SUO Home
Scope and Purpose
How to Participate
How we do Business
Members Area
Expert Contributions
Ontology References
Links to related work

Start Documents
Lattice of Theories
4D Ontology



IEEE P1600.1

Standard Upper Ontology Working Group (SUO WG)

Home Page

Working Group Chair: James Schoening,

Search IEEE


Welcome to the Standard Upper Ontology Working Group (SUO WG) website. The SUO WG is developing a Standard that will specify an upper ontology to support computer applications such as data interoperability, information search and retrieval, automated inferencing, and natural language processing.


An ontology is similar to a dictionary or glossary, but with greater detail and structure that enables computers to process its content. An ontology consists of a set of concepts, axioms, and relationships that describe a domain of interest.

Upper Ontology

An upper ontology is limited to concepts that are meta, generic, abstract and philosophical, and therefore are general enough to address (at a high level) a broad range of domain areas. Concepts specific to given domains will not be included; however, this standard will provide a structure and a set of general concepts upon which domain ontologies (e.g. medical, financial, engineering, etc.) could be constructed.


Starter Documents being working on by this Working Group:

  • IFF Foundation Ontology
  • Suggested Upper Merged Ontology
  • OpenCyc
  • Lattice of Theories including the above and
  • A 4D ontology based on ISO 15926.
  • The Multi-Source Ontology (MSO) brings together some of these in a practical environment.

Finally, the group has resolved to develop a procedure for developing these, and work on this is in progress.


  • The Archive links have been returned to the How to Participate Page as well as information on how to use the new e-mail exploder, LISTSERV.
  • Information on how voting is counted in How we do Business has been added
  • Cumulative Resolutions - the results of successful votes has been added.
  • Pages for the following contributions are now available (see menu):
    • Lattice of Theories
    • 4D Ontology
    • Procedures

Last updated on 2003-12-28 by Webmaster

Copyright IEEE 2003 - All rights reserved. is neither affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its contents. This is a safe-cache copy of the original web site.