Paolo Bouquet, Antonia Dona, Luciano Serafini, and Stefano Zanobini
In many application areas, such as the semantic web, knowledge management, distributed databases, it’s been recognized that we need an explicit way to represent meanings. A major issue in all these efforts is the problem of semantic interoperability, namely the problem of communication between agents using languages with different semantic. Following the approach proposed by Bonifacio, Bouquet, and Traverso, we claim that a technological infrastructure for semantic interoperability between "semantically autonomous" communities must be based on the capability of representing local ontologies and mappings between them, rather than on the attempt of creating a global, supposedly shared, conceptualization. The goal of this paper is to define a theoretical framework and a concrete language for the specification of local ontologies and mappings between them.