Note that the Foundations FCT does not provide fully conceptual ontologies. The FIBO Release ontologies are intended to provide ontologies in a form that is directly usable in applications. For this reason, conceptual 'truth makers' such as social constructs are not included unless there are reasons to return data against these from inference processing applications. 

Earlier activities of this group did include detailed articulation of conceptual abstractions, and these were to be found in the 'Informative' extension ontologies. Those ontologies are slated for removal from the FIBO content base in the 2019 Q1.5 release.


For example the three potential meanings of the word 'Product' were articulated so that the Release ontologies for Products can be seen to be coherent. In the absence of clear release guidelines (see below) it was not possible to identify the transformations required between this conceptual subject matter and the Release ontologies, so this stream of activity has been discontinued. However, more recent work on temporality illustrates how this group can contribute to the conceptual integrity of the Release ontologies. 

Similar considerations remain in play for concepts such as:

  • Transactions
  • Facilities (credit facility parent, versus physical place where a service is carried out)

Release FIBO Guidelines

The precise rules for what makes an ontology suitable for Release are not yet fully documented. As a minimum, these include:

  • The reduction of conceptual abstractions (including the non use of Upper Ontology partitions)
  • The use of data surrogates in place of legal or social truth-makers
  • The minimal use of reified classes for contextually-dependent ('relative') things, temporally sensitive things and so on
  • Properties generally have minimal domain or range information and their intended semantics is expected to be discerned from their usage throughout existing parts of the models. 

Uncertain rule

  • The polysemic overloading of classes or properties, to support multiple word uses in a single class or property. 

In some cases it has been observed that the Release ontologies may have a class or property that seems to cover more than one word usage. Further investigation usually suggests that these are mistakes - we have not formally determined the Release Guideline rule for these. The rule is either:

  1. Polysemy (more than one meaning for a class / property) is allowed
  2. Polysemy is not allowed

At present the working assumption is that the rule is (1). Use of properties may be a lot looser than this at present. 

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