Directly depicting granular ontologies

In IFOMIS Reports. pp. 117--151 (2004)
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Published in extended form as "Endurants and Perdurants in Directly Depicting Ontologies", We propose an ontological theory that is powerful enough to describe both complex spatio-temporal processes and the enduring entities that participate in such processes. For this purpose we distinguish between ontologies and metaontology. Ontologies are based on very simple directly depicting languages and fall into two major categories: ontologies of type SPAN and ontologies of type SNAP. These represent two complementary perspectives on reality and result in distinct though compatible systems of categories. In a SNAP (snapshot) ontology we have the enduring entities in a given domain as they exist to be inventoried at some given moment of time. In a SPAN ontology we have perduring entities such as processes and their parts and aggregates. We argue that both kinds of ontology are required, together with the meta-ontology which joins them together. On the level of meta-ontology we are able to impose constraints on ontologies of a sort which can support ef´Čücient processing of large amounts of data.
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