Common Core Ontologies for Data Integration

The Common Core Ontology Method

The Data Science and Information Fusion Group’s work in ontologies started in 2008. Since 2010, our participation in IARPA’s Knowledge, Discovery and Dissemination program focused our work on the development of the Common Core Ontologies (CCO). The CCO provide a base vocabulary that is to be extended to a fuller suite of ontologies that serve as the unified semantics for the content of all data sources within an enterprise. To accomplish this extension, the CCO is accompanied by a rule-guided method. The combination of the CCO and this methodology allows different groups within an enterprise to develop ontologies and still arrive at semantically interoperable models.


The Common Core Ontologies


Rapid Ontology Development

The ten modular but interrelated ontologies that compose the CCO are not a monolithic, global structure that attempts to describe every element of every specialized domain. Rather, the ontologies provide a starting set of general, commonly used terms. The entities of interest to data communities within the enterprise not covered by these common terms are those that need to be integrated by developing extension ontologies. Following the rule-guided method creates ontologies that extend from the CCO in a manner reproduces patterns of expression across domains.

The value of these common patterns is realized in the reduced amount of time and effort required by analysts, query writers and algorithm developers to acclimate themselves and their products to different content. As new data sources are encountered existing semantic content from already built ontologies is re-used to express it. Building ontologies in this controlled manner greatly reduces the proliferation of ontologies, which in turn reduces the amount of time and effort needed to find content and in building mappings between content. Importantly, the method enables rapid development by creating a cycle of ever diminishing extent of new content that needs to be ontologized. The figure below provides a visualization of the method.


Rapid Ontology Development Using the CCO


Domain Level Extensions of the Common Core Ontologies

Ongoing development of the CCO under projects supported by JIDO, CERDEC I2WD, ARL, AFRL Wright Patterson, AFRL Rome, and OSD have produced numerous domain-level extension ontologies, a subset of which are listed below:

  • Affective State Ontology
  • Aircraft Ontology
  • Hydrographic Feature Ontology
  • Legal and Criminal Act Ontology
  • Military Operations Ontology
  • Mission Planning Ontology
  • Occupation Ontology
  • Physiographic Feature Ontology
  • Airforce Aircraft Maintenance Ontology
  • Army Universal Task List Ontology
  • Sensor Ontology
  • Skills Ontology
  • Space Object Ontology
  • Transportation Infrastructure Ontology
  • Undersea Warfare Ontology
  • Watercraft Ontology


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