A Layered-Structure Ontology for Resolving Semantic Ambiguities of Field-Based Geo Services

Gholamreza Fallahi National Cartographic Center, P.O.Box 13185-1684, Meraj St., Azadi Sq. Tehran, Iran fallahi@ncc.neda.net.ir Abbas Rajabifard, Department of Geomatics, the University of Melbourne Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration Victoria 3010, Australia abbas.r@unimelb.edu.au Mohammad Saadi Mesgari Geodesy and Geomatics Eng. Faculty K.N. Toosi University of Technology Tehran, Iran Mesgari@kntu.ac.ir Andrew U. Frank Institute for Geoinformation and Cartography Technical University of Vienna Vienna, Austria frank@geoinfo.tuwien.ac.at

Abstract Most of the environmental problems do have an obvious spatial dimension. In this regard Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be widely used in various environmental disciplines for solving environmental problems. Therefore linking GIS and environmental models is becoming common and interest in merging the technologies. Currently different methods are used for linking which are based on loosely or tightly coupled methods in standalone systems or distributed computing architecture. Developer and the user are confronted with tedious batch conversion tasks, import/export obstacles, and distributed resource access barriers imposed by heterogeneous processing and data environments in the loosely coupled of standalone systems. The tightly coupled of standalone systems as isolated islands are no longer appropriate for heterogeneous environmental disciplines due to the fact that they are still discipline specific. Due to the lack of interoperability, there is no communication in an interdisciplinary effort between GIS and environmental models. The motivations for adopting new methods are derived from the essential needs for supporting an efficient communication by promoting interoperability between GIS and modelers. The standard protocols, in a service oriented architecture, prepare syntactic interface for


deploying, discovering and invoking geo services and prevents the service requester from understanding the service semantics. The article discusses about the type of semantic ambiguities related to geo web services and proposes a layered structure of ontologies for solving the semantic heterogeneities. Introduction The environmental models do have an obvious spatio-temporal nature. They are occurred in a part of spatial region like surface and subsurface water flow, soil erosion, impact assessment in the event of a chemical and/or oil spill or urban extend. Thus environmental modelers encourage using GIS for describing the models of how environment changes (e.g., models of erosion, flooding, vegetation growth and changes, urbanization). Currently different approaches have been used to link GIS with environmental models. According to Goodchild these approaches can be classified to full integrate (embedding), loose coupling and close coupling [Goodchild, 2001]. A variety of environmental disciplines have entered the modeling arena and a broad range of users belong to environmental disciplines are involved to exchange spatial data and operations. Thus loosely and tightly coupled approaches which respectively lead to tedious batch conversion tasks, import/export obstacles, and distributed resource access barriers and inflexible discipline specific systems between stand alone systems are not able to cover the needs of these broad ranges of user. These approaches cannot inherently take advantage of physical network and internet. These approaches suffer from the lack of interoperability. Due to the popular use of the Internet and the dramatic progress of communications and telecommunications technology, the paradigm of linking GIS and environmental models is shifting into distributed computing technology with independently provided, specialized, interoperable geo services. The next section discusses about current methods of linking GIS and environmental models and their advantages and drawbacks. The distributed computing architecture based on web services establishes communication and provide knowledge sharing between experts by transferring messages which are according to standards protocols. The standard protocols prepare syntactic interface for geo services and prevents the service requesters from understanding the service semantics. The semantic ambiguities make barriers in the process of discovering and invoking web services. The article discusses about the type of semantic ambiguities which is usually associated with geo services. Then a proposed layered structure of ontologies for solving the semantic heterogeneities is explained. Then a proposed upper ontology is presented which exclude general terminological and conceptual ambiguities. Background Most of research works related to linking GIS and environmental models use one of the full integration, loose coupling and tight coupling methods. [e.g. Sydelko, et al, 2000, Fedra, 1996, Djokic, 1996]. The highest level of integration is an embedded system, one in which GIS and modeling functions are interwoven elements of a software system (or full integration). [Goodchild, 2001]. Two systems are considered loosely coupled if the only mandate imposed on both systems is to understand the self-describing, text-based messages. In loose coupling between two standalone systems, developer and the user are confronted with tedious batch conversion tasks, import/export obstacles, and distributed resource access barriers imposed by heterogeneous


