PR-OWL: A Bayesian extension to the OWL Ontology Language

The Star Trek Ontology

The Captain's decision processWhy a ficticional ontology?

The Star Trek ontology was written as part of Paulo Costa's PhD Dissertation, as a means to have a case study on probabilistic ontologies. We also used this toy ontology to convey most of our explanations in this web site. The option for constructing a case study based on the popular Paramount's television series Star Trek was taken as a means to avoid choosing a particular real-life domain that would pose the risk of getting bogged down into domain-specific details. Nonetheless, the examples presented is this website have been constructed in a way to be accessible to anyone having some familiarity with space-based science fiction. It is a very simple depiction of a (quite interesting) fictional domain that focus on the specific problem of detecting enemy starships. The ontology can be downloaded as an pr-owl/owl file (StarTrek.owl), while Protègè users might want to also donwload its respective project files (StarTrek.pprj and StarTrek.repository).

The Basic Entities

Star Trek Ontology in ProtégéThere are four basic entities in this toy ontology: Starship, Zone, TimeStep, and SensorReport. In the ontology, those entities are modeled as subclasses of the class pr-ow:ObjectEntity, as it can be seen in the picture on the right.

According to the Treknology Encyclopedia, Starship is the designation for a large type of space vessel with warp drive. A starship typically consists of more than one deck and has separate departments such as the bridge, engineering or sickbay. In our model, we use this word to designate any space vessel.

A zone can be either a deep space, a planetary system, or the boundary of a Black Hole. It is assumed that a OwnStarship, when in operation, has 80% chance of being traveling in a Deep Space Zone, 15% in a Planetary System and 5% in the Boundaries of a Black Hole. In this model, Black Hole Boundaries are prefered places for ambushes from attacking starships with cloaking devices, since the high magnetic turbulance generated in those zones makes it very hard to even the most advanced sensors to distinguish it from the magnetic disturbance created by a cloaking device. Individuals modeled in Protégé

TimeStep is a special class that is used to model dynamic nodes, and there are quite a few in this domain.

Finally, starship detection is performed by the Enterprise’s suite of sensors, which can correctly detect and discriminate starships with an accuracy of 95%. The product of those sensors are individuals of the class SensorReport.

When opening the Star Trek files in an ontology editor, there will be many other classes, subclasses, properties, and individuals defined there. A comprehensive explanation of each element would require a deeper understanding of the PR-OWL structure, which is too complex to explain here. Nonetheless, all the elements are explained in the website, which uses the Star Trek ontology as a tool to help understand PR-OWL concepts.

Download the Star Trek Ontology

Star Trek background

ACTD - Advanced Starship Design Bureau.

Medical Log - Deep Space Nine.

Paramount's official Star Trek Website.

TrekPlace: The Final Frontier for unique content about some of your favorite Star Trek creative talents and topics.

Treknology Encyclopedia, by Bernd Schneider.

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