IMC Technologies eDialogos Consensus Ontology

eDialogos Consensus Ontology Specification

V0.1 - 06 February 2012

This version: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/0.1/ns (RDF/XML, HTML)
Latest version: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns
Editors: George Anadiotis, Adam Westerski
Authors: George Anadiotis, Adam Westerski
Contributors: See acknowledgements

Creative Commons License


Abstract

eDialogos Consensus is a standardised data schema (also referred as "ontology" or "vocabulary") designed to reflect the deliberation process in expert systems that obtain the final guidelines through participative role of domain specialists. The primary focus of the model is the process of reaching a consensus on certain issues through discussion of many different points of view. The following document contains the description of ontology and instructions how to connect it with descriptions of other resources.


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    1. Deliberation process and consensus modelling basics
    2. The Semantic Web
    3. What is eDialogos Consensus for?
  2. eDialogos Consensus ontology at a glance
  3. eDialogos Consensus ontology overview
    1. Referenced namespaces
    2. Example
  4. Cross-reference for eDialogos Consensus classes and properties

Appendixes

  1. Changelog
  2. Acknowledgements

1 Introduction

The following specification is a formal description of metadata schema proposal that can be applied to data of systems that allow deliberation over various topics and embed mechanisms to describe the process of reaching a common consensus. The goal of the following section is to provide the basic knowledge to comprehend the technical part of the specification. As such it shall introduce both Semantic Web and general topic of consensus representation and deliberation modelling.

The principal design goal of eDialogos Consensus is to reuse existing ontologies and link together in a new context a number of already defined key concepts for the deliberation process, refer to ontology overview diagram to see how this goal has been achieved.

An important note is that eDialogos Consensus ontology presented here is not a complete model to address the problem of describing and linking deliberation activities in Web systems and inside enterprises. The following schema defines concepts that are not described yet by the means of other ontologies and provides the data attributes that enable to connect personal statements together and with contextual information already defined in metadata created with other ontologies.

1.1 Deliberation process and consensus modelling basics

Historically, the first approach to collaborative problem solving was the IBIS (Issue-Based Information System) methodology by Horst Rittel back in the 1960s. Inevitably all subsequent collaborative problem solving approaches somehow reference it. IBIS success lies in the fact that it provides a structure and a process simple to conceive. The basic model includes just a few concepts:
 Q: Question
       A: Alternative / Answer
          P: Pro
          C: Con
     
As the time progressed there have been a number of approaches to model discussions taking into account different goals and the changing reality of how people collaborate.

The eDialogos Consensus ontology is a solution for modelling discussions as interpreted by IBIS but in the context of the contemporary Web and taking into account the necessity to integrate different information systems with the use of Web technologies (and more specifically metadata publishing and light-weight information system integration). For a quick introduction in IBIS, please refer to this document

Besides IBIS, the ontology heavily reuses concepts from GI2MO, as the concept of Idea is key in this domain and is extended by the Position concept, and peripheral concepts are also reused to model the Collaborative Decision Making domain.

1.2 The Semantic Web

The Semantic Web is a W3C initiative that aims to introduce rich metadata to the current Web and provide machine readable and processable data as a supplement to human-readable Web.

Semantic Web is a mature domain that has been in research phase for many years and with the increasing amount of commercial interest and emerging products is starting to gain appreciation and popularity as one of the rising trends for the future Internet.

One of the corner stones of the Semantic Web is research on inter-linkable and interoperable data schemas for information published online. Those schemas are often referred to as ontologies or vocabularies. In order to facilitate the concept of ontologies that lead to a truly interoperable Web of Data, W3C has proposed a series of technologies such as RDF and OWL. eDialogos Consensus uses those technologies to enable publishing and processing of information related to deliberation process and in particular the building blocks of the achieved consensus by Web communities.

1.3 What is eDialogos Consensus for?

The goals of the eDialogos Consensus ontology to achieve as a data schema are:

For more information please refer to eDialogos platform with implements in practice the ontology and a number of other Semantic Web technologies to deliver a flexible environment for deliberation.

2. eDialogos Consensus ontology at a glance

An alphabetical index of eDialogos Consensus terms, by class (concepts) and by property (relationships, attributes), are given below. All the terms are hyperlinked to their detailed description for quick reference.

Classes: Argument, ArgumentMap, Issue, Note, Position,

Properties: hasAccessContol, hasCreator, hasPositionStatement, hasTag, hasTopic, isAccessContolOf, isCreatorOf, isPositionStatementOf, isTagOf, isTopicOf,

3. eDialogos Consensus ontology overview

The eDialogos Consensus class diagram presented below shows connections between classes and properties used for describing opinions.

