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Re: relation between ontology

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 20:44:50 -0500
Message-Id: <p05200f1bbbf592974189@[]>
To: "Yongchun Gao" <yongchun.gao@mail.mcgill.ca>, <public-webont-comments@w3.org>
At 9:24 AM -0500 12/4/03, Yongchun Gao wrote:
Hi, Dear folks,

Can OWL "unite" all the ontologies? Or OWL is just a way to represent 
ontology on the Web?

In OWL, there are subClassOf, subPropertyOf, etc. From first sight, 
it seems that OWL can unite at least some ontology. But giving an 
simple example.

Suppose someone developed an ontology by OWL, in which "humans" is a 
class and has "hasGender" as a property (value=male/female). A man 
could be an instance of "humans" which "hasGender" of "male". It can 
work well.

Suppose anther expert developed an ontology by OWL too, in which 
"humans" and "animals" are classes, but "females" and "males" are 
classes too (can be attached to both "animals" and "humans"), and 
"men" is just two subclass of both "humans" and "males". It may work 

But the problem here is HOW to unite these two different OWL files 
which tell the same ontology?

Thank you!


Yongchun - OWL provides a mechanism by which ontologies can point at 
(and make statements about) classes, properties and instances in 
other ontologies (by using the appropriate URIs) - several examples 
are shown in the Reference and Guide documents.   However, the OWL WG 
was not chartered to explicitly deal with any content issues, so we 
have provided a syntax in which many different approaches to ontology 
linking, merging, mapping, marshalling, etc can be done -- however we 
have not discussed particular approaches -- that is a very active 
area of research, and I believe it has been discussed on the 
www-rdf-rules@w3.org mailing list in the past -- that would be a good 
place for you to ask about how different people do this work.  The 
langauge itself, however, provides only the mechanisms of owl:imports 
and the URI pointing for relating things in different ontologies.
  Hope that helps, and I suspect you'd have a lot of people interested 
in answering your questions on some of the more general mailing lists 
(www-rdf-interest or www-rdf-logic)
  -Jim Hendler

Professor James Hendler			  http://www.cs.umd.edu/users/hendler 
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  301-405-6707 (Fax)
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742	  240-277-3388 (Cell)
Received on Thursday, 4 December 2003 20:46:29 UTC

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