Semantic Techniques for Enabling Knowledge Reuse in Conceptual Modelling

Conceptual modelling tools allow users to construct formal representations of their conceptualisations. These models are typically developed in isolation, unrelated to other user models, thus losing the opportunity of incorporating knowledge from other existing models or ontologies that might enrich the modelling process. We propose to apply Semantic Web techniques to the context of conceptual modelling (more particularly to the domain of qualitative reasoning), to smoothly interconnect conceptual models created by different users, thus facilitating the global sharing of scientific data contained in such models and creating new learning opportunities for people who start modelling. This paper describes how semantic grounding techniques can be used during the creation of qualitative reasoning models, to bridge the gap between the imprecise user terminology and a well defined external common vocabulary. We also explore the application of ontology matching techniques between models, which can provide valuable feedback during the model construction process.