be drastically affected by the context in which it is viewed and interpreted. This is especially true in manufacturing, because of the growing complexity of manufacturing information and the increasing need to exchange this information among various software applications. Different representations of the same information may be based on different assumptions about the world, and use differing concepts and terminology—and conversely, the same terms may be used in different contexts to mean different things. Often, the loosely defined natural-language definitions associated with the terms will be too ambiguous to make the differences evident, or will not provide enough information to resolve the differences. A solution to this problem is the use of taxonomies or ontologies of manufacturing concepts and terms, because ontologies provide a way to make explicit the semantics (i.e., the meaning) for the concepts used, rather than relying just on the syntax used to encode those concepts. Ontological techniques can be useful for giving unambiguous definitions of product and process capabilities and evolving designs and design requirements, unifying the differences in how knowledge is conceptualized across multiple product and process domains, and translating those definitions into the specialized representation languages of application systems. This paper gives an overview of current research and development on ontologies as it relates to mechanical engineering applications, along with examples of how ontologies can be used to facilitate the exchange of information among manufacturing applications.
Ontologies for Integrating Engineering Applications
Contributed by the Internet Based Computing Committee for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received Aug. 2000; revised manuscript received Nov. 2000. Associate Editor P. Wright.
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Ciocoiu, M., Nau, D. S., and Gruninger, M. (November 1, 2000). "Ontologies for Integrating Engineering Applications ." ASME. J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. March 2001; 1(1): 12–22. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1344878
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