Ontological research on roles

… there is no single kind of roles … (F. Loebe)


student, president, symptom, hypothesis, culprit, residue, breather, military target


BFO Definition

X is a role iff

  1. X is a realizable entity

  2. X exists because there is some single bearer that is in some special physical, social, or institutional set of circumstances in which this bearer does not have to be

  3. X is not such that, if it ceases to exist, then the physical make-up of the bearer is thereby changed

from: http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/BFO_0000023

DOLCE Definition

X is a role iff X is an anti-rigid and founded concept, i.e.,

  1. some instances of X may stop being instances of X

  2. X’s definition involves (at least) another concept Y such that for each entity classified by X, there is an entity classified by Y which is external to it.

from: https://cdn.aaai.org/Symposia/Fall/2005/FS-05-08/FS05-08-017.pdf

GFO Definition

X is a role iff there is player Y and context Z such that

  1. Y plays X

  2. X occurs in context Y.

from: https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.5555/2351660.2351664

OMG/IDMP Definition

X is a role iff X is a named specific behavior of something participating in a particular context.

from: https://spec.edmcouncil.org/idmp/ontology?query=https://www.omg.org/spec/Commons/RolesAndCompositions/Role

YAMATO Definition

X is a role if X is an entity that is played by another entity in a context.

from: https://doi.org/10.3233/AO-210257

Selected papers