Product Modelling Incubator Group Charter

The mission of the Product Modelling Incubator Group, part of the Incubator Activity, is as follows: The SWOP and S-TEN projects, with the POSC Caesar Association, believe that it is possible to define a small core of basic classes and properties for product modelling. This "product core" could be the basis of the ontologies defined by the two projects, and for many other application ontologies. This core could help the development of Web ontologies derived from existing international standards, such as IFC, STEP and ISO 15926. Therefore it is proposed to set up a W3C "Product Modelling" incubator group which will develop this core.

Join the Product Modelling Incubator Group.

End date 30 April 2009
Confidentiality Proceedings are public
Initial Chairs Michel Böhms
Initiating Members
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Monthly
Face-to-face: Once Annually


A "product core" ontology will be created so that statements about a product can be made using:

The use of the "product core" will enable simple operations to be carried out on product data irrespective of any extension to the core specific to an application. These operations could include:

A possible sequence of work is as follows:

  1. The objects of interest, which include parametric products, variants and actual (local and global) individuals. Note: There are no agreed formal definitions for any of these objects at present. Creating agreed formal definitions will be a task of the incubator group. Hence the scope of the group is defined merely the natural language meaning of the terms.
  2. Whole-part relationships between the objects of interest, including strict hierarchies and partitions. Notes: It is a requirement to record product decomposition in an "open world". It is a requirement to be able to access decomposition information to determine all that is part of a product, and to determine the totality of its environmental impact. Whole-part relationships is a big area, and raises questions such as: "Is the hole for a window a part of a wall?" "Are features parts?"
  3. Product knowledge in the form of assertion and derivation rules.
  4. Configuration management during a design process. This includes the relationship between end-user requirements/objectives and their technical solutions, alternative designs, and subsequent versions of designs, etc. Note: ISO 10303 (STEP) has developed a terminology for this area.
  5. Miscellaneous classes and relationships related to configuration management and design and analysis work flow, including the roles of people and organisations in design and analysis activities.
  6. Physical properties associated with physical individuals and designs. This topic includes physical quantities, scales, units of measure, nominal values, allowed ranges, default values and uncertainty.

It is not expected that the incubator group would cover any more than items (1) and (2) in its first year.

Success Criteria

(Re)usable as generic, common ontology for many other product modelling initiatives

Out of Scope

Modelling constructs already defined in base standards such as OWL1.0 and the upcoming OWL 2.0
Process Modelling aspects


Report on the actual PMO- Product Modelling Ontology defined


W3C Groups

Semantic Web Activity
OWL 2.0 to be used as basis

External Groups

There a two EU co-funded projects which are developing product ontologies for use on the Web, and derived from, or related to, international standards:
The European SWOP project
The SWOP project (see http://www.swop-project.eu/) is developing end-user product ontologies for product data based on an upper ontology called PMO for Product Modelling Ontology. The construction industry sector is one of the application areas, and these ontologies will be related to the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) of the International Association for Interoperability (IAI) (see http://www.iai-international.org/).
The European S-TEN project
The S-TEN project (see http://www.s-ten.eu/) is developing ontologies for technical and environmental networks (such as piping or electricity networks and river basins). These ontologies will be related to the information models for product data within ISO 10303 (STEP) and for process plants within ISO 15926.


Monthly telcon's and yearly face-2-face meetings frequency.


This group primarily conducts its work on the public mailing list public-xg-w3pm@w3.org (archive) . The group's Member-only list is member-xg-w3pm@w3.org (archive)

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the Product Modelling Incubator Group home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.

Patent Policy

This Incubator Group provides an opportunity to share perspectives on the topic addressed by this charter. W3C reminds Incubator Group participants of their obligation to comply with patent disclosure obligations as set out in Section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy. While the Incubator Group does not produce Recommendation-track documents, when Incubator Group participants review Recommendation-track specifications from Working Groups, the patent disclosure obligations do apply.

Incubator Groups have as a goal to produce work that can be implemented on a Royalty Free basis, as defined in the W3C Patent Policy.

The W3C Team is responsible for notifying all Participants in this Incubator Group in the event that a new Working Group is proposed to develop a Recommendation that takes the XG Report as an input.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Product Modelling Incubator Group has been created according to the Incubator Group Procedures documentation. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Michel Böhms (TNO in NL). More info

$Date: 2008/05/05 18:15:26 $