Ontology merging as social choice: Judgment aggregation under the open world assumption
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The problem of merging several ontologies has important applications in the Semantic Web, medical ontology engineering and other domains where information from several distinct sources needs to be integrated in a coherent manner. We propose to view ontology merging as a problem of social choice, i. e. as a problem of aggregating the input of a set of individuals into an adequate collective decision. That is, we propose to view ontology merging as ontology aggregation. As a first step in this direction, we formulate several desirable properties for ontology aggregators, we identify the incompatibility of some of these properties, and we define and analyse several simple aggregation procedures. Our approach is closely related to work in judgment aggregation, but with the crucial difference that we adopt an open world assumption, by distinguishing between facts not included in an agent's ontology and facts explicitly negated in an agent's ontology.
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