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Expressions/anonymous classes as annotation values

From: Alan Rector <rector@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2008 14:31:12 +0000
Message-Id: <CD1C15D5-DCFB-4864-A135-E5BA0A4C4A89@cs.man.ac.uk>
To: public-owl-wg@w3.org


I sent this to the owldev list but got not response, so I'll post it  
again here.

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  
know 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 information.
*	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 inclusion  
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  
referential 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 made up of those those IRIs are treated in the  
same way - essentially "anonymous class value")

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


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 Monday, 15 December 2008 14:31:48 UTC

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