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Semantics of the distributed ontology language: Institutes and Institutions

Till Mossakowski; Oliver Kutz; Christoph Lange
In: Recent Trends in Algebraic Development Techniques. International Workshop on Algebraic Development Techniques (WADT-12), June 7-10, Salamanca, Spain, Springer, 2012.


The Distributed Ontology Language (DOL) is a recent development within the ISO standardisation initiative 17347 Ontology Integration and Interoperability (OntoIOp). In DOL, heterogeneous and distributed ontologies can be expressed, i.e. ontologies that are made up of parts written in ontology languages based on various logics. In order to make the DOL meta-language and its semantics more easily accessible to the wider ontology community, we have developed a notion of institute which are like institutions but with signature partial orders and based on standard set-theoretic semantics rather than category theory. We give an institute-based semantics for the kernel of DOL and show that this is compatible with institutional semantics. Moreover, as it turns out, beyond their greater simplicity, institutes have some further surprising advantages over institutions.