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Bottom-Up Construction of Ontologies
July/August 1998 (vol. 10 no. 4)
pp. 513-526

Abstract—We present a particular way of building ontologies that proceeds in a bottom-up fashion. Concepts are defined in a way that mirrors the way their instances are composed out of smaller objects. The smaller objects themselves may also be modeled as being composed. Bottom-up ontologies are flexible through the use of implicit and, hence, parsimonious part-whole and subconcept-superconcept relations. The bottom-up method complements current practice, where, as a rule, ontologies are built top-down. The design method is illustrated by an example involving ontologies of pure substances at several levels of detail. It is not claimed that bottom-up construction is a generally valid recipe; indeed, such recipes are deemed uninformative or impossible. Rather, the approach is intended to enrich the ontology developer's toolkit.

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Index Terms:
Knowledge engineering, knowledge base management, ontology, knowledge integration, domain model, hierarchical reasoning.
Citation:
Paul E. van der Vet, Nicolaas J.I. Mars, "Bottom-Up Construction of Ontologies," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 513-526, July-Aug. 1998, doi:10.1109/69.706054
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