Enterprise Data Modelling:

Developing an Ontology-Based Framework for the Shell Downstream Business

This paper examines the development of a conceptual model that defines Shell’s information requirements - the Downstream Data Model (DDM). The model has its roots in a framework based on the notion of ontological commitment and the focus of the analysis seeks to provide useful insights into the metaphysical aspects relevant to the creation and deployment of the DDM – primarily that related to the extensional nature of the model. The impact of this choice and the methodology employed in the production of the model is examined through example patterns covering spatial and temporal dissectiveness and the use of powerclasses. Having been through the experience of conceptual model development, the work concludes that the separation of the implementational and epistemological ‘gloss’ from a studied understanding of ontological commitment is a necessary evolution of practice in conceptual modelling.


FOMI 2006, Second Formal Ontologies Meet Industry Workshop, 14-15 December 2006, Trento, Italy


Matthew West (Shell International Petroleum Company)
Chris Partridge (BORO Solutions)
Mark Lycett (Brunel University)