A purpose driven method for language comparison

  • Francis Brazier
  • Frank van Harmelen
  • Remco Straatman
  • Jan Treur
Theoretical and General Issues
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1076)


Current efforts to compare knowledge engineering (KE) modelling languages have been limited to either rather shallow comparisons on a broad-set of languages, or to detailed comparisons with limited applicability to a narrow set of languages. In this paper we propose a novel way of organising language comparisons. This method is based on an alternating decomposition of the goals that a language tries to achieve and the linguistic methods it employs to achieve these goals. This new method for comparing languages allows a general comparison at high levels of abstraction, while not preventing more precise comparisons whenever possible. One result of our comparison method is an insight in the different assumptions that underly the languages to be compared. Two further consequences follow from the proposed comparison method, namely (i) a measure for the degree of similarity between languages, and (ii) a method for translating between languages. After describing our method, we apply it to a pair of KE modelling languages, and show how it yields insights in the assumptions underlying the languages and how it can be used to produce a translation procedure between the languages.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis Brazier
    • 2
  • Frank van Harmelen
    • 2
  • Remco Straatman
    • 1
  • Jan Treur
    • 2
  1. 1.SWI, University of AmsterdamWB AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science Vrije Universiteit De Boelelaan 1081aHV AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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