Psi Ontology (psiOnt)

Task and Objective

Interdisciplinary collaboration in the product lifecycle is becoming increasingly important. One of the core topics is data-driven collaboration in engineering environments, which is being addressed by different project groups in the prostep ivip Association. In the future, it is intended that they be provided with the opportunity to collaborate more closely and work together on addressing specific cross-domain issues. The prerequisite for this is consistent management of knowledge and information. That is why the Technical Steering Committee has launched the Psi Ontology (psiOnt) initiative.

The objective of psiOnt is to create a cross-project group information model that identifies not only similarities and correlations but also gaps that exist between the individual project groups and makes the information that is gathered available for use. The use of a top-level ontology is intended to make the project groups more efficient. In addition, the insights into the use of web technologies and ontologies gained from this initiative will provide association members with important information on how to getting to grips with the challenges posed when linking information.

Focus and concrete results

Following a number of meetings and discussions, a consolidated top-level ontology is now available. The psiOnt project group was provided with input and details during various feedback rounds with other project groups in the association and a panel of experts. An ontology workshop was also held at the prostep ivip Symposium with the aim of generating feedback from industrial companies. These activities raised awareness of the possibilities offered by linked data models and their use.

At the end of 2022, initial documentation of the top-level ontology, which can be used for software implementations, was completed. In a first step, the ICF project group will develop a group demonstrator that uses this ontology. The aim is to map the different use cases in the project group with a uniform data model.

Organizational and technical challenges

The initiative was tasked with synchronizing the ontologies of the different project groups and merging them to create a common ontology. One of the challenges involved was gaining an overview of the ontologies of the project groups, some of which have been around for a very long time and have not documented their terminologies in a uniform manner.

Planning for the current year 2023

Plans for the current year include providing support for completing work on the demonstrator that was started in 2022 and helping other project groups in the prostep ivip Association make use of the top-level ontology. Both activities entail further verification and development of the psi ontology. As new findings emerge, they will be incorporated in the ontology and documented.

What the project coordinator says:

"Collaboration between the partners and project groups involved functioned extremely well, which meant that we were able to create and review the common ontology within the given timeframe. The workshop at the symposium indicated that there is also a great deal of interest in the topic in industry."

What the project manager says:

"This year, we want to discuss to what extent the ontological approach might prove useful for other prostep ivip project groups and for general industrial applications based on the results achieved in the context of defining the top-level ontology and implementing it in the demonstrator."

Project management

Peter Gerber, Schaeffler AG

Project coordination

Stefan Just
Tel.: +49 6151 9287 475
E-Mail: stefan.just(at)


:em AG
Schaeffler AG