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Re: ISSUE 5.14 - Ontology versioning

From: Libby Miller <Libby.Miller@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002 23:30:48 +0100 (BST)
To: Jeff Heflin <heflin@cse.lehigh.edu>
cc: WebOnt <www-webont-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.44.0209092326500.29114-100000@mail.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>

Jeff, do we need owl-specific properties? Dan Brickley and I wrote a
brief document about versioning metadata vocabularies, and I think the
issues might hold here too:



On Mon, 9 Sep 2002, Jeff Heflin wrote:

> Here are my initial thoughts on the issue:
> We need various properties to handle elements of versioning with
> ontologies.
> My proposed solution consists of adding three new features to owl. These
> are for indicating prior versions, backward copatibility and
> deprecation.
> Prior versions:
> ----------------
> <url> priorVersion <url>.
> The second URL is an earlier version of the first. This has no meaning
> in the semantics, but could be used by software to organize ontologies
> by versions. Due to XML namespaces the identifiers in the two ontologies
> will be treated as distinct unless there are explicit statements of
> equivalence.  Thus, the two ontologies can be merged without problems,
> although there will be no "integration" unless specific mappings are
> defined.
> Backward compatibility:
> ------------------------
> <url> backCompatWith <url>.
> The first URL is a later version of the second, and is "semantically"
> backward compatible with it. This is basically syntactic sugar with the
> following effects:
> Assuming A backCompatWith B, then:
> * A priorVersion B.
> * all classes in B are the sameClassAs a class in A with the same ID.
> * all properties in B are the samePropertyAs a  property in A with the
> same ID.
> Note this depends on the resolution of the synonym issue (I prefer
> sameAs for both classes and properties).
> The sameAs statements essentially allow you to integrate data that
> commit to different (backward-compatible) versions of the same ontology.
> Note, that this approach does not address the problem described in
> Section 3.2 of the Requirements Document (under RDF(S) Support). There,
> we gave an example where we wanted to "fix" an incorrect definition of
> Dolphin.  Note, given the approach here, we cannot make the new version
> of the ontology backward-compatible with the old one because that would
> say that the class of Dolphins is both a sublcass of Fish and Mammal. I
> am still working on a clean way to solve this problem that meshes with
> the model theories we are working towards. We may have to save this for
> a "next version" of OWL.
> Deprecation:
> -------------
> <url> deprecates <classId>
> <url> deprecates <propertyId>
> This allows an ontology to deprecate a class or property. By deprecating
> the term, it means it still is sameAs a term with the same ID in the new
> ontology, but that the term should not be used in new ontologies. This
> allows an ontology to maintain backward-compatibility while phasing out
> old vocabulary. Deprecation should only be used in ontologies that are
> backward-compatible.
> This has no effect on the semantics, but authoring tools should use it
> in error checking OWL markup.
> Note that deprecation allows you to break the transitivity of the
> backCompatWith relation.
> Jeff
> References:
> ------------
> - Dynamics Research Corporation. DRC VES (Versioning) Ontology. At:
> http://orlando.drc.com/daml/Ontology/VES/3.2/drc-ves-ont.daml
> - Heflin, J. Towards the Semantic Web: Knowledge Representation in a
> Dynamic, Distributed Environment. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Maryland,
> College Park. 2001. At:
> http://www.cse.lehigh.edu/~heflin/pubs/#heflin-thesis (Sect. 3.4)
> - Heflin, J. and Hendler, J. Dynamic Ontologies on the Web. In
> Proceedings of the Seventeenth National Conference on Artificial
> Intelligence (AAAI-2000). AAAI/MIT Press, Menlo Park, CA, 2000. pp.
> 443-449. At: http://www.cse.lehigh.edu/~heflin/pubs/#aaai2000
> - Klein, M. and Fensel, D. Ontology Versioning on the Semantic Web. In
> First International Semantic Web Working Symposium (SWWS'01), 2001. At:
> http://www.semanticweb.org/SWWS/program/full/paper56.pdf
Received on Monday, 9 September 2002 18:33:00 UTC

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