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Vocabularies for Communities of Interest

Welcome to Vocabularies for Communities of Interest (VCOI) Working Group Wiki


The aim of this working group is to come up with a common, reusable method for OMG Task Forces and SIGs to use when developing vocabularies.

The core proposition is that terms are defined in some context - specifically in this case the context of that Task Force or SIG. Further contextual treatment is merited when a TF or SIG decides to use a definition sourced from elsewhere, since then the context of that external definition needs to be represented.

Simply put a context is itself a concept or a set of concepts (Who, What, When etc.).

Meaning is intended to be derived from some source of formal semantics (e.g. ontology) as a 'concept'.

Then for the TF or SIG:

Term T has meaning of Concept C in context X.

Basic Premise image

Concepts are considered as being made available as a library of concepts. Meaning (for a term) does NOT rely upon the written definition given for the term, but rather the written definition reflects and is derived from the Concept Library.


The deliverables for anyone applying the desired methodology are:

  • Tables of Term, Definition, Synonym(s) and other relevant materials
  • Acronyms with their referents or terms
  • References

These may take one or more physical forms:

  • Tabular text resources for use on TF and SIG wikis
  • Wiki pages with individual Term, Acronym or Reference one per page
  • Document inserts in the style of the OMG Specification template, for Terms, Abbreviations, References
Task Force SME Feedback

Another output of applying the methodology when it exists, is the ability to frame questions for the owning TF or SIG, including:

  • What community of practice do you look to for definition of a given set of terms or kind of term?
    • For example, GovDTF may determine a given statistics CoP for statistics related terms and concepts
  • What did you intend for a given term to mean?
    • A definition that happens to match the words might be entirely different to what this TF intends to mean
    • Need to be able to present business-readable 'straw man' representations of possible meanings, ideally derived from an ontology
Model Annotation

A further deliverable made possible if we use the MVF emerging standard is the ability to annotate models with links to concept and vocabulary.


This is still being explored but will likely consist of

  • Some terminological resource (e.g. a SKOS repository)
  • Means of generating the outputs described above from that resource
  • Means of generating or populating that terminology resource from available ontologies and (potentially) other conceptual resources

TFs and SIGs may develop their own ontologies for concepts that they choose to define for themselves. Concepts from other sources may already be in the form of ontologies or may be in less ontologically mature formats such as dictionaries or vocabularies.


The activities of this WG are to come up with decisions and policies in the following areas:

  • OutputFormats - desired form of outputs for the terminology and concepts
  • Architecture - Tools and formats to maintain the terminology and vocabulary of a Task Force or SIG
  • LocalOntologies - Formal reference ontologies for concept defined by the TF or SIG
  • Definitions - form of definitions and how to derive these from the concept resource (ontology)
  • Context Treatment - Given all the above, how should the 'context' be treated for
    • Word usage (This word W means concept C in the context of this TF or SIG)
    • Concept - origin context in the case of externally sourced concepts


Page to follow….

Meeting Notes

See MeetingNotes page

start.txt · Last modified: 2020/10/19 20:37 by admin