A Methodology for Product Family Ontology Development Using Formal Concept Analysis and Web Ontology Language

[+] Author and Article Information
Jyotirmaya Nanda1

 The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

Timothy W. Simpson2

 The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802tws8@psu.edu

Soundar R. Kumara

 The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

Steven B. Shooter

 Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837












Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering.


Corresponding author.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 6(2), 103-113 (Dec 23, 2005) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2190237 History: Received December 21, 2004; Revised December 23, 2005

The use of ontologies for information sharing is well documented in the literature, but the lack of a comprehensive and systematic methodology for constructing product ontologies has limited the process of developing ontologies for design artifacts. In this paper we introduce the Product Family Ontology Development Methodology (PFODM), a novel methodology to develop formal product ontologies using the Semantic Web paradigm. Within PFODM, Formal Concept Analysis (FCA) is used first to identify similarities among a finite set of design artifacts based on their properties and then to develop and refine a product family ontology using Web Ontology Language (OWL). A family of seven one-time-use cameras is used to demonstrate the steps of the PFODM to construct such an ontology. The benefit of PFODM lies in providing a systematic and consistent methodology for constructing ontologies to support product family design. The resulting ontologies provide a hierarchical conceptual clustering of related design artifacts, which is particularly advantageous for product family design where parts, processes, and most important, information is intentionally shared and reused to reduce complexity, lead-time, and development costs. Potential uses of the resulting ontologies and FCA representations within product family design are also discussed.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Ontologies
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Figure 1

Product family ontology development methodology (PFODM)

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Figure 2

Graphical representation of AND-NOT quadrant

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Figure 3

Entering the kodak:cover context into ToscanaJ

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Figure 4

Concept lattice of the kodak:cover generated by ToscanaJ

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Figure 5

AND-NOT quadrant for {Cover} and {Shutter Cover}

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Figure 6

OWL representation of kodak:cover class

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Figure 7

Property reference of component class

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Figure 8

Component class and sub-classes of the one-time-use camera ontology

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Figure 9

Protégé IDE showing the camera ontology

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Figure 10

Ontology enrichment of kodak:cover class

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Figure 11

Concept lattice of the kodak:camera generated by ToscanaJ

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Figure 12

Camera class hierarchy representation using ezOWL

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Figure 13

Sample of the one-time-use camera OWL ontology




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