Higher-Order Aspects and Context in SUMO

Christoph Benzmüller, Adam Pease


This article addresses the automation of higher-order aspects in expressive ontologies such as the Suggested Upper Merged Ontology SUMO. Evidence is provided that modern higher-order automated theorem provers like LEO-II can be fruitfully employed for the task. A particular focus is on embedded formulas (formulas as terms), which are used in SUMO, for example, for modeling temporal, epistemic, or doxastic contexts. This modeling is partly in conflict with SUMO's assumption of a bivalent, classical semantics and it may hence lead to counterintuitive reasoning results with automated theorem provers in practice. A solution is proposed that maps SUMO to quantified multimodal logic which is in turn modeled as a fragment of classical higher-order logic. This way automated higher-order theorem provers can be safely applied for reasoning about modal contexts in SUMO. Our findings are of wider relevance as they analogously apply to other expressive ontologies and knowledge representation formalisms.

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Type of Paper: Research Paper
Keywords: expressive ontologies, context, classical higher-order logic, Boolean extensionality, quantified multimodal logic, automated theorem proving, relevance filtering
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