processing environments and heterogeneous data [Buehler and McKee, 1996]. Tightly coupled systems, on the other hand, impose a significant amount of customized overhead to enable communication and require a greater understanding between the systems. A disadvantage of many tight coupling approaches is the difficulty involved in modifying and integrating system components. The integration based on the existing closed and monolithic GIS and simulation models includes a high risk in designing systems, being again closed, monolithic, and therefore costly [Fedra 1996]. These systems are incorporating interfaces, programs and data. Every element is embedded inside GIS and can not be separated from the rest of the architecture. The problems resulting from tight coupling and full integration could be hindered by the facts that each method is unique to a model/GIS combination, modifying of integrated components are difficult. In order to reduce the drawbacks of these methods it is needed to identify a new method which capable to share data and operations over a communicating environment between broad ranges of environmental disciplines involved in linking GIS and environmental models. In this regard, some research efforts focused on using open systems, object oriented method and framework to develop tools. They aim to link different behavior of environment in a domain [Bernard and Krüger, 2000, OpenMI_Newsletter, MDSF, Feng, 2000]. Linking GIS and environmental models based on Client/Server architecture by using distributed computing technologies such as COM (Component Object Model), DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model), RMI (Remote Method Invocation) or CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) could lead to tightly coupled relationship between client and server. Due to tightly coupled relationship these technologies can not inherently take advantage of the existing World Wide Web [Newcomer, 2002]. The intelligence for understanding how to map a message into a software program is contained within the interface itself, which tightly couple the service name to the program being invoked. Due to the popular use of the Internet and the dramatic progress of communications and telecommunications technology, the paradigm of linking GIS and environmental models is shifting into increasingly distributed computing architecture based on loosely coupled relationship between client and server. The loosely coupled interactions are better suited to integrating disparate software domains and bridging incompatible technologies. Such a flexible architecture is especially beneficial for scientific research and modeling where tightly coupled approaches are unlikely to have the desired breadth and flexibility. Loose coupling also enables creating and defining APIs without knowing anything about the client. Under a distributed architecture, there is no difference between a client and a server. This architecture is based on independently provided, specialized, interoperable Web services. Every Geo service embeds services, and can become a client or a server based on the task at hand. A client is defined as the requester of a service in a network and server provides a service. Web Service Description Language (WSDL) is a service description or interface which performs the communication and sharing the knowledge between service provider and service requester. With the widespread adoption of the fundamental standards, however, the common understanding of WSDL is not ensured. Since, WSDL establish syntactic interfaces for invoking system behavior, but do not specify the intended meaning of their terms in machineunderstandable form and prevents the service requester from understanding the service semantics. One of the descriptions in WSDL file for services is data type however, in practice, “knowing the type of a data structure is not enough to understand the intent and meaning behind its use” [W3C, 2004]. For meaningful and useful interoperation, these interfaces need well-defined semantics. "While


the service description represents a contract governing the mechanics of interacting with a particular service, the semantics represents a contract governing the meaning and purpose of that interaction” [Shi, 2004]. In state of the art review of HarmonIT project it is indicated that one of the weaknesses of existing and developing modeling systems and frameworks is parameter meaning and for transferring parameter values from one model domain to another it is needed to use a common language as an essential component of any communications [Hutchings et al, 2002]. ARION (Advanced Lightweight Architecture for Accessing Scientific Collections) is a European Commission project under the Fifth Framework Programme in the domain of ocean and meteorology. It aims to develop digital library which allows access to data and models over the World Wide Web. The representation of ontologies is realized by RDF Schemas [AIRON, 2003]. Harvey et al use the Model Description Framework, layered on top of the Resource Description Framework (RDF) of the World Wide Web Consortium to develop an ontology of software entities which is often referred to as a meta-model [Harvey et al 2004]. Distributed Computing Architecture Based on Web services Web services are self-contained, self-describing, modular applications that can be published, located, and invoked across the Web. Web services perform functions, which can be anything from simple requests to complicated business processes. Once a Web service is deployed, other applications (and other Web services) can discover and invoke the deployed service [IBM's tutorial]. According to the Web Service Activity (see [W3C, 2002]) "a Web Service is a software application identified by a URI (Uniform Resource Indicator) [IETF RFC 2396], whose interfaces and binding are capable of being defined, described and discovered by XML artifacts and supports direct interactions with other software applications using XML based messages via internet-based protocols. A Client is a software that makes use of a Web Service, acting as its’user’ or ’customer’. A Message is the basic unit of communication between a Web Service and a Client; data to be communicated to or from a Web Service as a single logical transmission." This implies that there should be a communication scenario between service requester, provider and broker. In this regards the service requester invokes services which are provided by service provider and service broker enables the service requester to dynamically find service provider or registry where services can be published or advertised. These can be performed through three activities including publish means how the provider of a Web service registers itself, find means how an application finds a particular Web service, and bind means how an application connects to, and interacts with, a web service after it's been found. The interaction between the players of service discovery scenario is illustrated in Fig 1. Service Broker
Find Bind Publish

