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Re: Reified relations in OWL

From: Enrico Franconi <franconi@inf.unibz.it>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2010 19:03:53 +0100
Cc: "Uli Sattler" <sattler@cs.man.ac.uk>, <public-owl-dev@w3.org>
Message-Id: <FEE8EA4C-8462-4289-92E1-E49408C9F4AC@inf.unibz.it>
To: Paul Oude Luttighuis <Paul.OudeLuttighuis@novay.nl>
Probably UML with its association classes is the modelling language you are looking for. A UML association class is a class attached to an association, and as such it can have properties, instances, etc. Note that in UML "association" is synonym to "relation". MS Visio, IBM rational Rose and others support them fully.
-e.

On 26 Feb 2010, at 17:16, Paul Oude Luttighuis wrote:

> Dear Uli,
>  
> Thanks for your swift reply.
>  
> I'm hesitant about extensively elaborating on our modelling approach in this forum. It's not the place. If you like, we can do that via direct e-mail.
>  
> But, to answer your last question: basically, I would like relations to be able to participate in relations themselves. In fact, in the modelling approach we study, this is the rule, not the exception. Relations are hence first-class citizens, or even, the only citizens ... Each concept is represented by a relation that connects the concepts it is existence-dependent upon. So, it requires relations to have their own instances. This is what I know as "reified relations".
>  
> We are looking for modelling languages that might nicely express such reified-relations-only models. OWL is only one of them. Our first concern is not reasoning, but plain representation, preferably with a nice graphical syntax.
>  
> Does this help?
>  
> Regards,
>  
> Paul
> 
> From: Uli Sattler [mailto:sattler@cs.man.ac.uk] 
> Sent: vrijdag 26 februari 2010 15:24
> To: Paul Oude Luttighuis
> Cc: public-owl-dev@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Reified relations in OWL
> 
> 
> On 25 Feb 2010, at 21:53, Paul Oude Luttighuis wrote:
> 
>> Dear OWL mailing list,
>>  
>> In a current project, we take an approach to semantic modelling based on reified relations only. In that context, I am looking for ways of using reified relations in OWL. I am aware of the ways of mimicking reified relations proposed in http://www.w3.org/TR/swbp-n-aryRelations/, but these yield awkward models. Also, such mimicking takes away the graphical visualisations we need, as these tend (as in Protégé) to visualise the subtyping hierarchy only, not the relations (properties). In our case, subtyping is refrained from/not interesting.
> 
> sorry for skipping over your initial question: why would you refrain from 'subtyping'?! The fact that you use the term 'subtyping' seems to indicate a misunderstanding of the OWL semantics...so perhaps this should be clarified first: e.g., in OWL, if you define the class "Waterbirds" as those Birds who live close to water, and Ducks as those Birds who say quack and live close to water, then the subclass relationship between Ducks and Waterbirds will be entailed, and thus inferred by the reasoner...as a consequence, every instance of Duck will also be an instance of Bird, automatically, simply due to the OWL semantics...
> 
> Now, perhaps you explain your 'reified relation' scenario a bit more: I assume you want to model n-ary relations/tuples, for n>2? Do you have an example?
> 
> Cheers, Uli 
> 
>>  
>> Am I overlooking something. Can anybody point me to more natural ways of modelling and graphically representing reified relations with OWL?
>>  
>> I'd be grateful for your suggestions.
>>  
>> Best regards!
>> Paul
>> 
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Received on Friday, 26 February 2010 18:04:28 GMT

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