Semantics & Ontologies

Semantics and Ontologies

Enabling Interoperability with Shareability Terminology

We are living in an information-centric world where decision-making is increasingly automated based on data coming from a myriad of sources, now including pervasive devices. To ensure information is captured, combined, processed and shared correctly and consistently requires more than just names and structures — it is vital to understand its meaning in a formal way — that’s semantics.

The OMG framework for semantics enables its users to leverage existing information and models to create semantic content for people and for automated understanding, interchange, and reasoning, by:

  • facilitating collaborative development and better understanding of semantics through graphical models that map to the logics required for a variety of use cases
  • providing specifications, including programming interfaces, for unambiguous and consistent interchange and management of semantic models and vocabularies
  • applying transformations to allow semantic models to drive the creation of more conventional models and code
  • providing domain-specific, reusable semantic models


Infrastructure and core ontology standards

Ontology Definition Metamodel™

Ontology Definition Metamodel™ defines a family of independent metamodels, related profiles, and mappings among the metamodels corresponding to several international standards for ontology definition, as well as capabilities supporting conventional modeling paradigms for capturing conceptual knowledge, such as entity-relationship modeling.

Distributed Ontology, Model, and Specification Language™

Distributed Ontology, Model, and Specification Language™ (DOL™) gives interoperability a formal grounding and makes heterogeneous OMS and services based on them amenable to checking of coherence (e.g., consistency, conservativity, intended consequences, and compliance). This specification the diversity of complex systems and formulates means (on a sound and formal semantic basis) to compare and integrate ontologies, models and specifications (OMS) that are written in different formalisms. It specifies a formal language for expressing not only OMS but also mappings between OMS formalized in different OMS languages.

MOF to RDF Structural Mapping in Support of Linked Open Data

This specification defines a structural mapping between OMG-MOF models and RDF to provide for better integration of MDA and LOD, to enable the ability to apply LOD capabilities to MOF compliant models and to make the information available in MOF compliant models available as LOD web resources. Any MOF based model should be able to become a LOD resource. This specification is currently in the approval process and will be available later this year.

APIs for Knowledge Platforms™

OMG has an active process to develop this specification. This request for proposals targets the basic administration services as well as the retrieval and the modification of knowledge in a knowledge base designed specifically for use with knowledge representation languages supported by OMG standards.

Proposals are sought that create a common set of APIs and interfaces for accessing namespaces and IRIs (internationalized uniform resource identifiers), documents, and other common infrastructure, some of which is modeled, for example, in the ODM RDFWeb package of the RDF metamodel, regardless of the target representation language, for knowledge representation languages that can be serialized in XML. The primary target is for accessing such knowledge bases in the context of a tool, such as a parser, ontology editor, inference engine, or other applications where a uniform set of APIs and related services is desirable. APIs and service interfaces supporting basic queries, such as those that can be represented in SPARQL, are also desired. Learn more by reading the request for proposals.

Domain Ontologies


Financial Industry Business Ontology™

A joint effort by OMG and Enterprise Data Management (EDM) Council, FIBO®* is an industry initiative to define financial industry terms, definitions and synonyms using semantic web principles such as RDF/OWL and widely adopted OMG modeling standards such as UML®. FIBO will contribute to transparency in the global financial system, aid industry firms in providing a cost-effective means for integrating disparate technical systems and message formats, and aid in regulatory reporting by providing clear and unambiguous meaning of data from authoritative sources.

Retail Ontologies

The OMG Retail task force is interested in building a retail ontology and has taken steps to begin that process. To learn more about their work, visit OMG Retail.

Ontologies for the Robotics Industry

OMG has an active process to develop a Robotic Service Ontology. OMG seeks submissions for a set of basic ontologies that provide a semantic model of robotic services and related robotic functional components that can support communications and interoperability between robotic services and enable composition of such services. A service robot is a robot that provides services to people on their behalf in the environment in which they live or work. Examples range from robots designed to assist seniors or those with disabilities with basic chores, to robots operating in hospitals or clinics that are able to answer patient questions, to self-driving vehicles and many others. The software supporting service robots is complex, and requires a variety of interfaces that must be standardized, so that the building block components can work together consistently and most importantly, safely. Learn more by reading this request for proposals.