Class and Properties Diagram for the eDialogos Consensus Ontology
Class and Properties Diagram for the eDialogos Consensus Ontology (high resolution version: PNG)

3.1. Referenced Namespaces

A common practice in Semantic Web domain is to take advantage of the work previously done and model new domains with the use of widely known and well established vocabularies. This practice simplifies the vocabulary pool, allows to establish naming standards and implement better interoperability and data portability across potentially very different systems.

Within eDialogos project we attempted to follow those rules and part of the eDialogos Consensus model has been described with the use of other ontologies. As a result, some of the classes and properties defined in this specification have references to properties from other ontologies to indicate point of connection. Those referenced ontologies are described with the following namespaces:

Prefix Namespace Specification/ Usage Description
dcterms http://purl.org/dc/terms/ Dublin Core Terms ontology is a core ontology that defines a number of very generic properties such as title, description etc. Those are used across many classes in the Consensus ontology and well as other ontologies mentioned below.
gi2mo http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns# Generic Idea and Innovation Management Ontology. In Consensus we reuse Idea, Idea Contest concepts, as well as concepts related to expert and collaborative review process.
deliberation http://purl.org/edialogos/deliberation/ns# eDialogos Deliberation ontology. The concept of Deliberation is reused for compatibility reason with previous research on combining different online media in the deliberation process.
ibis http://purl.org/ibis# IBIS ontology. Reused to point to the conceptual counterparts in the most basic model of deliberation cycle and to technically enable relationships between ideas and associated discussions.
pb http://www.hypios.com/ontologies/problem/ns# Problem Challenge Ontology. Included in order to model the issue concept, it’s changes over time and challenge marketplaces model.
foaf http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/ Friend Of A Friend ontology. Within Consensus (and through Gi2MO and Problem Challenge ontologies) it is used to model concepts related to user account and the digital personification of a human being.
scot http://scot-project.org/scot/ns# Social Semantic Cloud of Tags ontology. The concepts of this ontology are used to model tags together with Newman's Tags ontology.
tags http://www.holygoat.co.uk/owl/redwood/0.1/tags/ Newman's Tags ontology. The concepts of this ontology are used as a base model tags.

3.2. Example

A very basic example below shows a single opinion annotated with eDialogos Consensus metadata (the second class maps the opinion structure and is shown as reference):

  <consensus:Issue rdf:about="http://www.imc.com.gr/question/1/tordf">
    <consensus:hasCreator rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/user/1/tordf"/>
    <dcterms:created>1318957085</pb:dateOfPublishing>
    <dcterms:title>Question 1</pb:title>
    <gi2mo:content>How to publish data online ?</pb:problemStatement>
    <consensus:hasTag rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/tag/1/tordf"/>
    <pb:challengeType ref:resoucre="http://www.hypios.com/ontologies/problem/ns#RequestForSolutions"/>
    <pb:currentStatus rdf:resoucre="http://www.hypios.com/ontologies/problem/ns#ChallengeOpen"/>
    <pb:challengePage rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/question/1/"/>
    <pb:postedon rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/argumentmap/1/tordf"/>
    <consensus:hasTopic rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/topic/1/tordf"/>
    <consensus:hasTag rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/tag/2/tordf"/>
    <consensus:hasPositionStatement rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/question/1/position/1/tordf"/>
  </consensus:Issue>
      
  <consensus:Position rdf:about="http://www.imc.com.gr/question/1/position/1/tordf">
    <gi2mo:hasCreator rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/user/2/tordf"/>
    <dcterms:created>1318957085</dcterms:created>
    <dcterms:title>Position 1</dcterms:title>
    <gi2mo:content>In lets use RDF .....</gi2mo:content>
    <gi2mo:hasTag rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/tag/1/tordf"/>
    <gi2mo:hasTag rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/tag/2/tordf"/>
    <foaf:page rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/question/1/position/1/"/>
    <gi2mo:hasReview rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/question/1/position/1/rating/tordf"/>
    <consensus:isPositionStatementFor rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/question/1/tordf"/>
    <consensus:isPositionStatementFor rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr/argumentmap/1/tordf"/>
    <gi2mo:isMergedInto rdf:resource="http://www.imc.com.gr:92/question/1/position/3/tordf"/>
  </consensus:Position>
      

4. Cross-reference for eDialogos Consensus classes and properties

Below see a comprehensive list of all eDialogos Consensus classes, properties and their descriptions.

