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Re: OWL Lite vs OWL DL-Lite

From: Ian Horrocks <horrocks@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 23:01:23 +0000
Message-ID: <15952.6211.537988.205492@merlin.horrocks.net>
To: Evan Wallace <ewallace@cme.nist.gov>
Cc: www-webont-wg@w3.org

On February 13, Evan Wallace writes:
> 
> 
> Deb McGuinness wrote regarding OWL F Lite and OWL DL Lite
> 
> >I think ian's examples are valid real world examples of usefulness 
> >of OWL Lite DL.
> >
> >Essentially they are characterized by an application being able to 
> >take advantage of a reasoner's ability to classify descriptions 
> >correctly.  this requires iff semantics.
> >
> >Similarly I think there are users who come more from a modeling 
> >orientation who would like a simple transition path up from rdfs 
> >and would benefit from an OWL lite that does not require them to 
> >understand the limitations imposed by DL.
> 
> Speaking as someone who comes from the world of modeling (which I
> take to mean data modeling and object modeling), I don't see this 
> at all.  People who are currently modeling using NIAM/ORM, EXPRESS, 
> or UML who are considering using Semantic Web languages will go 
> directly to OWL DL Lite or OWL DL (or perhaps to DAML).  At OMG,
> we are specifically asking for a mapping to OWL DL in our RFP for 
> Ontology Definition (an OMG version of a UML Presentation syntax 
> for OWL).  This is because the motivation for moving models to 
> ontology languages is to attain a practical capability for reasoning 
> about those models.  I am not denying that there is a constituency 
> for a migration path from RDFS to OWL F Lite, just that I haven't 
> encountered it in OMG, ISO STEP, or other communities doing 
> manufacturing, business, or systems modeling.  

Good to hear you say that. This has also been my experience in the
bio, medical and e-science communities. 

> 
> Speaking for Two Dimensions in Lite
> 
> One public relations issue that I have encountered regarding OWL is
> the perception that it is not worth looking into the language because 
> it contains a union of the problems, limitations, and disliked features
> of RDF(S) and DLs (many of which are actually mis-perceptions, outdated 
> understandings, and/or prejudice).  This suggests to me a good reason 
> for adopting a two dimensional structure for the OWL sublanguages.  It 
> would show clearly that there is a partial decoupling in the language 
> between RDF and Description Logics that allows users to pick the 
> sublanguage with the features they need, rather than being limited to 
> one design compromise in merging the two.

The trouble with this is that it is VERY hard to see the justification
for the existence of OWL F Lite - it is in no sense Lite, and the loss
of a couple of constructors w.r.t. OWL full is of trivial significance
compared to the semantic and computational complexities you get by
mixing RDF with a standard logic.

Ian


> 
> -Evan
> 
> Evan K. Wallace
> Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
> NIST
> ewallace@nist.gov
> 
Received on Sunday, 16 February 2003 18:02:25 GMT

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