An ontological approach to logistics

L.M. Daniele, Luis Ferreira Pires

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    In today’s global market, the competitiveness of enterprises is strongly dictated by their ability to collaborate with other enterprises. Ontologies enable common understanding of concepts and have been acknowledged as a powerful means to foster collaboration, both within the boundaries of an individual enterprise (intra-enterprise) as outside these boundaries (inter-enterprise). This paper argues that the use of ontologies can be beneficial for enterprise interoperability in the logistics domain, to improve communication and foster knowledge reuse, to facilitate the integration of existing systems and to support the development process of software solutions. Our experience shows that the development of ontologies for logistics is not a trivial task, and guidelines and best practices are necessary in this domain, especially to bridge the gap between theory and practice. On the one hand, proper theoretical and methodological support for ontology engineering is necessary in order to deliver precise, consistent and well-founded solutions to the market. On the other hand, solutions to practical issues should be provided and not take too long to be produced in order not to be detached from the original real market needs. This paper proposes an ontological approach for logistics that balances the trade-off between precision and pragmatism, by combining top-down and bottom-up practices for ontology engineering. From a top-down perspective, we promote the reuse of existing general-purpose (upper) ontologies and specialize them for the purpose of logistics. From a bottom-up perspective, we reuse code lists and classifications that already exist in logistics to support the creation of instances of our upper level concepts. The paper also presents a representative fragment of our core ontology for logistics and identifies areas for further work in ontology engineering for logistics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEnterprise Interoperability, Research and Applications in the Service-oriented Ecosystem, IWEI'13 Proceedings
    EditorsM. Zelm, Marten J. van Sinderen, G. Doumeingts
    Place of PublicationSurrey, Great Britain
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)978-1-84821-662-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventEnterprise Interoperability, Research and Applications in the Service-oriented Ecosystem, IWEI 2013 - Enschede, the Netherlands
    Duration: 26 Mar 201326 Mar 2013

    Publication series

    PublisherISTE Ltd, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


    WorkshopEnterprise Interoperability, Research and Applications in the Service-oriented Ecosystem, IWEI 2013
    Other26 March 2013


    • SCS-Services
    • semantic models
    • EWI-24147
    • METIS-300238
    • Logistics
    • Ontologies
    • IR-88351
    • Interoperability


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