Merging and Comparing Ontologies Generically
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Merging and Comparing Ontologies Generically

Authors: Xiuzhan Guo, Arthur Berrill, Ajinkya Kulkarni, Kostya Belezko, Min Luo


Ontology operations, e.g., aligning and merging, were studied and implemented extensively in different settings, such as, categorical operations, relation algebras, typed graph grammars, with different concerns. However, aligning and merging operations in the settings share some generic properties, e.g., idempotence, commutativity, associativity, and representativity, which are defined on an ontology merging system, given by a nonempty set of the ontologies concerned, a binary relation on the set of the ontologies modeling ontology aligning, and a partial binary operation on the set of the ontologies modeling ontology merging. Given an ontology repository, a finite subset of the set of the ontologies, its merging closure is the smallest subset of the set of the ontologies, which contains the repository and is closed with respect to merging. If idempotence, commutativity, associativity, and representativity properties are satisfied, then both the set of the ontologies and the merging closure of the ontology repository are partially ordered naturally by merging, the merging closure of the ontology repository is finite and can be computed, compared, and sorted efficiently, including sorting, selecting, and querying some specific elements, e.g., maximal ontologies and minimal ontologies. An ontology Valignment pair is a pair of ontology homomorphisms with a common domain. We also show that the ontology merging system, given by ontology V-alignment pairs and pushouts, satisfies idempotence, commutativity, associativity, and representativity properties so that the merging system is partially ordered and the merging closure of a given repository with respect to pushouts can be computed efficiently.

Keywords: Ontology aligning, ontology merging, merging system, poset, merging closure, ontology V-alignment pair, ontology homomorphism, ontology V-alignment pair homomorphism, pushout.

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