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EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, 2006 - Lars Taxén Ontologies at Ericsson Why and How Lars Taxén, PhD Department of Science and Technology, Campus Norrköping,

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Presentation on theme: "EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, 2006 - Lars Taxén Ontologies at Ericsson Why and How Lars Taxén, PhD Department of Science and Technology, Campus Norrköping,"— Presentation transcript:

1 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Ontologies at Ericsson Why and How Lars Taxén, PhD Department of Science and Technology, Campus Norrköping, Linköping University

2 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Background Lars Taxén M.Sc. KTH 1968 Ericsson –Development methods for hardware and software –Global information system support for coordination Doctoral studies Linköping University –A Framework for the Coordination of Complex Systems Development Now researcher and consultant There is nothing so practical as a good theory. (Kurt Lewin)

3 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Background Lars Taxén M.Sc. KTH 1968 Ericsson –Tools, methods, processes Ellemtel –Development methods for hardware and software Ericsson –Global development of large telecom systems, information system support for coordination Doctoral studies Linköping University –A Framework for the Coordination of Complex Systems Development Now researcher and consultant There is nothing so practical as a good theory. (Kurt Lewin)

4 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Outline Definitions of ontology Telecommunication systems Pragmatic ontologies at Ericsson - why and how Formal ontologies in the literature Comparison Discussion Conclusions

5 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Ontology in philosophy Ontology studies being or existence as well as the basic categories thereoftrying to find out what entities and what types of entities exist. Ontology has strong implications for the conceptions of reality.

6 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Definition Ontologies are content theories about the sorts of objects, properties of objects, and relations between objects that are possible in a specified domain of knowledge. Chandrasekaran et al. (1999) What Are Ontologies, and Why Do We Need Them? IEEE Intelligent Systems, Jan/Feb 1999

7 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Two types of ontologies Pragmatic ontologies –Context models at Ericsson –Used to coordinate complex development projects –Social action theories (Activity Theory, Structuration Theory, Actor Network Theory, etc.) Formal ontologies –Origin in the AI community –Currently hot topic in the Semantic Web –First-order logic

8 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Telecom background

9 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén The telecom network Service Providers Network Access Points Wide-band Backbone LAN Exchange Router

10 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Developing a node Issues Development lead-times Coordination and dependencies Progress follow-up Culture - disciplines Geographical distribution Commitments and responsibilities Competence Quality Drivers Market push Shorter time to market More competitors Less margins Shorter product life cycles Technological complexity Standardization Change

11 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Development of 3G mobile systems Development centers S-domain (Stockholm) A-domain (Aachen) L-domain (Linköping) C-domain (Stockholm)

12 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén

13 Coordination The management of dependencies btw activities –Malone & Crowston, 1994 Communal meaning about how to coordinate –requirements –engineering change orders –products –documents describing products –test cases –integrations –baselines –milestones –deliveries –... Information system support

14 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Pragmatic ontologies at Ericsson - a historical Odyssey

15 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén From waterfall to integration centric development Analysis Design Verification Plan Integrate Big Bang Plan Integrate Increment

16 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Method development 1996 S-domain Incremental Development Method Package

17 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Project Customer New Feature Set of reqs Increment Specification System Issue Baseline Increment Design Item Document Project Document Product Document AXE System Issue Specification Implementation Test Object MCI Test Case Interface Characte- ristics Function Incr. Task Specification Incr MS def Assignment Specification Proj MS def AD plan Constr. plan Function Anatomy Incr dep. matrix AD package Project Design Base MCI New categories Context model S-domain 1996

18 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Information system support S-domain Incremental Development Method Package Information system (IS) introduced

19 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Customer Feature Set of Reqs System Issue AD Package Tech. Feature Inc Spec Feature Increment Feature Increment Impact Increment Task Spec Inc. MS Project AD TaskAD MS Increment Responsible Resource Design Item Functional Anatomy Function Design Base ProductDocument Individual Teaml LDC Sub projectl Project IS IP FF...ANTCNTCAAFSFDTS... Project MS New categories Context model S-domain 1997

20 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén IS support for the context model S-domain 1997

