Port-based ontology modeling to support product conceptualization

Dongxing Cao, Mingwang Fu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In todays rapidly changing marketplace, product demand is one of the most powerful driving forces behind design, thus rendering product conceptualization full of challenges. As a port can be defined as the point of action between a component and its environment, it plays a crucial role in capturing component concepts and realizing conceptual design. This paper presents a convenient approach to representation of the intended exchange of signals, energy, and/or materials and the generation and management of port-based knowledge (PBK). A port-based ontology modeling (PBOM) process that supports product conceptualization is described. A port definition and port functional representation are provided first with their semantic synthesis then employed to describe a port ontology. Second, details of the construction of a port-based ontology (PBO) repository that contains the assorted primitive functions, similarity calculations, and primitive concepts needed to map component connections and interactions are provided. The hierarchical attributes and taxonomy of ports are established, and the compatibility rules are then used to determine the connectability of two components. Next, the PBOM process is presented and a port-based, multi-view model is articulated, with the definition of each view and the projected relationships among the views given. Furthermore, a port-based ontology language (PBOL) that represents the process of port ontology refinement is presented, and a port-based functionbehaviorstructure (FBS) modeling framework is constructed for primitive system configuration. Finally, the results of a correction tape dispenser case study carried out to validate the efficiency of the port ontology for product conceptualization are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-656
Number of pages11
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • Conceptualization
  • Functional modeling
  • Port-based ontology
  • Primitive concept
  • Similarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • General Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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