Process Specification Language

The Process Specification Language (PSL) is a set of logic terms used to describe processes. The logic terms are specified in an ontology that provides a formal description of the components and their relationships that make up a process. The ontology was developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and has been approved as an international standard in the document ISO 18629.

The Process Specification Language can be used for the representation of manufacturing, engineering and business processes, including production scheduling, process planning, workflow management, business process reengineering, simulation, process realization, process modelling, and project management. In the manufacturing domain, PSL's objective is to serve as a common representation for integrating several process-related applications throughout the manufacturing process life cycle.[1]


The foundation of the ontology is a set of primitive concepts (object, activity, activity_occurrence, timepoint), constants (inf+, inf-), functions (beginof, endof), and relations (occurrence_of, participates_in, between, before, exists_at, is_occurring_at). This core ontology is then used to describe more complex concepts.[2] The ontology uses the Common Logic Interchange Format (CLIF) to represent the concepts, constants, functions, and relations.[3]

This ontology provides a vocabulary of classes and relations for concepts at the ground level of event-instances, object-instances, and timepoints. PSL's top level is built around the following:[4]

  • Activity, a class or type of action, such as install-part, which is the class of actions in which parts are installed
  • Activity-occurrence, an event or action that takes place at a specific place and time, such as a specific instance of install-part occurring at a specific timestamp
  • Timepoint, a point in time
  • Object, anything that is not a timepoint or an activity.

See also


  1. ^ "Rationale". National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 2007-01-15 [created 2003].
  2. ^ "PSL Core". National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). April 2008.
  3. ^ "PSL Ontology -- Current Theories and Extensions". National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 2007-01-15 [created 2003].
  4. ^ Gangemi, A., Borgo, S., Catenacci, C., and Lehman, J. (2005). "Task taxonomies for knowledge content (deliverable D07)" (PDF). Laboratory for Applied Ontology (LOA).CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
Enterprise interoperability

Enterprise interoperability is the ability of an enterprise—a company or other large organization—to functionally link activities, such as product design, supply chains, manufacturing, in an efficient and competitive way.

The research in interoperability of enterprise practised in is various domains itself (Enterprise Modelling, Ontologies, Information systems, Architectures and Platforms) which it is a question of positioning.

ISO/TC 184/SC 4

ISO/TC 184/SC 4 is an international standards organization responsible for industrial data. ISO/TC 184/SC 4 develops and maintains ISO standards that describe and manage industrial product data throughout the life of the product. ISO/TC 184/SC 4, Industrial data, is Subcommittee 4 of ISO/TC 184, Automation systems and integration, which is Technical Committee 184 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

ISO 10303

ISO 10303 is an ISO standard for the computer-interpretable representation and exchange of product manufacturing information. Its official title is: Automation systems and integration — Product data representation and exchange. It is known informally as "STEP", which stands for "Standard for the Exchange of Product model data". ISO 10303 can represent 3D objects in Computer-aided design (CAD) and related information.

List of International Organization for Standardization standards, 18000-19999

This is a list of published International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards and other deliverables. For a complete and up-to-date list of all the ISO standards, see the ISO catalogue.The standards are protected by copyright and most of them must be purchased. However, about 300 of the standards produced by ISO and IEC's Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1) have been made freely and publicly available.

Michael Gruninger

Michael Gruninger is a Canadian computer scientist and Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto, known for his work on Ontologies in information science.

particularly with the Process Specification Language, and in

Enterprise modelling on the TOVE Project with Mark S. Fox.

Process modeling

The term process model is used in various contexts. For example, in business process modeling the enterprise process model is often referred to as the business process model.

Process ontology

In philosophy, a process ontology refers to a universal model of the structure of the world as an ordered wholeness. Such ontologies are fundamental ontologies, in contrast to the so-called applied ontologies. Fundamental ontologies do not claim to be accessible to any empirical proof in itself, but to be a structural design pattern, out of which empirical phenomena can be explained and put together consistently. Throughout Western history, the dominating fundamental ontology is the so-called substance theory. However, fundamental process ontologies are becoming more important in recent times, because the progress in the discovery of the foundations of physics spurred the development of a basic concept able to integrate such boundary notions as "energy," "object", and those of the physical dimensions of space and time.

In computer science, a process ontology is a description of the components and their relationships that make up a process. A formal process ontology is an ontology in the knowledge domain of processes. Often such ontologies take advantage of the benefits of an upper ontology. Planning software can be used to perform plan generation based on the formal description of the process and its constraints. Numerous efforts have been made to define a process/planning ontology.

Upper ontology

In information science, an upper ontology (also known as a top-level ontology or foundation ontology) is an ontology (in the sense used in information science) which consists of very general terms (such as "object", "property", "relation") that are common across all domains. An important function of an upper ontology is to support broad semantic interoperability among a large number of domain-specific ontologies by providing a common starting point for the formulation of definitions. Terms in the domain ontology are ranked "under" the terms in the upper ontology, and the former stand to the latter in subclass relations.

A number of upper ontologies have been proposed, each with its own proponents. Each upper ontology can be considered as a computational implementation of natural philosophy, which itself is a more empirical method for investigating the topics within the philosophical discipline of physical ontology.

Library classification systems predate upper ontology systems. Though library classifications organize and categorize knowledge using general concepts that are the same across all knowledge domains, neither system is a replacement for the other.

ISO standards by standard number

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