What is gist, and what does it stand for?

gist is a minimalist upper ontology designed to aid the production of business oriented ontologies. It does not stand for anything; it is a word, meaning “a general understanding.” gist is freely available at www.semanticarts.com/gist and is licensed through the Creative Commons Share Alike license. It has been under development by Semantic Arts for over six years. It consists of just under 100 classes and just under 100 properties. One design goal was completeness: it is meant to cover nearly all the concepts that come up in real world enterprise ontology development. In our last several ontology projects we have found that fewer than 5% of the concepts uncovered are not directly expressible using the gist primitives. Another goal was to promote disambiguation. We have avoided highly abstract concepts, as they tend to be ambiguous, and we have gradually culled out ambiguous business terms. gist is very highly axiomized, and as such when used it is highly self-correcting.

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