


Overview
General Formal Ontology (GFO)

Individuals exist in time or space in different ways.
To obtain a more detailed overview of these possibilities we introduce the
notion of the template of an
individual. A template of an individual is a pair of
numbers
that are determined using two functions , being defined
for arbitrary individuals .
is the space dimension of , and the time structure which is
associated with . The values of may be
,
while those of
can
be .
has the meaning that is independent from space,
analogously, is independent from time if . We consider time
entities (chronoid,
boundaries) or
space entities (topoids, surfaces, lines, points ) as
individuals. Therefore, there are 15 combinations ,
; .
means that the individual is independent from space
and time.
A material structure has the template , because occupies a
threedimensional space region and exists at a particular
timepoint. A material boundary of
a material structure has the template because any material surface
occupies a spatial entity of dimension , which is a spatial boundary.
It is not clear which of these
combinations can be realized by individuals. For instance, a process
always
satisfies the condition ; however, the determination of the
possible values of
seems to be an open question. Therefore, a complete analysis of all
combinations should be completed in order to determine which can actually be
realized by individuals.
Robert Hoehndorf
20061018

