Towards an Ontological Modelling of Preference Relations

In C. Ghidini, B. Magnini, A. Passerini & P. Traverso (eds.), AI*IA 2018 - Advances in Artificial Intelligence - XVIIth International Conference of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence, Trento, Italy, November 20-23, 2018, Proceedings. pp. 152--165 (2018)
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Abstract
Preference relations are intensively studied in Economics, but they are also approached in AI, Knowledge Representation, and Conceptual Modelling, as they provide a key concept in a variety of domains of application. In this paper, we propose an ontological foundation of preference relations to formalise their essential aspects across domains. Firstly, we shall discuss what is the ontological status of the relata of a preference relation. Secondly, we investigate the place of preference relations within a rich taxonomy of relations (e.g. we ask whether they are internal or external, essential or contingent, descriptive or nondescriptive relations). Finally, we provide an ontological modelling of preference relation as a module of a foundational (or upper) ontology (viz. OntoUML). The aim of this paper is to provide a sharable foundational theory of preference relation that foster interoperability across the heterogeneous domains of application of preference relations.
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