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Modules in Transition - Conservativity, Composition, and Colimits

Oliver Kutz; Till Mossakowski
In: Bernardo Cuenca-Grau; Vasant Honavar; Anne Schlicht; Frank Wolter (Hrsg.). Second International Workshop on Modular Ontologies. International Workshop on Modular Ontologies (WoMO-07), located at Fourth International Conference on Knowledge Capture (K-CAP-07), October 28, Whistler, BC, Canada, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Vol. 315, CEUR-WS, 2007.


Several modularity concepts for ontologies have been studied in the literature. Can they be brought to a common basis? We propose to use the language of category theory, in particular diagrams and their colimits, for answering this question. We outline a general approach for representing combinations of logical theories, or ontologies, through interfaces of various kinds, based on diagrams and the theory of institutions. In particular, we consider theory interpretations, language extensions, symbol identification, and conservative extensions. We study the problem of inheriting conservativity between sub-theories in a diagram to its colimit ontology. Finally, we apply this to the problem of conservativity when composing DDLs or E-connections.

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