DOGMA Studio Workbench

DOGMA Studio is the tool suite behind the DOGMA ontology engineering approach. It contains both a Workbench and a Server. The Workbench is constructed according to the plug-in architecture in Eclipse. There, plug-ins, being loosely coupled ontology viewing, querying or editing modules support the different ontology engineering activities and new plug-ins continuously emerge. This loose coupling allows any arbitrary knowledge engineering community to support its own ontology engineering method in DOGMA Studio by combining these plug-ins arbitrarily. Such a meaningful combination of view/edit/query plug-ins is called a “perspective” in Eclipse. The DOGMA Server is an advanced J2EE application running in a JBoss server which efficiently stores Lexons and Commitments in a PostgreSQL Database. DOGMA Studio is complemented by a community layer in which the DOGMA collaborative ontology engineering processes are grounded in communities of use. This layer is implemented by the DOGMA-MESS methodology and system.

In the DOGMA ontology engineering approach ontology construction starts from a (possibly very large) uninterpreted base of elementary fact types called lexons that are mined from linguistic descriptions (be it from existing schemas, a text corpus or formulated by domain experts). An ontological commitment to such a ''lexon base'' means selecting/reusing from it a meaningful set of facts that approximates well the intended conceptualization, followed by the addition of a set of constraints, or rules, to this subset. The commitment process is inspired by the fact-based database modeling method NIAM/ORM2, which features a recently updated, extensive graphical support.

For encouraging lexon reuse by ontology engineers a more scalable way of visually browsing a large lexon base is important. Existing techniques for similar semantic networks rather focus on graphical distance between concepts and not always consider the possibility that concepts might be (fact-) related to a large number of other concepts. TLex in DOGMA studio Workbench introduce an alternative approach to browsing large fact-based diagrams in general, which is applied to lexon base browsing and selecting for building ontological commitments in particular. Specific characteristics of DOGMA such as grouping by contexts and its ''double articulation principle'', viz. explicit separation between lexons and an application's commitment to them can increase the scalability of this approach.

CDS (Concept Definition Server) is to provide the annotation information of a lexon term, that is, the linguistic definition of a concept. The current CDS is linked to WordNet and annotate lexon terms with their WordNet definition based on Synset.

The current version of DOGMA Studio Workbench is able to edit lexons, edit lexon term definition, link lexon term to WordNet, browse lexons, visualize lexon NORM trees, visualize some ORM constraints that are applied to the lexon NORM tree at the commitment layer. There is also full versioning and change log storage at Server side.

Overview of the visible tools in the suite

This section will give you a brief summary of the tools. The numbers correspond to the areas in the figure below.



  1. The Ontology Viewer is responsible for retrieving a list of ontologies, templates and specializations of the organization the user is in. It is a tree view sorting the ontologies in a directory structure.
  2. The Ontology Editor is used to browse and edit a selected ontology or template. Its a multi-page editor with four views for viewing/editing the taxonomy, viewing/editing the relations, viewing/editing the whole ontology and finally a small log for displaying information about the process to the user.
  3. The Ticket Viewer is responsible for displaying tickets to an organization. A ticket notifies an organization that a template needs to be specialized.
  4. The Ontology Operations is a tool displaying what actions can be performed on an item selected in the editor. It displays additional information or
  5. The Concept Viewer tries to look for the concept definition in the Concept Definition Server when a user clicks on a concept in the editor. A concept has a gloss and possibly a set of synonyms. Both are displayed in the concept viewer.

Other tools of the suite

There are a few other tools that are not immediately visible in the perspective. To open them you need to follow the steps from section ‘Finding the views’. The tools are:

  1. The Template Maker, which is used to make a template from an ontology after several non-taxonomical relations have been introduced.
  2. The Ticket Maker, which sends a ticket containing a reference to a template as well as additional information to several organizations. Those organizations are then able to open those tickets.

Videos of the tools (+/- 45 MB each so downloading might take a while)

Instead of just some screenshots, you will find some videos of the DOGMA MESS TOOLS used in a real case, an experiment with the Dutch Bakery Centre (NBC). The videos are:

  • Making a template: this video contains the making of a template starting from a type hierarchy, I demonstrate the adding of 1 relationship of the 'deelhandeling'-template. (The other relationships have been put in advance for the sake of winning time). Click here to watch the video.
  • Making and sending a ticket: In the ticket maker, a template can be chosen and sent to several organizations. Tickets contain information such as: who created the ticket, title, priority, additional information, etc. Click here to watch the video.
  • Opening and specializing a template 1: this organization (ROC Amsterdam) introduces two terms they haven’t found in the type hierarchy and place them in their appropriate place in that hierarchy (two introduce-term followed by change-type operations). Then it specializes several relations for the task ‘kruimelen’ (Specialize relation operations). Click here to watch the video.
  • Opening and specializing a template 2: this organization (ROC Friesland College) specialized the relations with concepts found in the type hierarchy. Click here to watch the video.
  • Opening and specializing a template 3: ROC Eindhoven added five concepts (one tool, one product and three raw materials) and some specializations. Click here to watch the video.

The other videos are not relevant to the case, but show other features of the suite that were not used in the case.

  • Video 1 contains:
    1. Trying to drop root-concept T, which doesn’t work. The log shows why.
    2. Dropping another concept.
    3. Introducing concepts and changing the type of these concepts.
    4. Defining a relation between two concepts, then generalizing it and eventually dropping that relation.
    5. Showing some constraint operations

Click here to watch the video.

  • Video 2 shows how you can articulate a term and what the concept viewer shows once that articulation is stored. Click here to watchthe video.


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