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ISSUE-78 (OWL LitEL++): OWL-Lite as EL++

From: OWL Working Group Issue Tracker <sysbot+tracker@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 17:18:48 +0000 (GMT)
To: public-owl-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <20071128171848.A9D96C6DB0@barney.w3.org>

ISSUE-78 (OWL LitEL++): OWL-Lite as EL++


Raised by: Bijan Parsia
On product: 

(On behalf of Carsten Lutz.)

In my opinion, the fragment EL++ sticks out from the other ones for
an important reason: it is (truely tractable and) used for a lot of
practically very relevant ontologies. Examples:

- SNOMED, a commercial medical ontology underlying the standardization
  of medical terminology in the health systems of US, UK, etc.

- NCI, the national cancer institutes medical ontology

- Gene Ontology

In OWL 1.0, there was an "OWL Light" version of OWL. The idea was to
provide a lightweight version of OWL for which reasoning is simpler,
but then it was ill-designed (reasoning actually wasn't simpler), and
deprecated in OWL 1.1.

I would like to advocate having a new OWL Light, which is EL++. My
main reason for proposing this is that having an official name with
"OWL" in it is likely to increase the visibility of this fragment *a
lot*. This is good for two reasons:

1. We open up the OWL world for ontology developers that want to work
   with a tractable languages. There are quite some developers who
   insist on tractability (to name only one example, the SNOMED people).

2. Just by choosing the proper name, we can make stronger claims about
   the relationship between OWL and a number of important ontologies.
   For example, when we choose EL++ as OWL Light, we can then claim
   that SNOMED is written in OWL Light, which may again draw attention
   to OWL Light and OWL in general.

In summary, I feel that we have a real chance here to truely extend
the scope and visibility of OWL, simply by choosing a name. Note that
in contrast "being one of the 27 tractable fragments of OWL" sounds
much less convincing. Or in yet other words: the current "tractable
fragments" document does not standardize anything, it rather has an
informative character. To standardize something, you cannot list all
options, but you have to make a *decision*. This is what I advocate.

Note that I do not insist on the name "OWL Light". Other options
such as "OWL Poly" may be fine as well, but it should have OWL in
it, and there shouldn't be 5 other fragments that also have OWL
names (for otherwise the effect described above vanishes again).

Disclaimer: With EL++, I am advocating my own work here. I believe
that my arguments are objective, but still you should know this.
Received on Wednesday, 28 November 2007 17:18:56 UTC

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