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Semantic enrichment for the automated customization and interoperability of ubl schemas

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2008
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Universal Business Language (UBL) is an initiative to develop common business document schemas to provide standardization in the electronic business domain. However, businesses operate in different industry, geopolitical, and regulatory contexts and consequently they have different rules and requirements for the information they exchange. In this thesis, we provide semantic enrichment mechanisms for UBL that (i) allow automated customization of document schemas in response to contextual needs and (ii) maintain interoperability among different schema versions. For this purpose, we develop ontologies to provide machine processable representations for context domains, annotate custom components using classes from those ontologies and show that using these semantic annotations, automated discovery of components and automated customization of schemas becomes possible. We then provide a UBL Component Ontology that represents the semantics of individual components and their structural relationships and show that when an ontology reasoner interprets the expressions from this ontology, it computes equivalence and class-subclass relationships between classes representing components with similar content. Finally we describe how these computed relationships are used by a translation mechanism to establish interoperability among schema versions customized for different business context values.