Service Requester

Service Provider

Fig. 1: the basic model of service interaction These activities can be fulfilled through the communication protocols. Standards define how


Web services are described, discovered, and communicate with one another. Therefore key to the interoperation of web services is an adoption of a set of enabling standard protocols called the web service protocol stack which consists of five layers of computer networking protocols. At the lowest level is HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) which is a common transport protocol, and the three partners of service discovery scenario must agree on mechanism. XML (Extensible Markup Language) as the next layer is the basic foundation on which Web services are built. XML represents a family of related specifications published and maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and others. The third layer is WSDL (Web Services Description Language). It is an XML-based technology, defines Web services interfaces, data and message types, interaction patterns, and protocol mappings. SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) as fourth layer of stack is a collection of XML-based technologies, defines an envelope for Web services communication which can be mapped to HTTP and other transports. The top layer of stack is UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration). It is a Web services registry and discovery mechanism, is used for storing and categorizing business information and for retrieving pointers to Web services interfaces. As a consequence it can be found out that the task of broker can be fulfilled by UDDI. The finding and publishing activities between requester, provider and broker can be performed with assistant of WSDL and SOAP performs the interaction between service requester and provider which is illustrated in Fig 2.

Fig.2: The basic model of service and the elements of Web services stack. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_service Geo Services Consumed by Environmental Modeler According to definition from ISO 19119 geo-services can be defined as a collection of geooperations, accessible through an interface [ISO, 2001]. The geo services can be categorized into two classes which are called geo data services and geo operation services. The geo data services are tightly coupled with specific data sets and offer access to customized portions of that data. This category of geo services is used for retrieving and visualizing of geo spatial data and is out of scope of this research. In contrast the geo operation services which provide operations for processing or transforming data in a manner determined by user-specified parameters are not associated with specific data sets. [Alameh, 2003]. In this case a geo operation is defined by its inputs, outputs and function and uses a certain geo operation algorithm to derive new data from data inputs.


Since, scientists as environmental modelers conceptualize the world as fields [Couclelis, 1992; Peuquet et al, 1999; Galton, 2001; Smith and Mark, 2003] geo operation services which are often requested and consumed in environmental models use field-based geospatial data as input and produce new field-based geospatial data. In the other words a set of states which are observable and measurable in each location, describe the conditions of natural system being modeled [Casti, 1989]. The field conceptualization assumes that these states have continues nature and describe apprehending natural system in terms of distribution of properties (attributes) such as temperature, population density, pH of the soil, or soil type. In fact field-based geospatial data is formal description of distributed properties of natural system. A value can be associated to observe or measure property in each location which represents the qualitative aspects such as soil type or quantitative aspect such as elevation. Geo operation services may be categorized into primitive, or "atomic" services, and complex or "composite" services [OWL-S, 2004]. Atomic services are ones where a single Web-accessible computer program, sensor, or device is invoked by a request message, performs its task and perhaps produces a single response to the requester. For example, a service that returns a postal code or the longitude and latitude when given an address or another service that create a new buffer feature around a given polygon feature at a user specified distance would be in this category. Complex or 'composite' services are composed of multiple atomic services, and may require an extended interaction or conversation between the requester and the set of services that are being utilized. A workflow expressing the composition of atomic services can be defined by using appropriate control constructs. This description would be grounded on a syntactic description such as BEPL4WS [BPEL4WS]. Therefore the scope of this research become narrower and only concentrates on geo operation services which use field-based geospatial data as input and produce new field-based geospatial data. This research also focuses on atomic services as a single web-accessible which can be requested by modeler in order to produce a field-based geospatial data for describing the states of environmental model. An environmental model may be formed by chaining the atomic services. Examples of Using Geo Operation Services in Environment Models and Their Associated Semantic Ambiguities Suppose an environmental modeler concerns to identify all locations in an area that are forested, owned by the state government, and have a certain runoff rating. As it is illustrated in Fig. 3 "And" operation as an atomic services performs overlay which result the susceptibility map.
Initial datasets Derived datasets Service Operation owner value landuse value Runoff rate value And Susceptibility map

