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Re: [DBpedia-discussion] Call for Ontology Editor demos for DBpedia

From: <jaccoud@petrobras.com.br>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2017 15:24:43 -0300
To: Paul Houle <paul.houle@ontology2.com>
Cc: 'DBpedia' <Dbpedia-discussion@lists.sourceforge.net>,"'Sebastian Hellmann'" <hellmann@informatik.uni-leipzig.de>,"John Flynn" <jflynn12@verizon.net>,'public-lod' <public-lod@w3.org>,"'semantic-web at W3C'" <semantic-web@w3c.org>
Message-ID: <OF3498C771.11E7258F-ON83258155.0061CEA6-83258155.006523E7@LocalDomain>
Virtus in medium est.

I agree that by any standard, the DBpedia Ontology is messy, and needs 
some work. Otherwise, it would be only a list of concepts with almost no 
relations between them. These relations (the subconcept hierarchy and 
other relevant relations defined by the authors of the ontology) need to 
be there if the ontology is to be useful to something more than mere 

However, a well sound ontology needs a LOT of work, and the wider the 
scope, the harder it is to get it right. Since DBpedia has no scope 
boundaries, the amount of work to select a suitable  foundational ontology 
and expand it would be huge. No, I'm not quoting Trump, it is really huge. 

What DBpedia needs is a few abstract notions without commitment to any 
foundational ontology, since the tradeoffs each FO makes would hurt 
DBpedia genericity. For example, different groups may fight years about an 
exact definition of "Software", but most will agree it is a intelectual 
product, such as a romance, a song or a theater play. The ontology should 
reflect that, without getting in details about how software is encoded, 
versioned, reified etc., since these details are important only to 
applications dealing with the concept of software, and not for DBpedia 

A few months ago, I complained that ComputerLanguage was not a subconcept 
of Language, and it was promptly corrected, since it is very hard do 
disagree with that. There are a lot of places where such refactoring is 
needed, and I think it would help a lot. Further refining, such as 
creating subclasses of ComputerLanguage, should be avoided in the name of 
keeping the ontology simple and generic. Upper-level classes are needed to 
sort things out, but one should also avoid defining things like 
disjointness because it would lead to stuff like partition completeness 
and other stuff which are clearly not needed for the purposes of DBpedia.

But I agree a cleanup is needed, since a lot of dbo:Things don't make much 

Marcelo Jaccoud Amaral
Petrobras, Brazil

De:     "Paul Houle" <paul.houle@ontology2.com>
Para:   "John Flynn" <jflynn12@verizon.net>, "'Sebastian Hellmann'" 
<hellmann@informatik.uni-leipzig.de>, "'semantic-web at W3C'" 
<semantic-web@w3c.org>, 'public-lod' <public-lod@w3.org>, 'DBpedia' 
Data:   2017-07-06 12:25
Assunto:        Re: [DBpedia-discussion] Call for Ontology Editor demos 
for DBpedia

I would disagree.

The DBpedia Ontology is not designed to support any specific kind of 

What it *is* designed to do is capture the somewhat structured data that 
exists in Wikipedia.  Following the much misunderstood "semantic web", 
 the emphasis is on properties first,  and then classes second.  Think of 
it as a set of baseball or Pokemon cards;  the point is not to replicate 
or even closely describe the performance or rules of the game,  but to go 
after the long hanging fruit of "things that are easy to ontologize."

There is a real price to pay for this;  from the viewpoint of conventional 
application development and introductory computer science,  the data is 
not always factually correct or satisfies the invariants required for a 
particular algorithm.  Practically that means that you might ask for "US 
States" and get 48 or 51,  that somebody like Barry Bonds or Mel Gibson 
has their career much better represented than J. Edgar Hoover or J. Eric 
S. Thompson,  and you would probably find that the "tree of life" in 
DBpedia is not really a tree.

