OntoPedigree: A content ontology design pattern for traceability knowledge representation in supply chains

Tracking #: 920-2131

Monika Solanki
Christopher Brewster

Responsible editor: 
Krzysztof Janowicz

Submission type: 
Ontology Description
The sharing of product and process information plays a central role in coordinating supply chains operations and is a key driver for their success. ``Linked pedigrees'' - linked datasets, that encapsulate event based traceability information of artifacts as they move along the supply chain, provide a scalable mechanism to record and facilitate the sharing of track and trace knowledge among supply chain partners. In this paper we present ``OntoPedigree'' a content ontology design pattern for the representation of linked pedigrees, that can be specialised and extended to define domain specific traceability ontologies. Events captured within the pedigrees are specified using EPCIS - a GS1 standard for the specification of traceability information within and across enterprises, while certification information is described using PROV - a vocabulary for modelling provenance of resources. We exemplify the utility of OntoPedigree in linked pedigrees generated for supply chains within the perishable goods and pharmaceuticals sectors.
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Minor revision

Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
By Kary Främling submitted on 17/Dec/2014
Review Comment:

This manuscript was submitted as 'Ontology Description' and should be reviewed along the following dimensions: (1) Quality and relevance of the described ontology (convincing evidence must be provided). (2) Illustration, clarity and readability of the describing paper, which shall convey to the reader the key aspects of the described ontology.

The paper is well written and easy to read. The topic is also important, especially for the industry (supply chains). Scientifically there may not be much substance, then again it as a "technology with new application" kind of paper, which can be relevant for many readers.

The paper has been significantly improved from the previous version. The described ontology seems to be well-documented and appropriate for its intended purpose. The paper is also well written and clear, so it also explains how, when and why to use the presented ontology.

Review #2
By Victor de Boer submitted on 28/Dec/2014
Minor Revision
Review Comment:

This paper is a resubmitted version of an earlier reviewed paper. In that review, my assessment was that this paper should be accepted, with the request to make some minor changes. In this new version, the authors addressed more serious concerns from reviewer 3, by adding a related work section. This section adequately describes the state of the art and the inclusion has further improved the paper.

The paper now has been submitted in response to the Ontology Description call (the earlier version was submitted to the Ontology Pattern special issue). The paper also meets the requirements for this call and therefore I again would suggest accepting this paper.

However, a number of my points from the earlier review are still unresolved, minor points are still unchanged from the last version. I copy the unresolved ones here and suggest the authors address them in the paper.

- The reference implementation and the references to it in the paper are a bit confusing.
- For example, The paper mentions "LinkedPedigreeGenerator" which I cannot find in the code.
- Also in the code there is mention of a lot of namespaces, but I cannot see the one mentioned in the paper for PED. The authors should clarify this either in the paper or in the "readme" on github.

- p3: In point 2 and 3 of section 2.1, the authors use the term 'interlinked', what is meant exactly by this? Please expand on this requirement.

- p5: What are these restrictions based on. For example, how did the authors decide that a pedigree can have only one serial number. Do these come from domain knowledge the authors have, some external expert, another document? Please add short description of the method(s) used.

Grammar and typos
- p2: footnote 5 presents the namespace with a backslash instead of a forward slash in it. Is this correct? -> entering this URI gives a 404 error. Without the hashtag and a forward slash it forwards to the Ontology description page. Please correct and provide some context in this footnote
- p4: "PedigreeCreator: An entity linking the pedigree to its creating organisation."-> I would say an entity representing ... (as is done in the next item)
- p4: ". and link it with the pedigrees." -> typo, first full stop needs to be removed
- References: Please reformat refs 7, 10 and 11 so that authors are separated by commas, and "and" is used before the last author.