Document title:

Ontology Work Plan

Document number:


Document source:

(see authors below)

Document status:


Date of this status:


Change history:


Initial draft


Revised version


Modifications according to preliminary FAB comments


FAB comments (see end)


Revisions according to changes in work


Patricia Charlton Jonathan Dale

<> <>


Problem Statement: FIPA has a number of outstanding, informally defined ontologies in its specifications. The aim of this work plan is to produce a FIPA ontology repository in which more formally defined ontologies can be produced and distributed. Additionally, this work plan will revisit the FIPA Ontology Service to see if it can be generalize to other ontology frameworks.




1.       To identify the requirements of agent technology for ontologies which are not addressed by existing efforts, such as, intersection with content languages, ontology scoping across multiple ontologies, ontology integrity (versioning), etc.


2.       To define existing FIPA ontologies (in a publicly accessible-repository) and model in a choice of ontology representation language(s), for example, to either specify all FIPA ontologies in DAML+OIL, or, using multiple, different ontology representation languages.


3.       To review and update the former work on ontologies by FIPA [FIPA00086].


4.       To define or adopt a set of ontologies to describe common concepts some of which may be defined as upper ontologies, such as a policy ontology, a security ontology, a service ontology, etc.


Technology: There are a number of developments in ontology standards and tools that have relevance and this TC will analyse and recommend the most useful and appropriate for FIPA.


Output generated:


1.       A white paper describing agent ontology requirements, also taking into account requirements from the CFI, for example, input from Agentcities, etc.


2.       Descriptions of existing FIPA ontologies in chosen ontology representation languages; frames (UML?) as abstract representation, ontology representation language as concrete representation.


3.       Breakdown of FIPA00086 into; a description of an abstract OS, the reification of the OS in various ontology formalism, for example, OKBC (from FIPA00086) and DAML+OIL (input from Agentcities).


Plan for Work and Milestones: The plan is for a 12 month program of work and includes the following steps:


         2002/07 Produce requirements white paper. Produce draft ontologies modelled in chosen ontology representation language(s). Establish the FIPA ontology repository.

         2002/10 Produce Preliminary versions of FIPA00086 broken down into three separate specifications. Produce final version of FIPA ontologies in abstract and concrete representations

         2003/04 Submit FIPA00086 breakdown specifications for Experimental status.


The project plan will be reviewed and revised, if and when necessary.



         [FIPA00001] FIPA Abstract Architecture Specification

         [FIPA00007] FIPA Content Languages Specification

         [FIPA00025] FIPA Interaction Protocol Library Specification

         [FIPA00037] FIPA Communicative Act Library Specification

         [FIPA00061] FIPA Agent Communication Language Parameters Specification

         [FIPA00086] FIPA Ontology Service Specification


Additional References:

         DAML: DARPA Agent Markup Language,

         OIL: Ontology Inference Language,



         Patricia Charlton, Motorola Laboratories

         Jonathan Dale, Fujitsu Laboratories of America

         Dominic Greenwood, Fujitsu Laboratories of America

         Tim Finin, University Maryland and Baltimore County

         Jim Odell, James Odell Associates

         Hiroki Suguri, Communication Technologies


FAB Comments:

This work plan has been approved and assigned to the Ontology Technical Committee with the following comments and reservations:

         A requirement not to create a new technology within FIPA for addressing ontologies since there is already the FIPA Ontology Service Specification [FIPA00088] and much other work in ontologies, for example, in the W3C, etc.

         A requirement to pay close attention to other standards groups and research groups to reuse as much of their technology as possible and also to assess the viability of advanced research concepts such as automated ontology translation.

         A requirement to assess the use of a chosen ontology representation to the existing FIPA application specifications [FIPA00079-00083].

         A requirement to be crisp in terms of objectives and also to define an ontology representation, etc. not only for FIPA, but also for agents in general.