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Re: ISSUE 5.14 - Ontology versioning

From: Jeff Heflin <heflin@cse.lehigh.edu>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 16:33:55 -0400
Message-ID: <3D7E5733.BB24AE37@cse.lehigh.edu>
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
CC: www-webont-wg@w3.org

"Peter F. Patel-Schneider" wrote:
> 
> From: Jeff Heflin <heflin@cse.lehigh.edu>
> Subject: ISSUE 5.14 - Ontology versioning
> Date: Mon, 09 Sep 2002 18:06:32 -0400
> 
> > 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>.
> 
> [...]
> 
> > 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).
> 
> It also needs a treatment of KBs as resources to work in a semantic
> fashion.  Otherwise it is more ``magic'' syntax.  (I think that it *should*
> be magic syntax.)

I agree that these properties should all be "dark" in some sense (if
that's what you mean by "magic syntax"). The semantics of backCompatWith
are those of the sameXXXAs properties that it is syntactic sugar for.
Mike Dean also suggest some conditions (mostly concerned with domains
and ranges) that are relevant. However, I guess one semantic issue that
I haven't resolved is whether being backCompatWith an ontology
implicitly imports it. That's one I'll have to chew on.

> [...]
> 
> > 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 is now in the area of pragmatics.

Maybe so, but then I say below that it should have no effect on
semantics. Are you suggesting that we should not have a deprecation
feature because it is a pragmatic issue? If so, I would argue that is
useful in versioning distributed software, and if we want the Semantic
Web to work in practice as well as theory, we would be wise to include
something like it.

> 
> > This has no effect on the semantics, but authoring tools should use it
> > in error checking OWL markup.
> 
> [...]
> 
> > Jeff
> 
> [...]
> 
> peter
Received on Tuesday, 10 September 2002 16:33:58 GMT

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