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Rule usage description - or how can I associate related rules to an ontology/RDF graph?

From: Bob Ferris <zazi@elbklang.net>
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2010 14:36:23 +0100
Message-ID: <4D00DB57.5010406@elbklang.net>
To: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>

someone might say now: "Hey, I heard that question already somewhere 
else." - Yes, you are right. I asked this question at 
semanticoverflow.com[1]. However, I'm sure that I'll hopefully reach 
here a broader/different audience. Furthermore, I think more and more 
that this is and will be a very important issue (requirement) for the 
'main' purpose of the Semantic Web - information integration.

So here we go:

As I think the need for assigning specific rules to Semantic Web 
ontologies/RDF graphs to enable intented inferences is getting more and 
more important, we need possibilities to semantically related these 
rules to Semantic Web ontologies/RDF graphs. The publication of the Rule 
Interchange Format (RIF)[2] this summer was a (huge) step into that 
direction. However, am I right that they missed a (from my point of 
view) very important functionality? To quote a part of an answer of an 

"This lets you physically embed RIF in an RDFS/OWL document, but notes 
that the embedded RIF is merely described, not asserted. There is not 
currently a standard vocabulary saying, in RDFS/OWL, that you also want 
some RIF rules as part of your ontology. Instead, for now, you must have 
RIF import RDFS/OWL."

So how can I associate rules that should be/could be applied to a 
specific Semantic Web ontology/RDF graph? - e.g.,

     * Information Service A applied rule B,C,D to it whole knowledge 
base that can be identified by URI Z
     * Information Service E suggest rule F and G to be applied at RDF 
Graph Y
     * Ontology H should be used with rule I for proper reasoning

Already proposed ideas:

1. the SPIN framework[4]
2. the Rulz vocabulary[5]

Where the first one offers spin:rule and spin:constraint to associate 
rules/constraints to RDF/OWL models, the second offers a quite simple 
mechanism to embed rules, that are described in a certain rule language, 
in an RDF graph.
However, I'm looking for rule usage description*, i.e. I do not simple 
want to associate a rule by using a quite static property e.g., 
spin:rule that has quite interpretable semantics. I want relations to 
'suggest' or 'prescribe' rules. Maybe also by explaining their benefits 
etc. Another attribute would be 'applied', so that I can express that 
the information service where the information comes from uses this rule 
(/these rules) in its reasoning engine. I guess there might be more use 
I think that this mechanism is really necessary, if we want to share 
proper semantics to interpret the sense of an information. I believe 
that we cannot achieve a quite good interpretation (intended 
meaning/purpose) of a message, when we use a 'simple' description of an 
applied concept (here a description without relations to related rules).

What do you think about this issue? I think it is crucial.



*) afaik RIF includes also some attributes to describe rules/ usage of 
rules. However, all descriptions I've seen so far are natural language 
text, which is quite bad to interpret at the moment

[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/rif-overview/
[4] http://spinrdf.org/
[5] http://vocab.deri.ie/rulz#
Received on Thursday, 9 December 2010 13:36:55 UTC

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