Fig. 3: The workflow of model with "And" operation The "And" operation derives susceptibility values datasets by overlaying the field-based geospatial dataset such as owner, land use and runoff rate value datasets. The statement for making query with "And" operator is as follow:
susceptibility_map = (landuse_value == " forest" & owner_value == " government" & runoffrate_value == 10)

In an attempt for solving the given problem the "Plus" operation can be used instead of "And" operation. The statement and the workflow for this attempt are illustrated as follow:


susceptibi lity_map = landuse_va lue + owner_valu e + runoffrate _value
owner value landuse value Runoff rate value Plus Susceptibility map

Fig. 4: The statement and workflow of model with "Plus" operation From mathematical point of view "Plus" operation adds number without considering what numbers represent in reality. Also this model is implemented in current GISs without any error and problem. However, land use value and owner value with type of nominal measurement and no units are added to runoff rate value with type of ratio measurement and a unit. Thus, the result would be meaningless since we just considered the plus as abstract mathematical operation and values as abstract mathematical symbols without considering the real world concepts about them. In contrast, the value of each statement in "And" operation which may be true or false logically added to the value of the other statement. Thus this operation is semantically correct. Further, runoff rate value as input in the above model is a derived data which may be applied as the output of another model. The following simple equation can estimate runoff volume from an area [NCGIA, 1998]:
((S ∗ C ∗ P) ÷ 160) = R


Where ∗ indicates multiplication, ÷ indicates division, S indicates the surface slope, C indicates ground cover coefficient, P indicates Precipitation in millimeters, and R indicates runoff volume of water, in liters per square meter. The following workflow depicts the model for calculating the runoff volume according to equation 1.
DEM Slope Slope-value Reclassify Reclassify Reclassify Classified-Slope(S) Multiple

landcover value Precipitation-rain-fall-value 160

Landcover-cofficent (C) Reclassified-value-rain-fall Divide Runoff-volume


Fig. 5: The workflow for runoff volume

Slope, Reclassify, Multiple and Divide operations as well as field-based spatial data make a model in order to derive runoff volume. The map algebra in cartographic modeling approach consists of a rich set of geo operations that induce a change in the properties of the fields, where the change in properties is calculated on the basis of four major operations given as focal operations, incremental operations, local operations and zonal operations [Tomlin, 1990]. Imagine that an operation with DEM, land cover value and precipitation rain fall value as input and runoff volume as output can equivalently perform all operations presented in the above model. The workflow of this operation is illustrated in Fig 6.


DEM landcover value Calculate-runoff-volume Runoff-volume

Precipitation-rain-fall-value 160

Fig. 6: The workflow for calculating runoff volume as service The question raised is that the runoff volume is exactly the same as the runoff rate value as input data of "And" operation. The answer should consider the unit of measure by which these two physical quantities are measured. In the other words the concepts of the parameters in each operation should be described in an understandable form. The above examples demonstrate the semantic ambiguities that may be faced when discovering or composing geo services in order to solve environmental problems. However the standard protocols such as WSDL and UDDI are not able to provide sufficient means for automatic service discovery, invocation and composition. Since WSDL descriptions establish syntactic interfaces and protocols for invoking system behavior, but do not specify the intended meaning of their terms in machine-understandable form and prevent the service requester from understanding the service semantics. WSDL file provide the signature of the operations of the service, that is, the name, parameters and the types of parameters of the service. Trying to discover services by name may not be always very meaningful since a service name could be anything and in any language. It also does not support the definition of logical constraints between its input and output parameters. On the other hand UDDI does not represent service capabilities. It is not possible in UDDI to enforce a relationship between the service names and their functionality. Thus, it is of no use for locating services on the basis of a semantic specification of their functionality. Proposed Structure Based on Ontology for Semantic Description of geo Services Semantic of geo services promise to provide solutions to the challenges associated with automated discovery and dynamic composition using service-based systems. Bishr discussed that there are six levels of interoperability in communication between two systems and semantic interoperability has the highest level [Bishr, 1998]. Regarding automatic discovery of geo services, communication between geo services requester, provider and broker can be enhanced by promoting the semantic interoperability between systems. The meaning triangle defines the interaction between symbols or words, concepts and things of the world (cf. Fig.7). The meaning triangle illustrates the fact that the relationship between a word and a thing is indirect and words cannot completely capture the real meaning of a thing. For example, the term “jaguar” can evoke a concept of an animal, car, or jet fighter in a human mind.


