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A Method-Description Language: An initial ontology with examples

By John H. Gennari, William Grosso and Mark Musen

Abstract

To make cost-effective use of a library of reusable problem-solving methods, developers must be able to quickly find and understand these methods, so that they can match their problem and knowledge base to a method in the reuse library. This match includes both finding the method and connecting to that executable software module via a set of mappings or mediators. To enable this match, builders of a reuse library must describe each method with a method-description language. We discuss a number of general desiderata for such a language. Our work focuses on one feature of the language: a precise specification of the input requirements of the method. This specification allows developers to correctly match their knowledge base to a pre-existing problem-solving method by formalizing the requirements of methods in the library. We propose an ontology for a method-description language, and present example specifications for two well-known problem-solving methods: propose-and-revise and cover-and-differentiate

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