INTAS Grant INTAS-94-1817
Information System Semantic Interoperability
Project starting date
Prof. E.J. Neuhold
GMD -- German National Research Center for Information Technology,
Integrated Publication and Information Systems Institute,
- Institute for Problemds of Informatics of the Russian Academy of Science, Moscow,
Russia (Leonid Kalinichenko)
- Kiev State University, Ukraine (Nikolaj Nikitchenko)
- Versailles University, PRISM Laboratory, France (Georges Gardarin)
- Integrated Publication and Information Systems Institute, GMD, Darmstadt, Germany (Erick Neuhold)
The primary objectives of the INFOSEM project are to investigate, prototype
and disseminate methodologies and basic techniques allowing construction
of semantically interoperable information systems based on the pre-existing
heterogeneous information resources.
A modelling methodology and language facilities meeting the requirements
of information resource / application specification completeness, equivalence
and uniformity will be developed. Basic framework and discipline leading
to semantic interoperation will constitute the methodology for refinement
of the application specification by the resource patterns in the interoperable
environment. Sound foundations necessary for justification of validity
of information system specification concretization by the coherent resource
compositions will be incorporated.
The project is specifically oriented towards database-intensive systems.
However, semantic interoperation of arbitrary information resources from
industrial frameworks will be also supported.
The overall architecture of the sematically interoperable information systems
design environment has been defined over the collection of models including
ontological model, requirement planning / analysis model, design model,
implementation model, information resource specification model. One and
the same canonical semi-formal object model (SYNTHESIS) has been defined
to be used for different architecture layers.
To give the canonical model exact meaning, a mapping of this object
model into the formal Abstract Machine Notation providing precise meaning
for the language has been constructed. Thus, we get the semi-formal object
model and its formal counterpart that we can use together as a common paradigm
for uniform specifications of pre-existing components and for different
modeling tasks used on various phases of the information systems development.
Unified Modeling Language (UML) has been chosen as a graphical notation
for all phases of the process of development. We supply this notation with
a clean object semantics given by the canonical object model.
The architectural framework for component-based information systems
development is designed so that the SYNTHESIS method itself could be neutral
to existing Object Analysis and Design (OAD) methods. Forward and Backward
phases of the methods have been augmented with specific SYNTHESIS facilities,
such as ontological specifications needed to resolve contextual differences
with the pre-existing resources and complete specifications of types in
the canonical object model possessing a possibility to justify reuse on
the basis of formal specification and proof facilities.
A method and a process for the semantically interoperable systems design
has been developed. We apply a model of composite objects integrating data
and behaviour from various sources. The data and /or behaviour residing
at each source are regarded as fragments of the composite object. We consider
type reducts as the basic patterns of reuse. So, we decompose type specifications
into a collection of reducts that can serve as units of reuse and composition.
Thus we specify types of the resource fragments as reducts of the required
type and provide their composition in a bottom up fashion. Federated composite
objects are created by integration of such fragments using views above
original resource type definitions.
Type refinement is identified in the project as the fundamental property
that is required to justify a correctness of substitution of fragments
of one type for another so that we can reuse pre-existing objects state
and behaviour. An approach for discovery of suitable reducts of resource
types refining reducts of analysis model types to form a design type refining
the required type has been developed.
Method for integration of ontologies of the specification of requirements
and of an information resource has been developed. In process of the integration,
coherence and interrelationship of concepts defined on different levels
is established. The integrated ontological specification provides necessary
basis for search of the information resource type (class) specifications
and their components suitable for the concretization of application type
The SYNTHESIS design procedure has been structured as an autonomous
phase. The metamodel to represent SYNTHESIS entities in the metabase supporting
this specific phase has been defined. The implementation phase of the method
has been specifically designed to be used in the CORBA-based environment.
The prototype of the design and implementation phases of the method has