evokes refers to


stands for


Fig.7: The Meaning Triangle [Ogden, et al., 1923] The correct linkage can only be accomplished when agent (human or machine) interpret the word invoking a corresponding concept with context picking out the intended interpretation and discarding the others. Thus the corresponding concept establishes the proper linkage between symbol and the appropriate thing in the world. Thus linkage between object, word, concept and context can be defined as follow.
object = word + ( concept + context)

The corresponding concept which is concept plus context is shaped by human experience with some real-world entities. What is An ontology? Describing semantics means the intended meaning of vocabulary terms. Standard vocabularies are not feasible solution for semantic heterogeneities. Since defining standard vocabularies is difficult and time-consuming ambiguous or circular. Standard vocabularies don’t adapt well and can not be implemented correctly as well as heterogeneous domains need a broad coverage vocabulary. According to meaning triangle the proper linkage can be established between the appropriate thing in the world and its symbol by corresponding concept. Conceptualization is formal structure of (a piece of) reality as perceived and organized by an agent, independently of the vocabulary used and the actual occurrence of a specific situation [Borgo et al, 2005]. Corresponding concepts of things in real world are shaped by agent experiences about things. “An ontology is a specification of a conceptualization” [Gruber, 1993].Ontology (capital “O”) from historical point of view is a branch of philosophical discipline which studies the nature and structure of possible entities. An ontology (lowercase “o”) is a specific artifact designed with the purpose of expressing the intended meaning of a vocabulary in terms of the nature and structure of the entities it refers to [Borgo et al, 2005]. The ontologies can be used to negotiate meaning, either for enabling effective cooperation between multiple artificial agents, or for establishing consensus in a mixed society where artificial agents cooperate with human beings. An ontology consists of logical axioms that express the meaning of terms for a particular community. Logical axioms are the means to specify a set of constraints, which declare what should necessarily hold in any possible world. They also introduce concepts, relations and their taxonomic hierarchies. Proposed Layered-Structure Ontologies Ontologies can be classified according to their level of details and their level of dependence on a particular task or point of view [Guarino, 1997]. According to level of details the ontologies can be classified from catalog to axiomatized theory based on their level of detail or ontological precision so that from catalog to axiomatized theory the ontological precision is increased as it is


depicted in the Fig 8.

Fig.8: Levels of ontological precision from [Borgo et al, 2005]. According to level of dependence on a particular task or point of view, it can be distinguished between top-level, domain, task and application ontologies. The ontology of published geo services and requested geo services by modeler are at the application level.
top-level ontology

domain ontology

task ontology

application ontology

Fig.9: Kinds of ontologies. Thick arrows represent specialization relationships from [Guarino, 1997].

In order to perform match making between these ontologies it is needed to agree about basic and general concepts and their relationships between GIS and environmental modelers. Such agreement is articulated by means of top-level ontologies (see Fig. 9). A layered structured for covering different level of ontologies is used in this research which is started from upper ontology includes very general concepts such as service and process concepts and ended to application ontologies.
Upper ontology Description & Situations ontology Core Ontology of Services OWL-S Application ontologies

Fig. 10: Ontology stacking in WonderWeb As it is depicted in Fig 10, this structure contains upper ontology, Description and Situation (D&S) ontology layers, core ontology of services layer, OWL-S layer and application ontologies layer. From implementation point of view, each of these layers can be considered as module so that each module is a specialization of upper module. Proposed Upper Ontology for Geo Services Due the fact that building ontology from scratch is time consuming and labor intensive we build our upper ontology by aligning of concepts to existing upper ontologies. Descriptive Ontology for Linguistic and Cognitive Engineering (DOLCE), belongs to the WonderWeb project


