Re: [ALL, OEP] Relationship between OWL and other ontology modelling

I think Alan meant to send this to the SWBPD list.

In response to his comment.  UML Associations are typically binary and
scoped to the classes at both end-points (so in this sense they are innately
qualified).  However, Association names must be unique within a Package. It would 
take an intelligent mapping to aggregate semantically similar Associations together 
into OWL ObjectProperties, although I agree that this is the "right way" to do it.  
The mapping rules that I have seen recently in fact do the opposite, they even 
mangle DatatypeProperty names for corresponding UML attributes by pre-pending them 
with a UML class name.  

Regarding work arounds for qualified cardinality:  Cannot one get the
expressiveness of Qualified Cardinality by using subProperties of a 
common property and placing local restrictions on the cardinality of those?
Is that ugly or problematic?


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From  Tue Apr 20 14:55:39 2004
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 19:00:11 +0100
From: Alan Rector <>
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One minor point.  The absence of qualified cardinality constraints means that translation of some UML and, I suspect, STEP constructs into OWL is necessarily lossy for any case in which a UML diagram uses the same relation with separate cardinality constraints to two or more entities.

The work around is ugly and incomplete.  Translation to DAML+OIL with QCRs, by contrast,
is straightforward in this regard.


Alan wrote:

> "Uschold, Michael F" <> wrote:
> >Recently, the following email was sent to the [I think] Yahoo Semantic Web list:
> >    Dear all,
> >
> >    Can STEP(Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data) be used as the
> >    fundamental of industrial Ontology? If yes, how can we do? And can we
> >    use the EXPRESS schemas as  ontology discription language? If not,can we
> >    translate EXPRESS into Ontology description directly!
> >
> >This raises a more general and very important issue for people wanting to use
> >Semantic Web standards, but who may already be heavily using alternate modeling
> >languages. EXPRESS is just one, there are many others, (UML, FLogic, ...). This
> >group is already addressing thesauri, in a similar vein.  I propose that we put
> >this on the list of potential future Task for this group. The deliverable would
> >be a 5-15 page document outlining the general issue, and addressing each of
> >several languages with a few paragraphs or a page.  OF course, for more
> >important ones like UML, there might be a full task.
> >
> >Provisional name for Task: Other Ontology Modeling Languages [OOML]
> +1
> Personally, I find questions like "Can STEP be used as *the* fundamental
> industrial ontology?" to be quite frightening for a number of reasons.  Mike's
> suggestion addresses the language part of the above questions.  I think
> that is appropriate task for SWBPD to take up.  I could help with UML and
> EXPRESS aspects of the task.
> In answer to the last question, there is an open source tool which converts
> EXPRESS to OWL syntax.  It goes through an intermediate UML representation,
> loses information that all of those languages can represent, and results in
> OWL that looks like RDFS with object and datatype properties.  But it is a
> start.
> Finally, we should be very careful about taking a position about the
> definitiveness of any domain or upper ontology.  STEP is a huge standard,
> but it doesn't cover all of manufacturing data concerns, much less the
> broader area of industrial data.  It is also not a single coherent model,
> but rather a set of application area models (called Application Protocols or
> APs) which conform to a common architecture and use a common information
> language: EXPRESS.  If someone wanted to convert a particular STEP AP to OWL,
> we might get involved.  Even then, I would be careful about how the result is
> characterized.  In manufacturing, different subdomains such as Aerospace,
> Automotive, Semiconductor, Oil and Gas employ different standards to address
> similar kinds of functions and data.  This is not just an accident of history,
> there are *some* good reasons for these differences.
> Evan K. Wallace
> Manufacturing Systems Integration Division

Alan L Rector
Professor of Medical Informatics
Department of Computer Science
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL, UK
TEL: +44-161-275-6188/6149/7183
FAX: +44-161-275-6236/6204
Room: 2.88a, Kilburn Building

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Received on Tuesday, 20 April 2004 17:36:04 UTC