DOLCE: A descriptive ontology for linguistic and cognitive engineering1

Applied ontology 17 (1):45-69 (2022)
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dolce, the first top-level ontology to be axiomatized, has remained stable for twenty years and today is broadly used in a variety of domains. dolce is inspired by cognitive and linguistic considerations and aims to model a commonsense view of reality, like the one human beings exploit in everyday life in areas as diverse as socio-technical systems, manufacturing, financial transactions and cultural heritage. dolce clearly lists the ontological choices it is based upon, relies on philosophical principles, is richly formalized, and is built according to well-established ontological methodologies, e.g. OntoClean. Because of these features, it has inspired most of the existing top-level ontologies and has been used to develop or improve standards and public domain resources. Being a foundational ontology, dolce is not directly concerned with domain knowledge. Its purpose is to provide the general categories and relations needed to give a coherent view of reality, to integrate domain knowledge, and to mediate across domains. In these 20 years dolce has shown that applied ontologies can be stable and that interoperability across reference and domain ontologies is a reality. This paper briefly introduces the ontology and shows how to use it on a few modeling cases.

Author Profiles

Roberta Ferrario
Istituto Di Scienze E Tecnologie Della Cognizione, CNR, Trento
Nicola Guarino
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (CNR)
Daniele Porello
Università degli Studi di Genova
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