Shed Foundational Ontology

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The Semantic Shed Foundational Ontology =

SFO or maybe SSFO


A significant portion of this has been built already.

The ontology is based on

  • The original conceptual underpinnings of the FIBO ontology
  • Elevation and extension of concepts in the REA Ontology, to cover all types of agreement (not limited to transactional agreements)
    • as initiated in Bilbao at the Summer Camp
    • Subsequent work during sessions with Bill McCarthy for the joint Paper (2022 - 2023 and ongoing)
  • the Business Entities ontology worked on as a separate workstream some years back
  • Additional explorations (typically at Semantic Shed Summer Camps and on our regular calls)


The Semantic Shed Foundational Ontology is conceived in Description Logic and serialized in OWL. It is built using the Cameo Concept Modeler (CCM) plug-in for MagicDraw from Dassault Systemes.

It uses a modular approach in which each namespace fragment corresponds to a group of thematically linked ontologies.

The ontology uses a simple Top Level Ontology based on the top layer (only) of John F Sowa's Knowledge Representation Lattice. This has been extended with additional material and refinements.

There is no 'second' layer as Top Level Ontology; instead the next layer consists of the most atomic business / real world concepts, such as 'Goal'. These are regarded as 'Archetypes'.