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Bridging semantically different paradigms in the field of marine acquisition event logging
Diviacco, P; De Cauwer, K.; Leadbetter, A; Sorribas, J; Stojanov, Y.; Busato, A; Cova, A (2015). Bridging semantically different paradigms in the field of marine acquisition event logging. Earth Sci. Inform. 8(1): 135-146.
In: Earth Science Informatics. Springer: Berlin. ISSN 1865-0473; e-ISSN 1865-0481, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Event logging; Contrasting paradigms; Metadata; Pragmatics; Boundaryobjects; Ontology

Authors  Top 
  • Diviacco, P
  • De Cauwer, K., more
  • Leadbetter, A
  • Sorribas, J
  • Stojanov, Y., more
  • Busato, A
  • Cova, A

    To use data proficiently and efficiently, scientists require comprehensive metadata. This is very difficult to reconstruct conceptually, positionally and temporally far from the time and place of data acquisition. The European Commission funded Eurofleets project, whose mission is to build an integrated European oceanographic research vessel fleet, is developing a system that aims to address this issue by capturing metadata in a uniform way at time of observation. As this is a European-wide initiative, the problems associated with the desired level of integration are also broad. Having so many partners, different paradigms, schools, practices and vocabularies must be taken into consideration. Assuming that this divergence is natural and even somehow positive in the perspective of adapting to a changing environment, we detail how bridging can take place using a systemic approach. In the Eurofleets experience, this relied on the definition of a boundary object: that is an artifact that can be used by each of the diverging communities, since it embeds the core, shared conceptual entities. The structure of the boundary object is based on an event model, its ontology and the controlled vocabularies linked to it. All conceptual entities, and indeed the structure of the boundary object itself, resulted from wide discussions among the divergent communities. These discussions, allowed the extension of meaning from a semantic perspective to the pragmatic scope, where theoretical and cultural matters can also be considered, so that, eventually, the knowledge represented by the boundary object is more likely to be understood across the divergent communities. To exploit the possibilities offered by the boundary object, specific software has been developed that, using the event model and ontology, allows easier deployment across the project partners of a system intended to address the heterogeneity of the research vessel fleet. In this paper we describe in detail the underlying ontology.

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