OntoCAPE is a large-scale ontology for the domain of Computer Aided Process Engineering (CAPE). Represented in a formal, machine-interpretable ontology language, OntoCAPE captures consensual knowledge of the process engineering domain in a generic way such that it can be reused and shared by groups of people and across software systems. On the basis of OntoCAPE, novel software support for various engineering activities can be developed; possible applications include the systematic management and retrieval of simulation models and design documents, electronic procurement of plant equipment, mathematical modeling, as well as the integration of design data from distributed sources.


We made a major effort to deliver a flawless formal and informal specification of OntoCAPE. However, if you find any errors, or if you have any other suggestions for improvement, please do not hesitate to let us know.


If you have any comments related to the formal and informal specification please contact  OntoCAPE(at)avt.rwth-aachen.de.


If you have any comments related to the OntoCAPE monograph please contact Wolfgang.Marquardt(at)avt.rwth-aachen.de


Access OntoCAPE Material

OntoCAPE is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. It is available in form of an informal specification and in form of a formal specification. The OntoCAPE material can be accessed free of charge.

However, we are always interested in the intension and purpose of projects OntoCAPE is applied in. Therefore, please fill out the provided questionnaire  and submit it.


Formal specification


For the formal specification of OntoCAPE, the Ontology Web Language OWL has been chosen (OWL-DL in particular, www.w3.org/2004/OWL/). The modeling was accomplished by means of the ontology editor Protégé for the verification, the reasoner RacerPro has been used. The current release of OntoCAPE consists of 62 OWL files, each of which includes one module of the ontology.

Please note, that the archive files should be unzipped into a directory named C:\OntoCAPE\; otherwise, you need to change the respective URI in the header of each OWL file.


OntoCAPE Meta Model

OntoCAPE Domain ontology


Informal specification


The informal specification currently takes the form of six technical reports, which jointly comprise about 500 pages. It serves the double function of (i) a user manual and (ii) a reference guide. Within these reports, the organization and structure of OntoCAPE are presented, and the conceptualizations of various topic areas are described in detail. Special emphasis was placed on making OntoCAPE as user-friendly as possible by (1) a detailed description of concepts, relations and instances, and an explanation of the corresponding interrelations in descriptive UML-like diagrams; (2) defining the proper usage of the ontology; (3) highlighting the important design decision and principles leading to the organization and structure at hand.



Meta Model (Technical Report LPT-2008-24)

Upper Level (Technical Report LPT-2008-25)

Supporting Concepts (Technical Report LPT-2008-26)

Material (Technical Report LPT-2008-27)

Mathematical Models (Technical Report LPT-2008-28)

Chemical Process System(Technical Report LPT-2008-29)


Supplementary Material

Besides OntoCAPE, some converters have been developed that support ontology development and data acquisition:


    * DAML2OWL translates the ontology language DAML+OIL into the Web Ontology Language OWL.

    * XML2OWL maps the content of XML documents onto a given OWL ontology.


OntoCAPE has been subject of various papers and presentations. A compilation of publications is listed below:

OntoCAPE - Monograph

OntoCAPE - Overview

Process Modeling

Knowledge Management in Engineering Design

Integration of Design Information

Work Process Modeling

Pre-conference workshop "OntoCAPE - Essence and Application" at ESCAPE 20.