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Re: Defining subsets of existing OWL / RDF-S vocabularies in another vocabulary?

From: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 07:44:03 -0400
Message-Id: <BFD379FA-9141-4FD2-9F64-0EB1522C8CB7@gmail.com>
Cc: "Semantic-Web@W3.Org," <semantic-web@w3.org>, "Semanticweb@Yahoogroups.Com," <semanticweb@yahoogroups.com>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Katharina Siorpaes <katharina.siorpaes@deri.at>
To: mhepp@computer.org, Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@deri.org>

Hi Michael,

Richard speaks to the web architecture view of the problem.

The other side of it is the inference view. For inclusion of  
annotation properties, this is not an issue, as they have no formal  
semantic import. However I know that if you expect to have the same  
inferences in RDFS or OWL then it can be tricky to pull out a portion  
that accomplishes that.

As a simple example, if you pull out a property that has a domain,  
but don't port the domain statement, then inferences using the full  
ontology won't match those in yours (the extra rdf:type assertion on  
the subject of the property won't be concluded).

There is work in the OWL world on this, under the name of  
"Modularity" - the goal is to be able to break a larger ontology into  
smaller parts each of which can be take alone, but which preserve the  
same inferences. For example, see [1]


[1] http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/%7Ebcg/www433-cuenca.pdf

On Sep 27, 2007, at 2:21 PM, Martin Hepp wrote:

> Dear all:
> Is it valid to locally define a subset of an existing OWL / RDF-S  
> vocabulary in your own vocabulary in order to
> a) avoid ontology imports or
> b) make it simple for annotation tools to display only a relevant  
> subset of that external vocabulary?
> In other words, can I declare some FOAF or Dublin Core vocabulary  
> elements, which are relevant for my annotation task, locally in my  
> new domain vocabulary, instead of adding an import statement for  
> the whole vocabulary in the ontology header?
> If that was okay, it would make it easier to prepare pre-composed  
> blends of relevant ontologies that can be directly used for form- 
> based instance data creation.
> However, I fear that defining an element that is residing in  
> someone else's URI space is not okay, since I (e.g. http:// 
> www.heppnetz.de) have no authority of defining the semantics of an  
> element that is within
> |http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/, even if I what I am saying is  
> consistent with the authoritative definition of the given  
> vocabulary element. |
> ||
> ||I am assuming that I duplicate the very same specification of the  
> element, i.e., I would assure that my definition just replicates a  
> subset of the official vocabulary. I also abstract from semantic  
> dependencies, i.e., whether it is possible to specify a consistent  
> subset of a given vocabulary (this may not be trivial for an  
> expressive DL ontology, but should be feasible for lightweight RDF- 
> S or OWL vocabularies). Also, the legal point of view (whether I am  
> allowed to replicate an existing specification) is less relevant  
> for me at the moment. I just want to know whether this is an  
> acceptable practice from a Web Architecture perspective.
> Any feedback would be very much appreciated!
> Best
> Martin
> -----------------------------------------------------
> martin hepp
> e-mail: martin.hepp@deri.at
> web:    http://www.heppnetz.de
> skype:  mfhepp
> office: +43 512 507 6465
> Check eClassOWL, the first real-world e-business ontology
> for products and services in OWL at
> http://www.heppnetz.de/eclassOWL
Received on Friday, 28 September 2007 11:44:17 UTC

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