Re: Post-hackathon ontology group #ontology #followup

Massimo Pizzol

Thanks Elias

Good outline.

I would prefer using Goole docs for a draft. if this is to become a sci paper it can't be a public document but it should be accessible to contributors only and via invitation.


Massimo Pizzol

DCEA | Department of Planning
Aalborg University (DK)

Phone: 45 9940 8369

From: [] on behalf of Bo Weidema via Groups.Io []
Sent: Saturday, March 30, 2019 10:37 AM
Subject: Re: [hackathon2019] Post-hackathon ontology group #ontology #followup

Thanks for taking the initiative. I find to be appropriate for this kind of work. If you prefer an open tool, a less advanced option is a riseup.pad

I would like to distinguish between the BONSAI core, which is what is absolutely needed to perform BONSAI footprints, and then have a separate add-on to enable its more general use in Industrial Ecology, mainly an expansion with the concepts of "stock", "assets" and "behavioural rules" linked to agents. All concepts need to be supported by actual data examples and validations.

Best regards


Den 2019-03-30 kl. 09.55 skrev Elias Sebastian Azzi:

Hej allihop,

I guess all of us have an outline in mind for the ontology-related paper. Here is what I have in mind; I guess we can build on it, iterate and agree on a suitable structure and contents.
Not sure if is the best way to keep track of edits in the long run; not sure that suits everyone either; GitHub would be public; we use internally.


§ Paragraph IE

IE's object of study is SEM.

The accounting of social, environmental and economic flows in time and space.

Many fields of sustainability and decision-making towards sustainability rely on such accounting.

Several approaches can exist: MFA / LCA / IOA; but all share the same structure; despite different vocabularies/inconsistencies (ref).

Call to lift up IE methods: Reference to Pauliuk

Call to generalise: Bo, 2018

§ Paragraph CS

* Ontology definition
* Linked Data, Web of Data, background, e.g. in life sciences and what it has enabled
* Open-source

§ IE and CS

Acknowledge previous efforts: LCA ontologies existing, IE GitHub repo open source,…

Still, as of today:

* Conventional databases, ecoinvent; exiobase, have not yet made the move towards these flexible data structures.
* Remains a challenge to have interoperability between databases
* Validation of databases
* Transparency of assumptions (constructs / system model)
* Updates of databases

§ Bonsai organisation, strech goals, hackhathon

* BONSAI organisation / Working rules / BEP process
* Strech goals; highlight the sub-goal of the ontology group
* Hackhathon, background info

§ Paper's aim

* Describe the ontology developed, providing examples and possible extensions
* Report on BEP process, main choices, alternatives left out + reproducability

§ Outline plan of article

[not sure an IMRaD structure is best suited, maybe better to have numbered section]

Section 2 = BEP process, rules, principles

Section 3 = Ontology description (link to online documentation)

Section 4 = Examples (unlinked, linked)

Section 5 = Advanced example, ideally with actual URIs, online;

Section 6 = Discussion of key choices, extensions per field, future enhancements, validation of rdfs

Section 7 = Conclusions, link to other working groups (e.g. correspondance tables, rdf triplestore)

SECTION 2 BEP process, rules, principles

Rules for agreeing; definition; BEPs


* Minimalist principle: core; complementary ontologies for different fields; extensions upcoming
* On the distinction between A and B; for IA: atmospjhere as a process

SECTION 3 Ontology description

Table: 3 columns: Key vocabulary in the ontology; labels as in ontology; other usual names given in different fields (LCA, MFA, IOA, LCC, etc)

Figure: online viz of rdfs

§ Text description of:

* Classes
* Sub-classes
* Properties, balanceable properties, …
* Sub activities: market, transport, …

§ External ontologies

* Measure, location,…

§ To add:

* Uncertainty, …


§ Current hosting of the ontology; examples are available at the URIs mentioned and on GitHubRepo

§ Several examples with figures, from simple to complex

Example Raw data; System model

Example with transport, market, impact assessment

DISCUSSION [based on BEPs, Section 6]

* Validation [oops thing]
* Why we have made certain choices
* Alternatives left out
* Reproducibility
* Extensions: field specific extensions, agent theory (usually lacking in our field), linkages with other resources on WebOfData
* Give one example of "re-use" by others of the ontology: accounting framework for Stockholm municipality (REFLOW project), how it fits in the ontology (or not) + ref to


* how we see them;
* e.g. GDP, economic data
* agent theory (unless we want to add it to the ontology right away)

Some references

(1) Pauliuk, S.; Majeau-Bettez, G.; Mutel, C. L.; Steubing, B.; Stadler, K. Lifting Industrial Ecology Modeling to a New Level of Quality and Transparency: A Call for More Transparent Publications and a Collaborative Open Source Software Framework. J. Ind. Ecol. 2015, 19 (6), 937–949; DOI 10.1111/jiec.12316.

(2) Pauliuk, S.; Majeau-Bettez, G.; Müller, D. B. A General System Structure and Accounting Framework for Socioeconomic Metabolism. J. Ind. Ecol. 2015, 19 (5), 728–741; DOI 10.1111/jiec.12306.

(3) Pauliuk, S.; Majeau-Bettez, G.; Müller, D. B.; Hertwich, E. G. Toward a Practical Ontology for Socioeconomic Metabolism. J. Ind. Ecol. 2016, 20 (6), 1260–1272; DOI 10.1111/jiec.12386.

(4) Weidema, B. P.; Schmidt, J.; Fantke, P.; Pauliuk, S. On the Boundary between Economy and Environment in Life Cycle Assessment. Int. J. Life Cycle Assess. 2018, 23 (9), 1839–1846; DOI 10.1007/s11367-017-1398-4.


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