Towards an ontology of fields
While philosophers define ontology as "a branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature and relations of being", within the knowledge representation and reasoning community, a more tractable definition exists. There, an ontology is "a specification of a conceptualization" or a definition of the vocabulary used to represent knowledge. An ontology describes the concepts and relationships that exist within a specific domain and describes all that can be represented about that domain. An ontology of fields which explicitly characterizes spatially continuous phenomena in order that they can be consistently modeled and completely described within spatial databases is needed. Such an ontology must be based on a formal definition of fields. We argue that the classical definition of a field as a function on a domain which is a subset of space-time is accurate, explicit and expressive, and provides access to the full set of mathematical tools for the characterization of fields. Thus, we conclude there is no need for more ontology.