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An Event-Defined Common Ontology

In a natively digital world, a unified system-centric ontology can model businesses, devices, and humans as systems and subsystems that can connect and interact in real-time, forming a complete, interdependent and interoperable ecosystem.  

Each “constituent” system can be defined as “independently operable,” but can be connected for a period of time to achieve a certain higher goal.

System Model.png


A top-level “System” class represents any regularly interacting or interdependent group of objects forming a unified whole.  Every system is delineated by its spatial and temporal boundaries, surrounded and influenced by its environment, described by its structure and purpose, and expressed in its processes.


The top-level “Process” represents an action within a system that produces one or more events (state changes) from one or more triggering events.   Each System instance can contain a collection of Process instances.  . A Process instance can consume events based on its Rules and produce events from its actions.   If the actions require human assistance, then one or more Task instances are produced from the Process instance.   Devices (machines) involved in process are directed/controlled from attribute settings rather than tasks.


The top-level “Rule” class represents a state that influences the triggering of a process.  Each Process can contain a collection of Rule instances


Atomic and primitive data types have been defined by standards organizations ( 11404, XML Schema), but inconsistencies among them are challenging to manage. The “Data Type” class represents atomic types of data (Boolean, number, string), classified based on their data size, possible values and operations, and method of persistence.  All data based on digital electronics is represented as bits (alternatives 0 and 1) on the lowest level, varying only in size (the quantity of bits). 


The top-level “Task” class represents a basic unit of work, assigned to a person assuming a specific role, in context of a set of events (collective state) that trigger a process.

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