Re: OWL-Space

From: Harry Chen (
Date: 11/18/03

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    Hello Jerry,
    I am currently using OWL to define spatial and temporal ontologies for 
    supporting pervasive context-aware systems (e.g., smart meeting 
    scenarios). In my system, Context Broker Architecture (CoBrA), the 
    spatial ontology consists of symbolic representation of spatial 
    concepts and relations (e.g., regions, buildings, rooms). At present, 
    my ontology adopts a subset of the spatial concepts from the OpenCyc 
    ontology and the Region Connection Calculus (RCC). It also includes a 
    simple ontology based on the Part-Whole relations.
    Based on this ontology, we are currently prototyping a smart meeting 
    room system to detect and reason about meeting participants' location 
    context (i.e., spatial properties described with temporal attributes) 
    using FIPA/Jade, Jena and Jess.
    A part of my research objective is to use spatial ontologies to support 
    user privacy protection in a smart meeting room system. For example, 
    using policy rules, a user specifies the granularity of his location 
    information that can be publicly shared. Knowing his current location 
    information (i.e., a set of facts that can be deduced using spatial 
    ontologies or other means of inferences), systems can reason about 
    which subset of this information is allowed to be publicly shared and 
    which subset should be kept secrete from the public.
    My ontology and a number of other spatial ontologies that I have 
    surveyed (e.g., OpenCyc and RCC) mainly provide constructs for modeling 
    space using symbolic representation. I believe an important next step 
    in building standard spatial ontology should include representation of 
    space using geometric systems (e.g., GIS). It would be even better if 
    the resulting ontology is an integrated version of the symbolic and 
    geometric systems.
    A practical use of this ontology is the following: knowing a person who 
    is attending some meeting in RM 300 in the ITE building on the UMBC 
    campus, given his policy "only share my location information that has 
    granularity greater 1 mile", the system can infer his location 
    information that can be publicly shared includes "he is located on the 
    UMBC campus", but does not include "he is located in the ITE building" 
    or "he is located in in RM 300". The reason is because both the ITE 
    building and the RM 300 have geometric properties that are less than 1 
    Here is a draft version of my spatial ontology and description of the 
    CoBrA system. This work is done in collaboration with my PhD research 
    advisor Prof. Tim Finin.
    - - See "Space Ontologies" for space ontologies
    - - See "UMBC Ontologies" for example use of the ontologies
    Context Broker Architecture (papers)
    - - Harry
    On Monday, Nov 17, 2003, at 23:12 US/Eastern, Jerry Hobbs wrote:
    > The OWL-Space (formerly DAML-Space) effort has gone through a long
    > period of quiesence, due primarily to a lack of adequate funding here.
    > This problem isn't entirely solved, but here at ISI we have money that
    > will allow Tom Russ and me to pursue it in a serious way for the next
    > few months.  That should at least get it well launched.
    > The first order of business is to bug those people who agreed to (or
    > suggested they might) send out a list of their requirements.  I won't
    > name names, since I've been the most derelict of the bunch.  But we
    > hope to come up with an initial specification in a week or two of what
    > needs to be covered and the more requirements statements we have by
    > then the better it will be.
    > It would also be good to get an updated list of spatial reasoning
    > resources that are available at various places, and an updated list of
    > similar efforts we should coordinate with.
    > -- Jerry
    - --
    Harry Chen <> Ebiquity Research Group <> Dept. of CSEE, UMBC <>
    <>   8303 775C F587 8F91 673B  000A C396 A7F5 C12B D936   <>
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