An extensible argumentation model for ontology matching negotiation

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With the advent of new technological and socio-organizational paradigms raised by the globalization phenomenon, information and communication systems are facing unprecedented levels of distribution, heterogeneity and evolution. In this context, many applications/scenarios see the ontology matching process as an appropriate approach to overcome such heterogeneity since it is able to define an alignment between two ontologies at the conceptual level, which in turn is further exploited to enhance interoperability between applications and/or systems. Due to the subjective nature of ontologies, context, preferences, interests and alignment requirements, different systems have contradictory and inconsistent perspectives about the alignment. Consequently, conflicts arise between systems about the best alignment to use. To address such conflicts, ontology matching negotiation arises as promising approach enabling systems to establish a consensual alignment between their ontologies. There are two kinds of ontology matching negotiation approaches: (i) relaxation-based approaches and (ii) argument-based approaches. The first contribution of this thesis is the identification and description of several limitations in the state-of-the-art. These limitations drove the research efforts described in this thesis in order to overcome them. This thesis focus on researching argumentation-based (semi-) automatic negotiation approaches and methodologies that exploit existing ontology matching tools in order to permit heterogeneous applications/systems to overcome potentially existing divergences in establishing a consensual ontology alignment, and consequently facilitating their interoperability. Despite the focus of the thesis, several of the presented contributions go beyond the ontology matching negotiation domain, such that they are also applicable in a diversity of domains including e-commerce, legal reasoning and decision making. In this particular, two generic contributions are highlighted. The first generic contribution is the proposal of an iterative and incremental argument-based negotiation process that promotes the adoption of an explicit, formal and extensible specification of a shared argumentation model between argument-based negotiating agents. Argumentation is adopted by the negotiating agents as a modeling formalism for theoretical and practical reasoning and, therefore, governing the internal and external agents’ behavior. The second contribution concerns the specification of a general argumentation framework that (i) comprehends a conceptualization layer to capture the semantics of the argumentation data employed in a specific context and (ii) provides modularity and extensibility features that simplify its adoption by argumentation systems. Yet, it also adopts a general and intuitive argument structure which is largely accepted by the argumentation community. Finally, a third contribution concerns the application of the previous generic contributions to the ontology matching negotiation domain. The novel argument-based negotiation approach exploits and profits from these generic contributions to overcome (most of) the limitations previously identified in the state-of-the-art on argument-based ontology matching negotiation. Accordingly, the dichotomy and the symbiosis between the generic contributions and ontology matching negotiation contributions are intrinsic and an essential part of this thesis.
Tese de Doutoramento em Engenharia Electrotécnica e de Computadores
Ontologias , Mapeamentos