A Minimal Ontology Pattern for Life Cycle Assessment Data
Paper in proceedings, 2015
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the study of the environmental impact of products taking into account their entire life-span and production chain. This requires gathering data from a variety of heterogeneous sources into a Life Cycle Inventory (LCI). LCI preparation involves the integration of observations and engineering models with reference data and literature results from around the world, from different domains, and at varying levels of granularity. Existing LCA data formats only address syntactic interoperability, thereby often ignoring semantics. This leads to inefficiencies in information collection and management and thus a variety of challenges, e.g., difficulties in reproducing assessments published in the literature. In this work, we present an ontology pattern that specifies key aspects of LCA/LCI data models, i.e., the notions of flows, activities, agents, and products, as well as their properties.