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An Evaluation of Description Logic for the Development of Product Models



Xenia Fiorentini, Sudarsan Rachuri, Mahesh Mani, Steven J. Fenves, Ram D. Sriram


The languages and logical formalisms developed by information scientists and logicians concentrate on the theory of languages and logical theorem proving. These languages, when used by domain experts to represent their domain of discourse, most often have issues related to the level of expressiveness of the languages and need specific extensions. In this paper we evaluate the levels of logical formalisms and expressivity requirements for the development of ontologies for manufacturing products. We first discuss why the representation of a product model that needs to be shared across globally networked enterprises is inherently complex and prone to inconsistencies. We then explore how these issues can be overcome through a structured knowledge representation model. We report our evaluation of OWL-DL in terms of expressivity and of the use of SWRL for representing domain specific rules. We present a case study of product assembly to document this evaluation and further show how the OWL-DL reasoner together with the rule engine can enable reasoning of the product ontology. We discuss how the proposed product ontology can be used within a manufacturing context.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7481
Report Number


product model, description logic, logical formalisms, domain experts, manufacturing


Fiorentini, X. , Rachuri, S. , Mani, M. , Fenves, S. and Sriram, R. (2008), An Evaluation of Description Logic for the Development of Product Models, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created April 15, 2008, Updated November 10, 2018