21 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Prototyping real usage S-domain Incremental Development Method Package Information system (IS) in pilot projects 1st sharp project prototype

22 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Role Requirement Coordinator Designer Configuration Manager Project Manager Baseline CCB Meeting CCB Decision CR Comment Change Request Needs Function Design Base DESIGN ITEM DOCUMENT PROJECT DOCUMENT PRODUCT DOCUMENT PRODUCT System Issue AD Package INCREMENT Consists _Of MILESTONE Design Base Baseline Change Request Project AD Task Increment Task REQUIREMENT Project MS AD MS Increment MS PROJ. ITEMS IP Req Issuer Input Req Detailed Req TECH INCR SPEC REQUIREMENT Parent_Child Context model S-domain 1998

23 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén First project S-domain Incremental Development Method Package Information system (IS) in pilot projects 1st sharp project up and running 1st sharp project prototype

24 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Consists _Of Includes Role Requirement Coordinator Designer Configuration Manager Project Manager Baseline CCB Meeting CCB Decision CR Comment Change Request Needs, Impacts Use Case Design Base DESIGN ITEM DOCUMENT PROJECT DOCUMENT PRODUCT DOCUMENT PRODUCT System Issue AD Package MILESTONE Project Project MS Increment MS PROJ. ITEMS IP Req Issuer Input Req Detailed Req TECH INCR SPEC REQUIREMENT Parent_Child INCREMENT DELIVERY Alloca tedTo Includes TestedBy Package TEST ITEM Test Case Function Consists _Of Context model S-domain 1999

25 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Expansion A-domain S-domain L-domain Incremental Development Method Package Information system (IS) in pilot projects 1st sharp project up and running st sharp project prototype Two more domains created

26 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Context model A-domain 2001 Feature WP FFRSIP (s)WPG High-level RS Holds SIP ARS, CRS, MRS Tagged (H)RS Item Feature Group prio Features DescribedIn* DescribedIn DependsOn Has Feature Groups Detailed RS toAnatomy RS_IP RS_SIP IP_FFFF_WP SIP_IP Product Impacts LSV IncludedIn DependsOn

27 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Expansion A-domain S-domain L-domain Incremental Development Method Package Information system (IS) in pilot projects 1st sharp project up and running st sharp project prototype Two more domains created Two more IS applications

28 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Context model S-domain 2001 Depends_on ANATOMY_ITEM TEST_ITEM DESIGN_ITEM Impacts (man-hours) REQUIREMENT Tested_by Included_In Directed_To (fulfillment-status) Baseline PROGRESS_CONTROL_ITEM MILESTONE CR CHANGE_PROPOSAL_ITEM TR INTEGRATION_ITEM LSV AD-package PROD_DOC PRODUCT Work Package Feature Increment Requirement Issuer has !

29 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Centralization A-domain Incremental Development Method Package Information system (IS) in pilot projects 1st sharp project up and running st sharp project prototype Two more domains created Ericsson common domain serving the other domains S-domain X X ? C-domain L-domain One common Ericsson domain

30 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Context model C-domain 2003

31 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Context model evolution A-domain S-domain X X ? C-domain L-domain

32 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Construction of context models

33 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Entities Relations Names, icons Types of requirements Life cycle of requirements Attributes on requirements Attributes on relations Cardinalities on relations Revision stepping rules Actor roles Access rights for roles... A detail in the context model To be defined...

34 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Constructing communal meaning the key issue We also had major discussion about the attributes for each and every object, what do they really mean and how are they to be used. That was also something that caused quite a lot of time. (Project Manager 3G)

35 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Construction process Req. mgr Communal meaning Meaningful artifacts Individual meaning Proj. mgrIS vendor Architect

36 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén A comparison - between context models at Ericsson and ontologies in the literature

37 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Properties of ontologies from the literature There are objects in the world Objects have properties or attributes that can take values Objects can exist in various relations with each other Objects can have parts Properties and relations can change over time There are events that occur at different time instants There are processes in which objects participate and that occur over time The world and its objects can be in different states Events can cause other events or states as effects Example adapted after Edgington et al. (2004) Adopting Ontology to Facilitate Knowledge Sharing, Chandrasekaran et al. (1999) What Are Ontologies, and Why Do We Need Them?

