The Configuration Design Ontologies and the VT Elevator Domain Theory

Thomas R. Gruber, Greg R. Olsen, J. Runkel (1994). The configuration design ontologies and the VT elevator domain theory. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. Volume 44 , Issue 3-4 March/April 1996.

One of the first journal articles presenting domain ontologies as a research contribution.

In the VT/Sisyphus experiment, a set of problem solving systems were being built against a common specification of a problem. An important hypothesis was that the specification could be given, in large part, as a common ontology. This article is that ontology. This ontology is different than normal software specification documents in two fundamental ways. First, it is formal and machine readable (i.e. in the KIF/Ontolingua syntax). Second, the descriptions of the input and output of the task to be performed include domain knowledge (i.e. about elevator configuration) that characterize semantic constraints on possible solutions, rather than describing the form (data structure) of the answer. The article includes an overview of the conceptualization, excerpts from the machine-readable Ontolingua source files, and pointers to the complete ontology library available on the Internet.