Re: On the definition of "ontology" (Paul van der Vet)
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 1995 14:30:16 +0100
From: (Paul van der Vet)
Message-id: <>
Subject: Re: On the definition of "ontology"
X-Sun-Charset: US-ASCII
Precedence: bulk

Nicola Guarino writes:

> I would now propose YET ANOTHER definition of an ontology, slightly
> different (in the form, but not in the content) from that discussed in the
> paper "Ontologies and Knowledge Bases: Towards a Terminological
> Clarification", accessible on the web site reported below:
> "An ontology is a specification of the indended models of a logical language".

I'm somewhat surprised by the plural - when you develop a
knowledge-based system you'll have one intended model in mind.

As for an elaboration of the point of view proposed by Nicola, see the
recent Ph.D. thesis by Piet-Hein Speel, "Selecting knowledge
representation systems". Piet-Hein compares a number of systems based
on description logic on a couple of criteria, using a particular
ontology as specification of what these knowledge representation
systems had to represent.

The thesis (gzipped PostScript-version, 444 KB) can be obtained at URL:


Paul van der Vet               Phone +31 53 89 36 94  (until Oct. 10)
Knowledge-Based Systems Group  Phone +31 53 489 36 94 (after Oct. 10)
Dept. of Computer Science      Fax   +31 53 33 96 05  (until Oct. 10)     
University of Twente           Fax   +31 53 489 29 27 (after Oct. 10)
P.O. Box 217                   Email
7500 AE  Enschede
The Netherlands