38 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Properties of context models at Ericsson There are objects in the world Objects have properties or attributes that can take values Objects can exist in various relations with each other Objects can have parts Properties and relations can change over time There are events that occur at different time instants There are processes in which objects participate and that occur over time The world and its objects can be in different states Events can cause other events or states as effects

39 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Formal Ontologies - related to the Semantic Web

40 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Semantic web - purpose The application of Semantic Web technologies to enable Semantic eBusiness provides the organizations the means to design collaborative and integrative, inter- and intra- organizational business processes and systems founded upon the seamless exchange of knowledge.

41 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Formally defined...The only languages [to describe the entities involved and the relationships between them] that are likely to fit the bill are mathematical, and the prime contenders are understandable in terms of first-order logic.

42 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Conceptions of knowledge … knowledge is a collection of facts about a domain. …encoding knowledge in terms of the concepts and relations. Ontological analysis clarifies the structure of knowledge

43 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Meaning Ontologies will provide the necessary meaning to web content therefore enabling software agents to understand and retrieve information in relevant contexts.

44 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Separation of ontology and knowledge An ontology provides a set of concepts and terms for describing some domain, while a knowledge base uses those terms to represent what is true about some real or hypothetical world.

45 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Stability Ontology,... is supposed to reflect... the well established knowledge of a given area... It should be stable and throughout used.

46 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Commonality Communication between distinct groups using different vocabularies creates the need to create common vocabularies, which optimally suit all involved

47 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Machine processing We have presented an automated approach to unifying heterogeneous information models based on machine-processable metadata specifications.

48 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Discussion

49 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Basic tenets formal ontologies Knowledge –A collection of facts that are true –Can be managed –Is discovered –Ontologies separate from knowledge Ontologies –Give meaning –Describe some part of the real world –External to the worlds they describe –Stable –Formally defined –Can be machine processed –Validated according to compliance with facts, truth

50 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Basic tenets pragmatic ontologies Knowledge –Intrinsic to humans, knowledge is what a knower knows –Constructed in action –Not a commodity –Ontologies are inseparable from knowledge Ontologies –Instruments for constructing communal meaning –Domain specific –Provide a communal language in the domain –In constant evolution –Informally described - easy to interpret for humans –Machine processing not a prerequisite –Validated for usefulness in the domain

51 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Formal versus pragmatic ontologies Commodity Inherent Description Stable Formal Truth Uniform External Inherently human Constructed Action Evolution Significant Usability Multitude Internal FormalPragmatic Knowledge Usage Change Model Validation Commonality Meaning On the surface formal and pragmatic ontologies look the same Fundamentally different conceptions of knowledge Existence

52 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Issues Ontology for ontologies –Knowledge for description or action? –Is knowledge equal to facts? –Can knowledge be managed? –Are ontologies external to the world it describes? Meaning –Do ontologies encode meaning? Unification –Is it possible to define one size fits all ontology? Validation –Usefulness or truth? Development –Stable or dynamic world?

53 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Activity Domain Theory Focus on communal meaning Activity Modalities –Spatialization –Temporalization –Technologization –Stabilization –Contextualization –Transition –Pragmatic communication Ontology is one modality - spatialization –Other modalities need to be considered in ontology construction

54 EAFT / Nordterm workshop, Vasa, Lars Taxén Further reading Taxén L (2003) A Framework for the Coordination of Complex Systems Development. Dissertation No Linköping University, Dep. of Computer &Information Science, Retrieved from (Nov 2004)http://www.ep.liu.se/diss/science_technology/08/00/index.html Taxén L (2004): Articulating Coordination of Human Activity - the Activity Domain Theory. In Proceedings of the 2nd International workshop on Action in Language, Organisations and Information Systems (ALOIS-2004), Linköping University. Retrieved from (Dec 2005). Taxén L (2005) Categorizing Objective Meaning in Activity Systems, in Whymark G, Hasan H (Eds.), Activity as the Focus of Information Systems Research, Eveleigh, Australia: Knowledge Creation Press, pp Taxén L (2005) An Integrated Approach for the Coordination of Distributed Software Development Projects, Information and Software Technology, (in press).


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