If you need to reasoning in some domain you need to find some area you are 
willing to pump the entropy out of,  create the data structures 
appropriate for what you want to do,  and possibly incorporate data from 
DBpedia,  doing whatever cleanup is necessary.  That's not different at 
all from the situation of "doing reasoning over reasoning over data 
collected by a large organization".

------ Original Message ------
From: "John Flynn" <jflynn12@verizon.net>
To: "'Sebastian Hellmann'" <hellmann@informatik.uni-leipzig.de>; 
"'semantic-web at W3C'" <semantic-web@w3c.org>; "'public-lod'" <
public-lod@w3.org>; "'DBpedia'" <Dbpedia-discussion@lists.sourceforge.net>
Sent: 7/5/2017 11:43:02 AM
Subject: Re: [DBpedia-discussion] Call for Ontology Editor demos for 

I have long been curious about the DBpedia ontology structure so I just 
took a look at the ontology represented in (
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/375401/dbo_no_mappings.nt) as 
referenced in the email below.
I normally start the evaluation of an ontology by looking at the top-down 
class relationships. So, I did a search for the classes that were listed 
as a direct subclass of owl#Thing to get a general idea of the 
organization of the DBpedia class structure.
To say the least, I was sorely disappointed. Here are a few of the DBpedia 
classes that are direct subclasses of owl#Thing: Food, Media, Work, 
Blazon, Altitude, Language, Currency, Statistic, Diploma, Award, Agent, 
PublicService, Disease, GrossDomesticProdutPerCapita, ElectionDiagram, 
Demographics, Relationship, Medicine, List, BioMolecule. I gave up after 
this small sample. It is obvious that the DBpedia community needs to worry 
a lot more about the structure of the ontology itself rather than focusing 
on selecting a new editor. A working group needs to be established to go 
back to the drawing board and look at the DBpedia ontology form the top 
down. It certainly doesn't make much sense as it is currently structured.
John Flynn

From: Sebastian Hellmann [mailto:hellmann@informatik.uni-leipzig.de] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2017 10:43 AM
To: 'semantic-web at W3C'; public-lod; DBpedia
Subject: [DBpedia-discussion] Call for Ontology Editor demos for DBpedia
Dear all,
we are preparing a switch from the mappings wiki (
http://mappings.dbpedia.org) to another ontology editor and started to 
collect requirements/tools here:
We already have a demo for Webprotege thanks to Ismael Rodriguez, our GSoC 
student. As we are lacking time and resources, we will probably only 
consider editors with a running demo, so the community can try it. 
Our main interest is of course to manage the DBpedia core ontology and 
push any mappings to other ontologies in separate files. So we provide a 
core version for demo purposes created with: 
rapper -g dbpedia_2016-10.nt | grep -v '\(
)' > dbo_no_mappings.nt

(I hope that the regex didn't kick out anything essential or broke any 

We would be very happy, if anyone from the semantic web community would 
make a demo with their favorite editor and add a link to the Google Doc 
and post a short message on the DBpedia discussion list[1] or on slack 
https://dbpedia.slack.com/ .

This would help us to make a more informed decision. The next DBpedia Dev 
online meeting will be on 2nd of August 14:00 (each first Wednesday per 
month). Presentations of editors are also welcome. We will also discuss 
the editor question during the DBpedia meeting in Amsterdam, co-located 
with SEMANTiCS on 14.9. http://wiki.dbpedia.org/meetings/Amsterdam2017 

Thank you for your help! 

[1] https://sourceforge.net/projects/dbpedia/lists/dbpedia-discussion 

All the best,
Sebastian Hellmann

Director of Knowledge Integration and Linked Data Technologies (KILT) 
Competence Center
at the Institute for Applied Informatics (InfAI) at Leipzig University
Executive Director of the DBpedia Association
Projects: http://dbpedia.org, http://nlp2rdf.org, 
http://linguistics.okfn.org, https://www.w3.org/community/ld4lt
Homepage: http://aksw.org/SebastianHellmann
Research Group: http://aksw.org
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Received on Thursday, 6 July 2017 18:25:21 UTC

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