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Thomas Bittner [12]Thomas E. Bittner [1]
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Thomas Bittner
State University of New York, Buffalo
  1. A Theory of Granular Partitions.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - In M. Duckham, M. F. Goodchild & M. F. Worboys (eds.), Foundations of Geographic Information Science. London: Taylor & Francis. pp. 117-151.
    We have a variety of different ways of dividing up, classifying, mapping, sorting and listing the objects in reality. The theory of granular partitions presented here seeks to provide a general and unified basis for understanding such phenomena in formal terms that is more realistic than existing alternatives. Our theory has two orthogonal parts: the first is a theory of classification; it provides an account of partitions as cells and subcells; the second is a theory of reference or intentionality; it (...)
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  2. Individuals, Universals, Collections: On the Foundational Relations of Ontology.Thomas Bittner, Maureen Donnelly & Barry Smith - 2004 - In Achille Varzi Laure Vieu (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. Proceedings of the Third International Conference. IOS Press. pp. 37–48.
    This paper provides an axiomatic formalization of a theory of foundational relations between three categories of entities: individuals, universals, and collections. We deal with a variety of relations between entities in these categories, including the is-a relation among universals and the part-of relation among individuals as well as cross-category relations such as instance-of, member-of, and partition-of. We show that an adequate understanding of the formal properties of such relations – in particular their behavior with respect to time – is critical (...)
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  3. A Taxonomy of Granular Partitions.Thomas E. Bittner & Barry Smith - 2001 - In Daniel Montello (ed.), Spatial Information Theory. Foundations of Geographic Information Science. Berlin: Springer. pp. 28-43.
    In this paper we propose a formal theory of partitions (ways of dividing up or sorting or mapping reality) and we show how the theory can be applied in the geospatial domain. We characterize partitions at two levels: as systems of cells (theory A), and in terms of their projective relation to reality (theory B). We lay down conditions of well-formedness for partitions and we define what it means for partitions to project truly onto reality. We continue by classifying well-formed (...)
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  4.  76
    Endurants and Perdurants in Directly Depicting Ontologies.Thomas Bittner, Maureen Donnelly & Barry Smith - 2004 - AI Communications 13 (4):247–258.
    We propose an ontological theory that is powerful enough to describe both complex spatio-temporal processes and the enduring entities that participate therein. For this purpose we introduce the notion a directly depicting ontology. Directly depicting ontologies are based on relatively simple languages and fall into two major categories: ontologies of type SPAN and ontologies of type SNAP. These represent two complementary perspectives on reality and employ distinct though compatible systems of categories. A SNAP (snapshot) ontology comprehends enduring entities such as (...)
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  5. A Spatio-Temporal Ontology for Geographic Information Integration.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2009 - International Journal for Geographical Information Science 23 (6):765-798.
    This paper presents an axiomatic formalization of a theory of top-level relations between three categories of entities: individuals, universals, and collections. We deal with a variety of relations between entities in these categories, including the sub-universal relation among universals and the parthood relation among individuals, as well as cross-categorial relations such as instantiation and membership. We show that an adequate understanding of the formal properties of such relations – in particular their behavior with respect to time – is critical for (...)
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  6. Granular Partitions and Vagueness.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - In Chris Welty & Barry Smith (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS). New York, USA: ACM Press. pp. 309-320.
    There are some who defend a view of vagueness according to which there are intrinsically vague objects or attributes in reality. Here, in contrast, we defend a view of vagueness as a semantic property of names and predicates. All entities are crisp, on this view, but there are, for each vague name, multiple portions of reality that are equally good candidates for being its referent, and, for each vague predicate, multiple classes of objects that are equally good candidates for being (...)
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  7.  72
    Formal Ontologies of Space and Time. IFOMIS Report.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - In IFOMIS Report.
    We propose an ontological theory that is powerful enough to describe both complex spatio-temporal processes (occurrents) and the enduring entities (continuants) that participate in such processes. For this purpose we distinguish between meta-ontology and token ontologies. Token ontologies 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. The meta-ontological level then describes the relationships between the different token ontologies. In (...)
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  8. Granular Spatio-Temporal Ontologies.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - AAAI Symposium:12-17.
    We propose an ontological theory that is powerful enough to describe both complex spatio-temporal processes (occurrents) and the enduring entities (continuants) that participate therein. The theory is divided into two major categories of sub-theories: (sub-) theories of type SPAN and (sub-)theories of type SNAP. These theories represent two complementary perspectives on reality and result in distinct though compatible systems of categories. In SNAP we have enduring entities such as substances, qualities, roles, functions; in SPAN we have perduring entities such as (...)
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  9. Normalizing Medical Ontologies Using Basic Formal Ontology.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2004 - In K. Versorgung & V. Forschung (eds.), Ubiquitäre Information (Proceedings of GMDS 2004). Videel OHG. pp. 199-201.
    Description Logics are nowadays widely accepted as formalisms which provide reasoning facilities which allow us to discover inconsistencies in ontologies in an automatic fashion. Where ontologies are developed in modular fashion, they allow changes in one module to propogated through the system of ontologies automatically in a way which helps to maintain consistency and stability. For this feature to be utilized effectively, however, requires that domain ontologies be represented in a normalized form.
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  10. Vague Reference and Approximating Judgements.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - Spatial Cognition and Computation 3 (2):137–156.
    We propose a new account of vagueness and approximation in terms of the theory of granular partitions. We distinguish different kinds of crisp and non-crisp granular partitions and we describe the relations between them, concentrating especially on spatial examples. We describe the practice whereby subjects use regular grid-like reference partitions as a means for tempering the vagueness of their judgments, and we demonstrate how the theory of reference partitions can yield a natural account of this practice, which is referred to (...)
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  11.  45
    A Unified Theory of Granularity, Vagueness and Approximation.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2001 - In COSIT Workshop on Spatial Vagueness, Uncertainty and Granularity. pp. 39.
    Abstract: We propose a view of vagueness as a semantic property of names and predicates. All entities are crisp, on this semantic view, but there are, for each vague name, multiple portions of reality that are equally good candidates for being its referent, and, for each vague predicate, multiple classes of objects that are equally good candidates for being its extension. We provide a new formulation of these ideas in terms of a theory of granular partitions. We show that this (...)
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  12.  42
    Directly Depicting Granular Ontologies.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2004 - In IFOMIS Reports. pp. 117--151.
    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 (...)
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  13. Basic Formal Ontology for Bioinformatics.Barry Smith, Anand Kumar & Thomas Bittner - 2005 - IFOMIS Reports.
    Two senses of ‘ontology’ can be distinguished in the current literature. First is the sense favored by information scientists, who view ontologies as software implementations designed to capture in some formal way the consensus conceptualization shared by those working on information systems or databases in a given domain. [Gruber 1993] Second is the sense favored by philosophers, who regard ontologies as theories of different types of entities (objects, processes, relations, functions) [Smith 2003]. Where information systems ontologists seek to maximize reasoning (...)
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