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Re: annotate an axiom in OWL

From: Chris Mungall <cjm@fruitfly.org>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 15:34:48 -0800
Message-Id: <2F6A7DC9-B304-4F4A-A38F-7BCA2C06411B@fruitfly.org>
Cc: Chuming Chen <chumingchen@gmail.com>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, Owl Dev <public-owl-dev@w3.org>
To: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>

On Feb 6, 2008, at 11:56 AM, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:

> This can't be done within OWL 1.0. It is a design goal of OWL 1.1  
> to support this.

This makes it sound like the support is something that will be  
offered in the future.
I think things have progressed a little further than this simply  
being a design goal?

As far as I understand OWL1.1 does support this in the form of Axiom  


I just did a quick experiment with the OWLAPI and it seems I can  
write out OWLXML:

         <Annotation annotationURI="&rdfs;comment">
             <Constant>true the last time I checked</Constant>
         <OWLClass URI="&tax;Human"/>
         <OWLClass URI="&tax;Animal"/>

Seems to also work with functionalsyntax:

EntityAnnotation(OWLClass(<http://purl.org/obo/owl/tax#Human>) Label 
SubClassOf(Annotation(<&rdfs;comment> "true last time I checked")
            <http://purl.org/obo/owl/tax#Human> <http://purl.org/obo/ 

The only controversial part would appear to be the RDF-XML transform:

     <owl:Class rdf:about="&tax;Human">
         <rdf:type rdf:resource="&owl11;Axiom"/>
         <rdf:subject rdf:resource="&tax;Human"/>
         <rdf:predicate rdf:resource="&rdfs;subClassOf"/>
         <rdf:object rdf:resource="&tax;Animal"/>
             >true last time I checked</null:comment>

Curiously, the OWLAPI seems to drop the actual rdfs:subClassOf  
triple, retaining only its reification. I'm guessing this is a bug  
and not a feature.

The last time rdf-reification was brought up on this list it was shot  
down - but it seems that no alternate solutions are being considered?  
I personally don't have any issues with reification.

There was an issue regarding multi-triple axioms:


A solution was proposed here:

This is still marked open, so I don't know if this is all to be  
regarded as finalized

See also:

> -Alan
> On Feb 6, 2008, at 12:40 PM, Chuming Chen wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> Given an axiom in OWL functional syntax "SubClassOf(Human,  
>> Animal)", how can I add annotation for it?
>> For example, I want to add the following annotations:
>> 1) add comment "Humans are animal"
>> 2) add "John created this axiom"
>> 3) add "This axiom was created on Feb. 6, 2008"
>> Can anybody show me how to do this in OWL functional syntax?
>> Thanks,
>> Chuming
Received on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 23:35:30 UTC

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