Descriptive Ontology for Linguistic and Cognitive Engineering (DOLCE)


DOLCE is a foundational ontology developed and maintained by the ISTC-CNR Laboratory for Applied Ontology. It was originally developed within the WonderWeb project and was conceived as the first module of the WonderWeb Foundational Ontologies Library (WFOL) together with OCHRE and BFO.

DOLCE has remained stable after its first release in 2002/2003. It is formally specified in first-order logic (FOL); its consistency has been proved by Oliver Kutz and Till Mossakowski (see paper ).

Developed in part within the OntoCommons project (grant agreement no. 958371)

  • DOLCE in CLIF with consistency proofs using MACE4 / PROVER9 by Daniele Porello, Stefano Borgo, and Laure Vieu (link)

Main documentation on DOLCE

  • WonderWeb Deliverable 18: it includes the final axiomatization of DOLCE in FOL, as well as the presentation of the WonderWeb Foundational Ontologies Library. This deliverable is to be considered as the main, official documentation of DOLCE
  • WonderWeb Deliverable 17: it covers the first axiomatization of DOLCE in FOL
  • Borgo, S., & Masolo, C. (2009). Foundational choices in DOLCE. In Handbook on ontologies (pp. 361-381). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Some research papers based on DOLCE

Some methodological works

DOLCE in the Web Ontology Language (OWL)

Aldo Gangemi and colleagues have adapted and re-engineered DOLCE according to the expressivity of OWL. Their efforts resulted in various OWL models, among which DOLCE Lite ( download the ontology library) and Dolce+DnS Ultralite (DUL).
These ontologies depart from the official release of DOLCE under different aspects; e.g., they do not cover modality, nor temporal indexing, and include the representation of entities such as descriptions and situations which are not covered in DOLCE.

A new OWL release compliant with the original spirit of DOLCE is currently being developed in the context of an ISO standard.

Scientific Papers on DOLCE

A list of papers that discuss about DOLCE is available here.

More about DOLCE

  • The Unified Foundational Ontology (UFO) is based on both DOLCE and OntoClean
  • DOLCE in Common Logic by Michael Grüninger (see COLORE)
  • Some research papers based on DOLCE (written by world-wide scientists) [page not actively maintained, write us if you would like to propose additions to the list]
  • DOLCE users [page not actively maintained, write us if you would like to be added to the list]

(for archival purposes, link to DOLCE’s resources in the outdated LOA’ s website)