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BACnet Ontology

This is a SourceForge project for building an OWL ontology for BACnet. To join, sign up to the mailing list, grab a copy of the latest version or check out the code from the project.


This project was inspired by the opportunity to participate in Ontology Summit 2013 and leverage the tools and expertise of the Ontolog Community and apply them to the design of a machine-interpretable description of BACnet. This effort is in parallel with other efforts to formally model other standards such as the Facility Smart Grid Information Model (FSGIM), which is, in turn, built with references to other standards.

The deliverable of this project, the OWL ontology, is intended to be useful to many other information systems that talk about or include concepts from BACnet.


This is not an electronic version of the standard. The copyright of the standard is held by ASHRAE. You can purchase a copy of the standard by visiting the ASHRAE Bookstore. It is highly recommend, but not required, that you purchase a current copy of the standard if you wish to participate in this project.

This is not a BACnet API. While the descriptions of the communications model match those in the standard, the encoding and decoding rules are not included in this OWL model.

This is not a protocol in a way that systems would use to exchange control system performance or monitoring data, the BACnet protocol is used for that!

This is not another XML format. Descriptions of actual devices (instances of the model) could be exchanged using RDF/XML or one of its other serialzation formats. These descriptions would be conceptually similar to content conveyed using the XML format specified in Annex Q in the 2012 version of the BACnet standard, also known as CSML. This effort has a larger scope because it includes both objects and services, is not tied to a specific serialization format, and existing reasoners and analyzers can be used without first translating the XML content.

This is not a part of the standard. It has no relationship to the activity of the working groups with the SSPC, other than the fact that many of the team members are also involved in working group activity. Many of the team members are also struggling with similar modeling problems in other domains.

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