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Anonymous classes as values for annotations

From: Alan Rector <rector@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2009 08:47:52 +0000
Message-Id: <507535B8-6726-4B40-AA69-A97438882A4C@cs.man.ac.uk>
To: public-owl-comments@w3.org


Looking over the OWL annotation spec again - 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  
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 & elated maintenance  
*       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  
kills classifiers, They might possibly to be
       dealt with in some other way, at least to be retained for future
reference. However, keeping them
       with the original ontology for integrity is important.

In each of these cases we want to

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

b) track identifier/name changes within the ontology so that the  
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  
up of those those IRIs are treated in the same way - essentially  
class value")

Since the parsers etc. already exist, it would seem "just" a matter of
designating the properties as annotation properties rather than ordinary


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 Wednesday, 14 January 2009 09:30:31 UTC

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