Re: Start of the #ontology sub-group #ontology

Massimo Pizzol

Thanks Elias for the interesting reflections. I believe all your points are related. My impression is that we are converging towards an ontology that is operational with a minimal number of elements and can potentially be expanded with additional layers for specific uses (e.g. LCA).


  • the input and output subclasses allow us to work with raw (unlinked) data.

After my short chat with Matteo, I understand that even if redundant these subclasses are a more elegant way (semantically speaking) to structure our ontology because they allow us to “get the answer we want by making the right question”. We can get the same answer indirectly but this approach is less elegant (and since I am Italian, for me elegance is everything…). So it might be actually advantageous to keep them.


  • “product”, “emission”, etc. are subjective.

Agree, and formalizing them limits our flexibility. But indeed some of those might be useful to work in LCA context. I think that the only two pieces of information we actually need for doing LCA are: if a flow belongs to the technosphere (all the rest is B matrix) and if a flow is a reference flow (diagonal of tech matrix). Right now I can’t think of any automatic way of determining this information from a raw list of inputs and outputs. So we have to include this info in the ontology because we can’t use an algorithm or write a code to figure this out. But perhaps I am wrong and somebody in the group has a solution for this and then we can skip these classifications altogether, that would be perfect. I also recognize that this means introducing some subjective elements in the model, because who decides what is technosphere? But as I wrote before if we want to use the liked data for LCA we have to accept that there is an LCA framework.


Looking forward to the meeting on Friday.


p.s. +1 for “ALPHA”, ”BRAVO”, “CHARLY”. I am having some good laughs thinking about “Hot shots!” right now



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