Ontology engineering for knowledge formalization


Idea and purpose

Quality, time, and costs are three essential success factors of a company. During every development cycle a suitable compromise between these factors has to be determined regularly (feedback loops). In practice, this compromise requires time and resources which are lacking in other areas. The goal of ontology engineering and knowledge formalization is to replace feedback loops with feasibility studies in early phases.



In order to carry out feasibility studies in the early phases, five requirements must be met:

– Determination of a suitable knowledge base for the storage of knowledge

– Identification of a suitable knowledge base that allows feedback on questions

– Generalizability

– Compatibility

– Performance



Ontology engineering is not limited to a specific discipline, but can be applied in various contexts and between different disciplines (e.g. engineers, project managers, researchers, developers, managers, etc.). What is relevant here is that the knowledge in the individual disciplines is known and standardized as far as possible.


Temporal and spatial structure

Ontology engineering focuses primarily on the early phases of the entire life cycle of a mechatronic system, but can be applied in other phases.



Ontology engineering always refers to the following recurring procedure:
  • Identify key terms and concepts
  • Identify classes and their properties
  • Formally define classes through logical constraints
  • Apply rules

Use case

The following figure illustrates in an abstract way how ontology engineering feasibility studies can be used to visualize the limits of feasibility itself, depending on characteristics of different knowledge sources and disciplines.