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RAL's semantics

A semantic mapping to provide an accurate definition of RAL has been performed. We have chosen Description Logics (DLs) as the semantic domain for the mapping because of two reasons:

  • On the one hand, the definition of an organizational structure fits nicely into the way DLs expresses its concepts and, hence, DLs provide a very natural way to describe the problem.
  • On the other hand, DL is best known for providing a logical formalism for ontologies and the semantic web. As a matter of fact, the semantics of the W3C recommendation OWL 2 to express ontologies for the semantic web is defined in DL. Consequently, there is a plethora of DL reasoners available that can be used to automatically analyse the RAL expressions efficiently.

In this section, several mappings to build a RAL ontology can be found, specifically:

  1. Mapping of  the meta model used by RAL into an OWL upper ontology.
  2. Refinement of the upper ontology for execution history storage.
  3. Ontology instantiation from the organizational model and the business process model.
  4. Mapping of RAL expressions into DL.
Explanations and details on each mapping are given in the next subsections.