A much pursued ontological capability is the enabling of knowledge sharing and reuse. There are two aspects to this: (i) the reuse of ontologies themselves across different applications; and (ii) the reuse of knowledge that is grounded in ontologies. Using ontologies should facilitate this second form of reuse as the intended meaning of underlying concepts is well-defined and accessible.
This paper deals with the two afore mentioned aspects of reuse, with emphasis on the latter, grounding them in the ecological modelling domain. The former form of reuse is addressed in the reuse of the EngMath ontology to construct an ecological metadata ontology named Ecolingua. In addressing the latter form of reuse, we propose that in ontology-constrained problem solving, once the ontology and the general problem solving mechanisms are established, instances of solutions can efficiently be reused to produce new solutions to new problem formulations. This is realized in a synthesis-via-reuse system that designs structure of system dynamics models based on metadata specified through Ecolingua's vocabulary.
In addition, I'll show some preliminary results of an ongoing empirical evaluation of the synthesis-via-reuse system wrt synthesis time.