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AIC Seminar Series

Evolution of Inconsistent Ontologies in Physics by means of GALILEO

Jos LehmannUniversity of Edinburgh

Notice:  Hosted by Vinay Chaudhri.

Date:  Friday, August 12th 2011 at 2:00pm

Location:  EK255 (SRI E building)  (Directions)


Formal ontologies specify the knowledge that software systems use when reasoning about the entities in their domain. Such knowledge is bound to evolve in the face of new information. Robust software should therefore be able to maintain the consistency between its own ontologies and any incoming information that contradicts them. We propose a higher-order logical approach to ontology evolution and apply it to examples in physics, as advances in this field are naturally modelled as cases of ontology evolution. GALILEO, a system based on this approach, is being implemented and tested. Its basic mechanisms for evolution (so-called ontology repair plans) operate on ontologies formalised and implemented as contexts, i.e., as logical theories that use their own local concepts to describe the domain, thus preventing potential contradictions to arise. When, though, ontologies are mapped or aligned, they share axioms. This may allow the proof of contradictory or of other undesirable (e.g. redundant) facts, which affect the robustness of the system. At this stage, the application of an ontology repair plan may resolve the conflict, as each plan compiles together a pattern for diagnosis of conflicts between ontologies and of transformation rules for effecting a repair. The repair can combine the retraction of axioms, the change of beliefs as well as the deeper modification of the language in which the ontology is represented.

   Bio for Jos Lehmann

Jos Lehmann, native of Milan (Italy), is presently Research Fellow at the School of Informatics of the University of Edinburgh, UK, where he conducts research on automated ontology evolution in physics. He previously held research positions at the Institute of Cognitive Science and Technology of the Italian National Research Council in Rome (Italy) and at the Leibniz Center for Law of the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). He received a PhD from the University of Amsterdam for a dissertation on the problem of causation in Artificial Intelligence and Law, and a MA from the University of Milan for a thesis on the Frame Problem in Artificial Intelligence. He has co-authored articles and technical reports as well as co-organized events on various formal-ontological topics (physics, ontology evolution, causation, plans and tasks, intentional collectives , collaboration, ontology evaluation, legal ontology).

Work with Alan Bundy and Michael Chan

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