Last modified by Linda van den Brink on 2014/09/18 14:49

1.1 Goal of this Guide & Target Audience

The goal of this guide is to describe a complete modeling approach for the Nederlandse Conceptenbibliotheek (CB-NL) Core ontology. It provides explicit requirements and provides the  and rules to be used by modelers who define concepts in the CB-NL. The modeling process consists of modelers capturing construction knowledge from experts in the Dutch construction domain, and translating that knowledge into the ontology of CB-NL. The construction domain comprises all life stages of construction works: client’s brief, design, construction and maintenance.

The target audience are the expert modelers capturing construction knowledge provided by clients like Rijkswaterstaat, Rijksgebouwendienst and ProRail, consultancy/engineering firms like Arcadis and Movaris, and contractors like Ballast Nedam, Heijmans and VolkerWessels.

This guide does not describe implementation details. It is one of three documents written by the ICT working group:

  1. This document: defines the modeling approach for the definition of the CB-NL Core ontology;
  2. “Nederlandse Conceptenbibliotheek – implementation guide”: will define an organizational implementation approach. It will describe the roles and functions necessary for the maintenance of CB- NL, procedures for entering new concepts, etc.;
  3. “Nederlandse Conceptenbibliotheek – software implementation guide”: will describe the technical requirements of the software required to realize the CB-NL.

1.2 Scope

This document discusses only the modeling approach for the CB-NL Core (for more information see Positioning CB-NL- a future proof approach). 

Apart from a limited top-level of generic concepts for the of CB-NL taxonomy, from which all other CB-NL concepts are derived, it does not define CB-NL itself.

In this guide we only focus on semantic aspects like classes and properties that define building objects in a meaningful way. Representation or even presentation/visualization-aspects like shape (‘geometry’) are not in scope, although we pay attention to the way such information can be linked to our semantic definitions.


Figure 1: different levels of semantics

The CB-NL resides on the class level, i.e. concepts in the CB-NL denote a class of objects; for example, the class Door denotes all possible variations of doors you can find in the real world. The class Door is in the CB-NL, individual variations of doors are not. This guideline focusses on the semantics of the CB-NL ontology, and its vocabulary, taxonomy, concept properties, and relationships. The CB-NL will provide the means for instantiating real objects in systems that are linked to the CB-NL, but how this is done is out of scope for this modeling guide.

Finally, this guide is also not a functional specification for CB-NL compliant software functionalities although decisions made in this guide determine to a large extent the demands and wishes for the open interfaces such software functionalities must, should or could support.

1.3 Process

This modeling guide is developed in an iterative/incremental way. The first specifications of this guide by the CB-NL ICT group were given to the expert modelers to put into practice and give feedback for improvement. In parallel, the content working groups developed their own detailed guidelines, which were added to this modeling guide when they became sufficiently stable. 

Together with CB-NL itself, this modeling guide is a living document and will evolve in time. The first editions are edited by the ICT group of CB-NL. Together with the growing content of the ontology the guide will evolve in time as a consequence of feedback from modelers, implementers and end-users.

Because of the inherent complexity of the subject we will try to constantly relate the theory and technicalities to examples from daily construction practice.

1.4 Reading Guide

This document contains the ‘Modeling guide’ for the CB-NL. The document is initially meant to be used by modeling experts working on the CB-NL and can therefore be considered as complex and abstract for readers without any modeling knowledge. The reader should be aware of this because of the risk of misinterpretation. For questions related to the content of this document, please contact the editor or other members of the ICT group of the CB-NL.

As described, this document was initially written for CB-NL modelers. But this document is also very useable for other organizations, for example for third party organizations who want to connect their ICT systems, tools or own ontologies or vocabularies with the CB-NL, and require more inside in the modeling principles of the CB-NL; or simply for inspiration.

Chapter 2 describes how the CB-NL is positioned in relation to Dutch as well as international vocabularies and ontologies, and how the CB-NL is divided into a Core and Contexts. Chapter 3 describes the requirements of the CB-NL ontology. Chapter 4 gives a full description of the language used to model the CB-NL concepts (OWL), gives design patterns, etc. Chapter 5 gives the practical guidelines for modelers and content working group members who are selecting and defining concepts for the CB-NL core.  Chapter 6 introduces the top level of the CB-NL taxonomy. 

Created by Linda van den Brink on 2014/09/18 10:16

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