[DL] DL-workbench: a meta model based ontological platform

Mikhail Kazakov mikhail.kazakov at opencascade.com
Fri Jul 25 19:04:48 CEST 2003

	Dear colleagues,

We have released the first prototype of our new platform for ontology manipulation: DL‑workbench. DL-workbench can be viewed from two perspectives. From one side, DL-workbench is an editor for SHIQ description logic (with the support of DAMl+OIL persistence and DIG 1.0 compatible reasoner). From another side, DL-workbench is an API that was designed to be easily integrated with third-party solutions  export to them ontological and reasoning services.

This delivery is a first software milestone of our research project on intelligent semi-automated integration of engineering components. The project is mainly dedicated to automated enterprise CAD-to-FEM integration, however can be helpful for other areas of enterprise application integration. DL‑workbench is published under the Open Cascade’s open source license and can be used by a variety of researchers and interested parties all around the world. DL‑workbench can be freely downloaded from http://www.opencascade.org/dl-workbench web site and used for ontology engineering.

DL‑workbench has an open modular structure integrated with IBM Eclipse™ environment. That allows integrating the DL‑workbench with many Eclipse-compatible environments such as IBM WebSphere™ or IBM’s Rational XDE™ for Java™. The tool is made of three independent Eclipse modules:

	* Meta-modeling module – an Eclipse-independent module that implements a meta-model repository and a language for description of ontological formalisms and data structures.

	* Generic ontology editor module – an Eclipse plug-in based on the meta-model, independent from a specific ontological formalism used. The user interface of this module captures the ontological model from a meta-model repository and generates all necessary UI controls for managing the lifecycle of ontological elements.

	* SHIQ description logic editor module – an extension of the generic ontology editor for very expressive description logic SHIQ and its persistent representation in DAML+OIL language. This module defines SHIQ logic in terms of a meta-model and provides an extended user interface for complex logical expressions and axioms.

Each module of the DL‑workbench exports an open pattern-based Java™ API. That allows third party developers to reuse existing modules and to develop new ones. 

The web site contains some useful links and materials that shall help with using the prototype. DL-workbench WWW site – http://www.opencascade.org/dl-workbench. 

If you have any comments, remarks or critics on the project, the authors will be happy to have your feedback. Please send an email to Mikhail Kazakov (mikhail.kazakov at opencascade.com)

The area of intelligent software integration is an emerging activity within the Open CASCADE company. This research is intended for the further strengthening of the Open CASCADE’s leading position in CAD-to-FEM integration domain. DL‑workbench prototype was created by Mikhail Kazakov within the bounds of its Ph.D. thesis with the active participation of CNRS PSI laboratory of INSA de Rouen, France.

P.S. IMPORTANT! Published software is a prototype. It still has bugs, incomplete documentation and non-documented source codes. 
We appologize for all these inconvenience and will be constantly working on improvement of the system

Sincerely yours
Mikhail Kazakov in behalf of our research team
23 July 2003

© Mikhail Kazakov, Open Cascade SA, 2003

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