W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-logic@w3.org > August 2002

Re: Classes and predicates as first class objects

From: Deborah McGuinness <dlm@KSL.Stanford.EDU>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 14:31:29 -0700
Message-ID: <3D5C1DB0.D46A3FDB@ksl.stanford.edu>
To: Ian Horrocks <horrocks@cs.man.ac.uk>
CC: "R.V.Guha" <guha@guha.com>, www-rdf-logic@w3.org

to support Ian's last statement that DLs are and have been used in a wide
variety of applications and also because people had previously asked for some
example applications,
i include a paragraph from a message i sent a while ago on a related topic
(full message available from

This was just a list of some variety of applications of an earlier description
logic - CLASSIC - but it shows applications with references in broad areas.

"I have helped people use CLASSIC in a series of large applications; the
largest and longest lived was a family of configurators called PROSE/QUESTAR
[1].  This included 17 configurators, some of which were used for a decade.
They were used by AT&T and Lucent.  Other major application areas include data

archeology  [2], software discovery [3], query expansion [4], query answering
[5], plan representation [6],  knowledge based software engineering [7], and
other domains.   We also spent time considering the usability issues of the
language [8,9]."

Most if not all of these applications (and the application areas in general)
benefited greatly from having the qualities that Ian refers to of reliable and
efficient reasoning.


[1] Deborah L. McGuinness and Jon Wright. ``An Industrial Strength Description

Logic-based Configurator Platform''. IEEE Intelligent Systems, Vol. 13, No. 4,

July/August 1998, pp. 69-77. )

[2] Ronald J. Brachman, Peter G. Selfridge, Loren G. Terveen, Boris Altman,
Alex Borgida, Fern Halper, Thomas Kirk, Alan Lazar, Deborah L. McGuinness,
Lori Alperin Resnick. ``Integrated Support for Data Archaeology.'' In
International Journal of Intelligent and Cooperative Information Systems, 2:2
1993, pages 159--185.

[3] P. Devanbu, R.J. Brachman, P.G. Selfridge, B.W. Ballard: "LaSSIE: A
knowledge-based software information system" Communications of the ACM,
34(5):35--49, May 1991.

[4] Deborah L. McGuinness. ``Ontological Issues for Knowledge-Enhanced
Search''. In the Proceedings of Formal Ontology in Information Systems, June
1998. Also in Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications,
IOS-Press, Washington, DC, 1998.

[5] Alon Y. Levy, Anand Rajaraman and Joann J. Ordille, ``Query Answering
Algorithms for Information Agents'' Proceedings of the 13th National
Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI-96, Portland, Oregon, August,

[6] P. Devanbu , D. Litman , CLASP - a plan representation and classification
scheme for a software information System,  Published in Artificial
Intelligence , 1996

[7] P. Devanbu , M. Jones , The use of description logics in KBSE systems.
Published in ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology , 1997

[8] Deborah L. McGuinness and Peter F. Patel-Schneider. ``Usability Issues in
Knowledge Representation Systems''. In Proceedings of the Fifteenth National
Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Madison, Wisconsin, July, 1998. This is

an updated version of ``Usability Issues in Description Logic Systems''
published in Proceedings of International Workshop on Description Logics, Gif
sur Yvette, (Paris), France, September, 1997.

[9] Ronald J. Brachman, Alex Borgida, Deborah L. McGuinness, and Peter F.
Patel-Schneider. "Reducing" CLASSIC to Practice: Knowledge Representation
Theory Meets Reality. In Artificial Intelligence 114(1-2) pages 203-237,

Ian Horrocks wrote:

> On August 14, R.V.Guha writes:
> >
> >
> >  Much of the debate around layering of OWL on top of RDF and RDFs boils
> > down to whether the Semantic Web should treat classes and arc labels as
> > first class objects, about which arbitrary new kinds of statements can
> > be made.
> >
> > This is an important architectural choice which has to take into account
> > results from systems that have been built. Looking at what was learnt
> > from such systems would probably be productive ...
> >
> >  RDF, which has been largely influenced by the experimental "scruffy"
> > side of AI has gone the route of many experimental AI systems (starting
> > from KRL, RLL, .... CycL) and incorporated these as first class objects.
> > In my experience, and the experience of the builders of these systems,
> > this has been a useful feature. Description Logics, which come from the
> > more "neat" side of AI chose not to allow this ...
> >
> > Clearly, not allowing this feature buys description logics something.
> > Ian, maybe you could explain exactly what this is and how it has been
> > found useful in large DL systems that have been built?
> Work on DLs has resulted in the development of a family of logical
> languages with precisely defined semantics and well understood
> computational properties. They are (almost invariably) decidable
> subsets of FOL and are closely related to propositional modal and
> dynamic logics.  For many of these languages, provably sound and
> complete decision procedures have been devised. Several DL systems
> have been based on optimised implementations of these algorithms, thus
> providing users with reasoning services that are both reliable and
> efficient. These systems are being used in a wide range of
> applications, e.g., in medical-informatics, bio-informatics, chemical
> engineering and geographical information systems.
> Ian
> >
> > thanks,
> >
> > guha
> >
> >
> >
> >

 Deborah L. McGuinness
 Knowledge Systems Laboratory
 Gates Computer Science Building, 2A Room 241
 Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-9020
 email: dlm@ksl.stanford.edu
 URL: http://ksl.stanford.edu/people/dlm/index.html
 (voice) 650 723 9770    (stanford fax) 650 725 5850   (computer fax)  801 705
Received on Thursday, 15 August 2002 17:30:34 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 2 March 2016 11:10:38 UTC