Class: consensus:Argument

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#Argument

Argument - Extended commnets attached to Position statements. In addition to regular notes they allow to explicitly point if the person agrees or disargees with the Position statement.

sub-class-of:
http://purl.org/ibis#Argument
consensus:Note

[back to top]

Class: consensus:Issue

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#Issue

Issue - This class represent a particular problem that is deliberated and has a number of responses in form of Position statements. Issues relating to similar topics or problem area are aggregated using Argument Maps.

sub-class-of:
http://purl.org/ibis#Question
http://www.hypios.com/ontologies/problem/ns#ProblemChallenge
http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns#IdeaContest
in-domain-of:
consensus:hasPositionStatement
consensus:hasTopic
in-range-of:
consensus:isPositionStatementOf
consensus:isTopicOf

[back to top]

Class: consensus:Note

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#Note

Note - Represents simple textual comments attached to Position statements.

sub-class-of:
http://purl.org/ibis#Note
http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns#TextualReview

[back to top]

Class: consensus:Position

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#Position

Position - Represents a position statement posted in response to a certain question. This class can be also used to represent the final consensus position statement that merges selected statements. Gi2MO Idea relationship properties (e.g. gi2mo:isMergedFrom) can be used to express which Positions have been merged into a final one.

sub-class-of:
http://purl.org/ibis#Idea
http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns#Idea
in-domain-of:
consensus:isPositionStatementOf
consensus:hasTopic
in-range-of:
consensus:hasPositionStatement
consensus:isTopicOf

[back to top]

Property: consensus:hasAccessContol

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#hasAccessContol

hasAccessContol - Connects Argument Map with AccessControl

Inverse:
consensus:isAccessContolOf
OWL Type:
ObjectProperty
sub-property-of:
http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns#hasAccessContol
Domain:
consensus:ArgumentMap
Range:
http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns#AccessContolList

[back to top]

Property: consensus:hasCreator

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#hasCreator

hasCreator - Relates ArgumentMap to the description of the person that created it.

Inverse:
consensus:isCreatorOf
OWL Type:
ObjectProperty
sub-property-of:
http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns#hasCreator
Domain:
consensus:ArgumentMap
Range:
http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns#User

[back to top]

Property: consensus:hasPositionStatement

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#hasPositionStatement

PositionStatement - Relates a Position to the Issue or Argument map within which it was posted.

Inverse:
consensus:isPositionStatementOf
OWL Type:
ObjectProperty
Domain:
consensus:Issue
consensus:ArgumentMap
Range:
consensus:Position

[back to top]

Property: consensus:hasTag

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#hasTag

hasTag - Links Issue with its Tags

Inverse:
consensus:isTagOf
OWL Type:
ObjectProperty

[back to top]

Property: consensus:hasTopic

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#hasTopic

hasTopic - Points to the taxonomy term that characterizes an Issue or a Position statement

Inverse:
consensus:isTopicOf
OWL Type:
ObjectProperty
Domain:
consensus:Position
consensus:Issue
Range:
http://www.w3.org/2008/05/skos#Concept

[back to top]

Property: consensus:isAccessContolOf

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#isAccessContolOf

isAccessContol - Connects Argument Map with AccessControl

Inverse:
consensus:hasAccessContol
OWL Type:
ObjectProperty
sub-property-of:
http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns#isAccessControlOf
Domain:
http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns#AccessContolList
Range:
consensus:ArgumentMap

[back to top]

Property: consensus:isCreatorOf

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#isCreatorOf

isCreatorOf - Link a person to the argument map he created.

Inverse:
consensus:hasCreator
OWL Type:
ObjectProperty
sub-property-of:
http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns#isCreatorOf
Domain:
http://purl.org/gi2mo/ns#User
Range:
consensus:ArgumentMap

[back to top]

Property: consensus:isPositionStatementOf

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#isPositionStatementOf

PositionStatement - Relates a Position to the Issue or Argument map within which it was posted.

Inverse:
consensus:hasPositionStatement
OWL Type:
ObjectProperty
Domain:
consensus:Position
Range:
consensus:Issue
consensus:ArgumentMap

[back to top]

Property: consensus:isTagOf

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#isTagOf

isTagOf - Links Issue with its Tags

Inverse:
consensus:hasTag
OWL Type:
ObjectProperty

[back to top]

Property: consensus:isTopicOf

URI: http://purl.org/edialogos/consensus/ns#isTopicOf

isTopicOf - Points to the taxonomy term that characterizes an Issue or a Position statement

Inverse:
consensus:hasTopic
OWL Type:
ObjectProperty
Domain:
http://www.w3.org/2008/05/skos#Concept
Range:
consensus:Position
consensus:Issue

[back to top]

A Changelog

2012-01-06

B Acknowledgements

This documentation has been generated automatically from the most recent ontology specification in OWL using a python script called SpecGen. The style formatting has been inspired on FOAF specification.