Issue: Unique Names Assumption Support

Title:  Unique Names Assumption Support in OWL

OWL (and RDF) do not make the unique names assumption.  That is, they do
not assume that two terms with different names refer to different
Thus, there would be no assumption that something named Deb is different
from something named Deborah.

It has been recognized that it is important to be able to state that
objects are different.  There is currently the functionality provided by
differentIndividualFrom that would allow someone to state that the
individual named Deb is different from the individual named Mike.  The
differentIndividualFrom form provides a way of enumerating pairwise
disjointness between individuals.
The abstract syntax document mentions DifferentIndividuals that takes a
list as an argument that then states that all of the individuals in the
list are distinct.
Both of these options however still require a complete listing of all of
the individuals that are distinct either stating pairwise disjointness
of combining them in a list.
This issue requests additional support for stating uniqueness.
The additional functionality would allow users to state that all
individuals in a document, namespace, or ontology are distinct without
being forced to enumerate all of the individual names in the
differentFrom statement.

Raised by:  Deborah L. McGuinness (

Date:  July 2, 2002  after discussion at WebOnt meeting at Stanford

Requirements document :   search for
local unique names

 Deborah L. McGuinness
 Knowledge Systems Laboratory
 Gates Computer Science Building, 2A Room 241
 Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-9020
 (voice) 650 723 9770    (stanford fax) 650 725 5850   (computer fax)
801 705 0941

Received on Tuesday, 2 July 2002 18:21:06 UTC