Towards an Ontology of Physics
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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Meaningful interoperability between physics-based models requires a common understanding and standardized description of the physical laws governing physical objects, i.e., an ontology of physics and the resulting metadata. For example, currently, the Synthetic Environment Data Representation and Interchange Specification SEDRIS standard addresses the description of model data objects, their spatiotemporal coordinates, and many physical attributes. What is not described in SEDRIS are model dynamics, i.e., how a model evolves in time between the discrete states that are represented in transmittals. If model dynamics are not specified with the data, a data recipient will be required to infer how heshe should use the received data, making an inference that will vary depending on the recipient. Of the many factors that may affect model dynamics, such as military doctrine, human behavior, or physics, we focus on representing physical dynamics. This is commonly a necessary aspect of model dynamics. The key concepts in representing physical dynamics are the equations of physics, usually phrased as differential equations, and how they relate to static representations of physical objects, such as those represented in SEDRIS. This paper frames the structure of how to incorporate considerations of dynamics in an ontology of physics and begins to detail the types of physical dynamical relationships that may be modeled.
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