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Universal Property

From: Uli Sattler <sattler@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 16:06:54 +0000
Message-Id: <758554AC-19BC-442E-894A-9D7A6B8AE2E8@cs.man.ac.uk>
To: "Web Ontology Language ((OWL)) Working Group WG" <public-owl-wg@w3.org>


below is a brief explanation of the "universal property" as mentioned  
in earlier discussions and emails:

- let's assume we had an object property, owl:universal, that comes  
with the following restriction to its interpretation: it is  
symmetric, transitive (and thereby reflexive), and a super-property  
of all other properties (or those found in the ontology that   
owl:universal is used in)

- we can use owl:universal to "simulate" (proper) existential  
quantification: e.g.

	(someValuesFrom owl:universal C)

   holds of an individual if somewhere in our interpretation domain,  
an instance of C exists. Similarly,

	(allValuesFrom owl:universal C)

  holds of an individual if all individuals are instances of C. For  
example, we could say that

	(someValuesFrom owl:universal God)  SubclassOf (allValuesFrom  
owl:universal SeenByGod)

   to say that, if god exists, then she sees everything...

- hence we can use this universal role to talk about elements  
"somewhere" in the universe/interpretation domain, and thus as an  
alternative to unnamed individuals.

- it is computationally unproblematically and basically syntactic  
sugar because we can express it in OWL11....but

- I still think it would be useful syntactic sugar.

Cheers, Uli
Received on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 16:06:57 UTC

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