Railway Objects Semantic Dictionary

Project information

  • Acronym: Onto Rail
  • Railway Objects Semantic Dictionary
  • Project director: Christian Chavanel
  • Project manager: Airy Magnien
  • Status: completed project
  • Project code: 2020/RSF/668

Project description

Why do we need this project and what are its benefits / added value?

Railway projects need a common Thesaurus. Ongoing projects (EULYNX data preparation, buildingSMART IFC Rail…) reveal that common understanding of railway system components is hard to establish and maintain, especially in an international context.
Conventional dictionaries are valuable, but…
… do not capture the entire knowledge, esp. not the relationships between items, nor the links between objects and functions;
… do not lend themselves to collaborative working with managed rights and full traceability.
Railway applications must rest on unambiguous, shared semantics, for instance:

  • Building Information Modelling (incl. IFC Rail and RTM-BIM: P588…)
  • Railway system simulation (incl. RTM-SIM: P589…)
  • ATO projects
    Solutions are available:
  • For “formally” representing knowledge: Ontologies (in the IT sense);
  • For “practically” representing and handling knowledge: MediaWiki (the “engine” behind Wikipedia) + semantic extensions (Semantic MediaWiki) seem to be the best available basis

What is in for the members?

Semantic web applications are on the rise: the need for ontologies has been identified by S²R in the field of passenger information (“travel companion”: timetabling, pricing, travel information…) and gave rise to two projects: ST4RT (ontology) and GOF4R (governance), ending June 2019, with UIC, and UIC Members, participation.
Currently, the S²R “Common Data Model” (CDM) initiative endeavors to provide a comprehensive mapping of railway modelling initiatives, including terminology. Clearly, there is a recognized need to have a trustable federator in charge of railway semantics, especially for maintaining it. This is the natural role of UIC.
MediaWiki, the development of which started in 2002, has proven immensely successful in establishing shared bodies of knowledge, with high usability and maintainability. Adapting Mediawiki to corporate usage will bring UIC Members

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Wednesday 1 January 2020