Design and Use of an Ontology for Complex Artifacts

Klaus Wimmer

During the past decade we have developed OCA, an ontology dedicated to complex artifacts. OCA has been applied extensively within the domain of communication systems and has proven a valuable tool for building models of both products and processes. Today, OCA is tightly integrated with a modeling method called MacroModelingTechnique (MMT). OCA-based MMT has increased the effectivness of model building particularly during the early phases of an industrial engineering process where numerous technical and non-technical aspects need to be considered and shared by diverse experts. This paper discusses and assesses the design of OCA. Much of OCA’s design hinges on a technique to construct key concepts in a principled rather than in an ad-hoc manner. In fact, much of OCA’s design is determined by "ontological principles".

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