Foundational Ontology Library (WFOL) [Masolo et al, 2003] is used as backbone for upper ontology proposed in this research. It has been changed or extended to meet the concepts and their relationships in environmental models and geo services. This research distinguishes between process and operator to satisfy the need of environmental modeling and field-based geo services. Like DOLCE, process such as flowing water is a perdurant and the amounts of water as an endurant participate in flowing water process. In the field-based conceptualization of natural systems, geo services deal with distributed physical attributes (properties). The physical attributes can be perceived, measured and inheres to physical endurants such as soil, city, weather or wind. According to their characteristics, the physical properties can be specialized to physical quality and physical quantity which are disjoint from each other. For example, soil type is a kind of physical quality and temperature is a kind of physical quality. Thus qualities as a basic concept in DOLCE can be changed to physical attribute which subsume two disjointed sub concept called physical quantity and physical quality. This research also distinguishes between physical attribute and its value. The values of physical attribute which have qualitative or quantitative nature are usually associated to physical regions in DOLCE. Thus in our upper ontology, the physical region of DOLCE may subsume nominal region, ordinal region, interval region or ratio region which are different type of measurement scales. For example elevations as physical quantity are usually associated to a metric linear region which is located in ratio region or soil type as physical quality are associated to a region with a scale of sand, gravel and so on. In other words, the values of elevation are of ratio measurement type, so its associated region i.e. metric linear region is in ratio region and the values of soil type are of nominal type so its associated region is in nominal region. These regions are disjoint from each other as well. Unit of measure is another concept which has basic role in describing the intended meaning of values of physical attribute. In this regards SI's definition of unit of measure can satisfy our needs. In the upper ontology for this research it is considered that unit of measure is a physical quantity and SI is a unit of measure which can not be associated to physical quality. The Fig 11 shows the taxonomy of modified upper ontology. The boxes around the concepts indicate the modification or extension to DOLCE.


Fig 11: Taxonomy structure of proposed upper ontology D&S Ontology and Core of Ontology of Services Geo services carry out computational activities to support a service. From software point of view geo services may contain various operators or methods each of which performs a certain operation on geospatial data and produce new spatial data. Since software modules come as black boxes of code, descriptions need to be attached to them in order to facilitate their discovery and composition. In addition, service descriptions are non-physical contexts. The intended meaning of non physical objects results from statements, i.e. their meaning emerges only in the combination of other entities. A norm, a plan, a view or a social role is usually represented as a set of statements. In order to respond to those modeling requirements, the descriptions and situations ontology (D&S) [Gangemi and Mika, 2003] are required. A description is a social object which represents a conceptualization (e.g. a mental object or state); hence it is generically dependent on some agent and communicable. Descriptions define or use concepts or figures, are expressed by an information object and can be satisfied by situations. A situation is a social object that appears in the domain of an ontology only because there is a description whose components can separate a view (setting) on that domain. A situation has to satisfy a description and it has to be setting for at least one entity. Two descriptions of a same situation are possible. The social-object which could be equivalent to non-physical object is a catch-all class for entities from the social world. It includes agentive and non-agentive socially-constructed objects such as descriptions, concepts, figures, collections, information objects. The taxonomy of D&S ontology aligned to upper ontology is illustrated in Fig. 12.


Fig. 12: Taxonomy of D&S ontology. http://www.loa-cnr.it/ontologies/ExtendedDnS.owl In a scenario for discovering and composition of geo web services, three occurring contexts regarding services, including service providing description, service consuming description and service publishing description may be considered where each is a separate description of the same service in the D&S sense. There are also common agentive roles which are introduced namely as geo service provider, geo service requester and broker (refer to Fig. 1) which found in service descriptions. They are described as subclasses of agent driven role. The dashed boxes in Fig. 12 show the alignment of these concepts to D&S ontology. Service descriptions as non-physical contexts are ideally suited as applications of D&S. The Core Ontology of Web Services consists of a repeated application of the Ontology of Descriptions. It is based on the Core Software Ontology and formalizes our understanding of the term Web service and introduces the notion of service profiles. The Core Ontology of Software formalizes the most fundamental concepts which are required to model both software components and Web services. This includes concepts such as software, data, users, access rights or interfaces. The Core Ontology of Software Components is based on the Core Software Ontology to formalize our understanding of the term software component. It requires special attention as there is a variety of interpretations that leads to ambiguity.


