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[LC Response] To Jeremy Rogers (Re: OWL2 annotations)

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 2009 08:15:30 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <20090303.081530.148050778.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
To: jeremy.rogers@nhs.net
Cc: public-owl-comments@w3.org
Dear Jeremy,

Thank you for your message
  <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-owl-comments/2009Jan/0028.html>
on the OWL 2 Web Ontology Language last call drafts.

The WG believes that you are asking for the ability to constrain the kinds
of additions that can or, perhaps, should be made to an ontology and/or to
constrain certain inferences that can occur over filler classes. The WG
realizes that this is indeed a useful ability to have.

This ability is the province of representation languages that have auto-epistemic
features, and native support for this would constitute a major extension to
OWL, taking OWL into areas where much less is known about complexity or even
decidability of reasoning, where the state of the art in reasoners is much less
advanced, and even where there are still disagreements about which language
constructs are appropriate.  The OWL WG thus has not seriously considered
extensions in this direction, instead appropriately waiting for results from
research, implementation, and use.

However, there is nothing preventing OWL user interface tools from
implementing these extra constraints for additions made through the
interface.  OWL user interface tools could mark classes as "abstract",
meaning that the tool would resist attempts to directly instantiate the
class, and could also mark properties in classes as "type required", and
check whether the filler belongs to the required class before any addition.
OWL user interface tools could even use annotations to record these
interface conditions, which would preserve the conditions in the ontology.

The OWL WG has not considered requiring support for these kinds of interface
conditions.  If there comes to be sufficient use of these kinds of interface
conditions, then it may be appropriate for a subsequent working group to
consider them.

Therefore, the OWL WG does not intend to make any changes in response to
your comment.

Please acknowledge receipt of this email to
<mailto:public-owl-comments@w3.org> (replying to this email should
suffice). In your acknowledgment please let us know whether or not you
are satisfied with the working group's response to your comment. 

Regards,
Peter F. Patel-Schneider
on behalf of the W3C OWL Working Group 
Received on Tuesday, 3 March 2009 13:15:25 GMT

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