What's in a Name?

Simon Perry, Stephen Powley

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


    Architectures are an important part of Systems Engineering and should be based on architecture frameworks (AFs). Techniques exist to help organisations create robust AFs, such as the Framework for Architecture Frameworks (FAF), which is based on agreeing a set of defined terms (Ontology Elements) and the relationships between them (Ontology Relationships), collecting these together in an Ontology.
    However, even when using such techniques, two main problems arise: terms with different names but the same meaning, and terms with the same name but different meanings. A number of changes and additions to the FAF are discussed that address the above naming problems. These changes force the distinction between Ontology Elements and Relationships that are common across all those working in a particular domain (an industry, field of research etc.), creating a Domain Ontology, and those Ontology Elements and Relationships used in a particular context (organisation, project, team etc.), creating a Context Ontology. The changes also ensure that these domain Ontology Elements and Relationships and context Ontology Elements and Relationships are mapped to each other. Examples are given of how these changes and additions are used.
    Areas for further research are also discussed. These include: complex mappings between Ontology Elements and Relationships; the need for a “conflicts with” relationship as part of the solution for complex mappings; coverage metrics that measure how much of a Domain Ontology is covered by a Context Ontology and how much of a Context Ontology is the same as a Domain Ontology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings - Annual Systems Engineering Conference 2019
    Subtitle of host publicationCelebrating the Future of Systems Engineering
    PublisherINCOSE UK
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2019
    EventAnnual Systems Engineering Conference 2019: Celebrating the Future of Systems Engineering - The Royal Armories Museum, Leeds, United Kingdom
    Duration: 19 Nov 201920 Nov 2019
    Conference number: 11


    ConferenceAnnual Systems Engineering Conference 2019
    Abbreviated titleASEC 2019
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • ontology
    • ontologies
    • Architectural frameworks
    • architecture
    • context
    • domain
    • Domain Ontology
    • context ontology
    • MBSE
    • model based systems engineering


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