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Annotation of axioms

From: Alan Rector <rector@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2008 16:03:24 +0100
Message-Id: <C2CE67E6-C2AB-42DD-9F59-0A7552D2C11D@cs.man.ac.uk>
To: public-owl-wg@w3.org


Apologies if I am out of the loop.  A problem has just come to my  
attention, that I hadn't properly appreciated.

As I understand it, the current spec calls for comments on individual  
axioms but not annotations of individual axioms.
This worries me, although I am not sure how much difference there will  
be in practice, given how weak OWL annotations are.  However, I  
presume that implementations are at liberty to ignore comments and not  
annotations, and that they may have lesser status in other ways.

In setting up a system for collaborative editing, ontology evolution,  
and re-use, I have as much interest in annotating individual axioms -  
as I do classes, individuals or properties as a whole.  Each axiom  
represents a "statement" - either a fact or a restriction.  They can  
be made by different individuals, for different purposes, in different  
modules, on different authority, etc.  I need the same range of tools  
to annotate them as I do for the complete entities.   To have two  
different mechanisms is going to be very awkward indeed.

in simple applications to date, we have got by annotating just the  
entities as a whole, but as we move to "real" applications, it is  
obvious that this at best leads to ugly non-standard kluges.  My  
informed guess is that it will become just plain unworkable at scale.

I presume annotating individual axioms creates difficulty for the RDF  
serialisation (unless we use something like named graphs),  but I  
think it is a very serious problem if we are putting forward OWL as a  
serious KR language for distributed use in which different statements  
will be made by different folk and trusted to different degrees.



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 Friday, 6 June 2008 15:04:01 UTC

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