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Defining subsets of existing OWL / RDF-S vocabularies in another vocabulary?

From: Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@deri.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 20:21:10 +0200
Message-ID: <46FBF496.5020900@deri.org>
To: "Semantic-Web@W3.Org," <semantic-web@w3.org>, "Semanticweb@Yahoogroups.Com," <semanticweb@yahoogroups.com>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
CC: Katharina Siorpaes <katharina.siorpaes@deri.at>

Dear all:

Is it valid to locally define a subset of an existing OWL / RDF-S 
vocabulary in your own vocabulary in order to
a) avoid ontology imports or
b) make it simple for annotation tools to display only a relevant subset 
of that external vocabulary?

In other words, can I declare some FOAF or Dublin Core vocabulary 
elements, which are relevant for my annotation task, locally in my new 
domain vocabulary, instead of adding an import statement for the whole 
vocabulary in the ontology header?

If that was okay, it would make it easier to prepare pre-composed blends 
of relevant ontologies that can be directly used for form-based instance 
data creation.

However, I fear that defining an element that is residing in someone 
else's URI space is not okay, since I (e.g. http://www.heppnetz.de) have 
no authority of defining the semantics of an element that is within
|http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/, even if I what I am saying is consistent 
with the authoritative definition of the given vocabulary element. |
||I am assuming that I duplicate the very same specification of the 
element, i.e., I would assure that my definition just replicates a 
subset of the official vocabulary. I also abstract from semantic 
dependencies, i.e., whether it is possible to specify a consistent 
subset of a given vocabulary (this may not be trivial for an expressive 
DL ontology, but should be feasible for lightweight RDF-S or OWL 
vocabularies). Also, the legal point of view (whether I am allowed to 
replicate an existing specification) is less relevant for me at the 
moment. I just want to know whether this is an acceptable practice from 
a Web Architecture perspective.

Any feedback would be very much appreciated!



martin hepp
e-mail: martin.hepp@deri.at
web:    http://www.heppnetz.de
skype:  mfhepp
office: +43 512 507 6465

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Received on Thursday, 27 September 2007 18:21:33 UTC

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