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Ontology in Model-Based Systems Engineering. Henson Graves 29 January 2011. Preview Of Monday Discussion Topics. SysML and ontology in biomedical modeling Ontology reuse in MBSE Ontology for identifying and resolving model ambiguity

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Ontology in model based systems engineering

Ontology in Model-Based Systems Engineering

Henson Graves

29 January 2011

Preview of monday discussion topics
Preview Of Monday Discussion Topics

SysML and ontology in biomedical modeling

Ontology reuse in MBSE

Ontology for identifying and resolving model ambiguity

Approaches to integrating SysML with logic based frameworks, e.g., OWL

Overlap with other MBSE working groups

Enterprise modeling (DoDAF, …

MBSE standards

Issues, questions, what else is going on,…

Sysml and ontology in biomedical modeling

SysML and Ontology in Biomedical Modeling

Henson Graves

Yvonne Bijan

30 January 2011

Human heart use case for structural modeling
Human Heart Use Case For Structural Modeling

Focus of conceptual modeling is on structure

Conceptual modeling objectives
Conceptual Modeling Objectives

Construct a model that captures what is common to all (or at least) most human hearts

corresponds to product model, or product line

Perform general reasoning about effects of pathology and disease symptom propagation

general properties of operation

Use general case to analyze and reason about a specific heart

fault detection

Mbse interest
MBSE Interest

Do the modeling principles used by Description Logic (OWL) community offer anything for MBSE?

Will these examples and the DL models help us understand how to integrate formal reasoning with SysML?

How do biomedical examples look in SysML?

Do the modeling principles used for air vehicles and other systems work in biomedical domain?

Ontology reuse in mbse

Ontology Reuse In MBSE

Henson Graves

January 2011

Ontology applications in mbse
Ontology Applications in MBSE


Units and measures

Physical interactions (laws)

Material classification and properties

Enterprise concepts

Levels of rigor


Informal textual semantics of vocabulary

Formal (axiomatic) semantics

Approaches to achieving ontology reuse
Approaches To Achieving Ontology Reuse

  • Identify candidate ontologies, acquire and make available

  • Start over with uniform modeling principles

Common mbse modeling questions and how ontology helps

Common MBSE Modeling Questions and How Ontology Helps

Henson Graves

Conrad Bock

January 10, 2011

What does a model describe
What Does a Model Describe

Are the things described by a model all the same, or can they be different?

In particular, do they all have the same parts linked together in the same way?

The answer is no (perhaps intentionally) if

The model is incomplete.

Does a car have more than engines and wheels?

Are there any specializations of the model? Is there more than one model of the same car?

The model is complete, but isn’t specific.

What kind of engine? What kind of wheel? Which goes with which?

Parts aren’t distinguished or equated.

Does the car roll on the driven wheels?

Ontology languages
Ontology Languages

Ontology languages enable modelers to say how they want these questions to be answered

Doesn’t mean system engineers need to learn ontology languages

Ontology languages can motivate and validate extensions to SysML/UML and other modeling languages to address ambiguities

Improves quality of communication between people, between people and machines, and between machines

Giving a model a descriptive name (“complete car model”) does not mean that people or machines know exactly what you are talking about.

Integrating sysml with owl or other logic based formalisms

Integrating SysML with OWL

(or other logic based formalisms)

Henson Graves

Conrad Bock

Why integrate sysml with logic
Why Integrate SysML With Logic

Engineering has always been about

building models of real world domains,

analyzing models and making measurements

refining and modifying the models

Integrating a modeling language with logic-based system enables

Standardization of model semantics

Checking that model integration does not lead to inconsistency

Automated reasoning tools to perform tasks which outstrip manual capability

formal derivations for justification of engineering decisions

How does integration with logic achieve objectives
How Does Integration With Logic Achieve Objectives

Constructions in logical language are given (axiomatic and/or referential) semantics, e.g.,

Codify expected properties of language constructions such as subclass, instance, part,…

Allow users as they model systems to not be dependent on subject matter experts to convey their meaning

Use automated reasoning, based on formal semantics, for consistency checking as models are developed and merged

Formal derivations (proofs) can provide justification for assumptions and decisions made on basis of models

Some different approaches to integration
Some Different Approaches To Integration

Learn some logic based language, say FOL, or OWL and use that

recognizing that logic is primary

Translate SysML into OWL and back in so far as is possible

Switch back and forth

Provide SysML with a formal logical foundation

allow users to work within SysML and take advantage of reasoning tools

A stack of semantic standards for ontologies
A Stack of Semantic Standards for Ontologies



Common Vocabulary

Modeling Language


Common Meaning


Metadata Standards


Data Interchange Format Standards


Resource Identification Standards


Increasing use of standards

To enable semantic interoperability