Fig. 13: Part of taxonomy of Core ontology of services http://cos.ontoware.org/cso.owl Fig. 13 illustrates the basic concepts of Core Ontology of Service which are aligned to D&S ontology Alignment of OWL-S to Core of Ontology of Services OWL-S is an ontology of service concepts that supplies a web service designer with a core set of markup language constructs for describing the properties and capabilities of a Web service in unambiguous, computer-interpretable form. The current version of OWL-S builds on the Ontology Web Language (OWL) produced by the Web-Ontology Working Group at the World Wide Web Consortium. OWL-S organizes a service description into four conceptual areas: the process model, the profile, the grounding, and the service. A process model describes how a service performs its tasks. It includes information about inputs, outputs, preconditions and results. A profile provides a general description of a web services, intended to be published and shared to facilitate service discovery. A grounding specifies how a service is invoked, by detailing how the atomic processes in a service’s process model map onto a concrete messaging protocol. A service simply binds the other parts together into a unit that can be published and invoked. There is no clear semantic framework behind OWL-S. Part of the missing semantics is in the text of the document, while some are left to the reader to decide. On the other hand the top Service concept in OWL-S core is related to the ServiceModel concept with a cardinality 1:1. This means that for each Service, only one ServiceModel is expected to hold. This prevents us to consider alternative Service-Models, or to evaluate the relationship between a ServiceModel required by a customer’s guideline, or by a legal regulation, and the one underlying the provider’s system, for instance [Mika et al, 2001]. Therefore to overcome these problems it is need to tie the concepts in OWL-S with concepts of upper ontology in order to gain an increased understanding and a rich axiomatization of ontology to be machine processable. Regarding the alignment of OWL-S, service is equivalent to each of service providing, publishing or consuming descriptions, which has service model and service profile as parts. The notion of Actor in the Service-Profile is aligned as an Agent-driven-role like depicted in Fig. 12. Conclusion


This article discussed that the linking between GIS and environmental model based on loosely coupled geo services satisfies the communication between modeler and GIS. It explained about key role of some industrial standard protocols like WSDL, SOAP and UDDI in improving discovery and composition of geo services when using loosely coupled geo services in a distributed computing architecture. However due to lack of semantic descriptions in these efforts, they can not automatically perform service discovery and composition. The article described the semantic ambiguities arising when discovering and composing geo services and especially focused on semantic ambiguities arises when using field-based geo service. In this regard a layered-based ontology proposed as a ontological structure for formalizing the concepts related to field-based geo services. OWL-S as an ontology for services suffers from the formal semantics to relate the basic concepts of services to the basic categories of philosophy, linguistics or human cognition. This structure fills the gap between an upper ontology and basic concepts in Owl-S. This article also proposed an upper ontology which is fitted for using in fieldbased geo services and its backbone is based on the DOCLE. The different service descriptions as well as different agentive roles according to these descriptions were aligned to the concepts of D&S ontology. The Core Ontology of Services as a layer of the structure actually fills the gap between upper ontology and OWL-S. The future work is to propose a methodology for implementing the discovery of field-based geo services which is based on the layered-based ontology. According to this methodology a match is performed between the ontologies of requested geo services and of published geo services. References [AIRON, 2003], "Advanced Lightweight Architecture for Accessing Scientific Collections", http://delos-noe.iei.pi.cnr.it/activities/internationalforum/All-Projects/RomeSlides/ARION.pdf [Alameh, 2003] Nadine Alameh, "Chaining Geographic Information Web Services", IEEE INTERNET COMPUTING, September-October 2003, 22-29, http://computer.org/internet/ [Gangemi and Mika, 2003] Aldo Gangemi and Peter Mika. Understanding the semantic web through descriptions and situations. In DOA/CoopIS/ODBASE, 2003 Confederated International Conferences DOA, CoopIS and ODBASE, Proceedings, LNCS. Springer, 2003. [Bernard and Krüger, 2000] Lars Bernard, Thomas Krüger, 2000, “Integration of GIS and Spatio-temporal Simulation Models: Interoperable Components for Different Simulation Strategies”, "(3+1) D-GIS" project, funded by the German Science Foundation grant no. STR 172/8-1 [Bishr, 1998], Yaser Bishr, 1998, "Overcoming the semantic and other barriers to GIS interoperability", int. j. geographical information science, 12(4), 299-314 [BPEL4WS], BPEL4WS Consortium, "Business Process Execution Language for Web Services", http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/ws-bpel [Borgo et al, 2005] Stefano Borgo, Nicola Guarino, Laure Vieu, "Formal Ontology for Semanticists", Research Institute for Computer Science of Toulouse – CNRS, Laboratory for applied ontology, www.loa-cnr.it


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