AAAI Publications, Twenty-Second International FLAIRS Conference

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A Semantic Framework for Uncertainties in Ontologies
Joana Hois

Last modified: 2009-03-16


We present a semantically-driven approach to uncertainties within and across ontologies. Ontologies are widely used not only by the Semantic Web but also by artificial systems in general. They represent and structure a domain with respect to its semantics. Uncertainties, however, have been rarely taken into account in ontological representation, even though they are inevitable when applying ontologies in `real world' applications. In this paper, we analyze why uncertainties are necessary for ontologies, how and where uncertainties have to be represented in ontologies, and what their semantics are. In particular, we investigate which ontology constructions need to address uncertainty issues and which ontology constructions should not be affected by uncertainties on the basis of their semantics. As a result, the use of uncertainties is restricted to appropriate cases, which reduces complexity and guides ontology development. We give examples and motivation from the field of spatially-aware systems in indoor environments.

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