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Expressions/anonymous classes as annotation values

From: Alan Rector <rector@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 10:09:19 +0000
Message-Id: <D9AB3E07-FA76-4AD6-8D12-85F7F725E386@cs.man.ac.uk>
To: public-owl-comments@w3.org


Looking over the spec  for OWL annotations again in the Syntax Spec  -  
thanks for all the work - I  realise that we have a number of use- 
cases for having OWL expressions rather than just IRIs as the values  
of annotations.

Once suggested, several others have chimed in with other use cases. I  
know it is late in the day, but ...

Briefly, some use cases are:

*	Mapping applications  between ontologies where full logical  
equivalence/subsumption cannot be, or has not yet been, achieved.
	When mapping to thesauri and other artefacts that are explicitly  
linguistic or associational rather than logical, this is
	very common.
*	Stored queries & test expressions & related maintenance information.
*	Various information maintained for handling collaboration, e.g.  
alternative definitions of the "same" entity under consideration.
*	Cross reference links within the ontology where we don't want to  
create a named class explicitly to clutter the hierarchy
*	To be able to retain as annotations axioms whose proper inclusion  
kills classifiers. Keeping them
	with the original ontology for integrity is important, even if they  
have to be censored

In each of these cases we want to

a) have the expression be a syntactically legal (but not necessarily  
satisfiable)  OWL expression using the identifiers/names in the  

b) track identifier/name changes within the ontology so that the  
referential integrity of the expression is conserved even through  
updates, version changes etc.   Strings rapidly rust.   For the same  
reason that we need entities (or IRs in the ontology) in annotations,  
we need expressions made up of those those IRIs are treated in the  
same way - essentially "anonymous class value")


Alan Rector
Professor of Medical Informatics
School of Computer Science
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL, UK
TEL +44 (0) 161 275 6149/6188
FAX +44 (0) 161 275 6204
Received on Tuesday, 16 December 2008 10:09:55 UTC

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