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Re: Dublin Core properties in OWL ontologies

From: Benjamin Nowack <bnowack@appmosphere.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2004 15:34:33 +0200
To: Pete Johnston <p.johnston@ukoln.ac.uk>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Message-ID: <PM-EH.20040405153433.17D78.1.1D@>

On 05.04.2004 13:16:04, Pete Johnston wrote:
>I'm something of a newcomer to the world of OWL, so apologies in advance
>if this is an FAQ.
well, I guess it is an FAQ, but there's no need to apologise, as there
is no clear answer to it (afaik) ;)

>I'm wondering about the use of Dublin Core properties as
>ObjectProperties in OWL ontologies, but I have a feeling that the use of
>DC as OWL Annotation Properties (and/or DC's fuzziness about the
>rdfs:range of its properties?) essentially means this is a non-starter.
>(The fact that I haven't been able to locate any ontologies that use DC
>properties in this way suggests to me that this is the case.)
>e.g. Suppose I have an ontology in which I want to represent the
>"was-created-by" relation between an instance of a class Document, and
>an instance of a class Agent. This is exactly the relation described by
>the Dublin Core creator property (dc:creator). Can I use dc:creator as
>an owl:ObjectProperty (and constrain the range of dc:creator using
>owl:allValuesFrom)? Or must I use a quite distinct ObjectProperty?

some thoughts:

if you're trying to use dc:creator in an OWL DL ontology, the only
I can think of is typing it as an owl:AnnotationProperty. the main
problem with dc:creator is its lack of a range. or, even worse, RDF's
possibility to use it with a Literal or a resource, so that you
can't describe it as an owl:DatatypeProperty xor owl:ObjectProperty
without making existing instance data become syntactically incorrect.

it may be less problematic in the unrestricted OWL (Full) world though.
In OWL Full, datatype properties can be considered as subclasses of 
object properties, so you could describe dc:creator as 
owl:ObjectProperty and still use it with literal values (I think. 
but don't ask me if this is expressible in rdf/xml..).

Another OWL (non-DL) option is to stick to AnnotationProperties but
to define domain and range for a more precise use in software.
(finding an appropriate rdfs:domain and rdfs:range for dc:creator
is still another non-trivial issue.. ;)

(There are not many tools around that completely handle OWL's 
semantics, but if I understood it right, it could happen that OWL
reasoners ignore annotation properties, but I'm not sure on that.)


Benjamin Nowack

Kruppstr. 82-100
45145 Essen, Germany

>Pete Johnston 
>Research Officer (Interoperability)
>UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK 
>tel: +44 (0)1225 383619    fax: +44 (0)1225 386838 
Received on Monday, 5 April 2004 09:34:50 UTC

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