Friday, June 22, 2007

Getting up to Speed With OWL 1.1

Bijan's "Two Interesting Quotes" really got me started on understanding the new features of OWL 1.1. The addition of the RBox (to ABox and TBox), using SROIQ instead of SHOIN, is the obvious one.

The second interesting quote was from, "Describing chemical functional groups in OWL-DL for the classification of chemical compounds" which gives some clear examples using the new features of OWL 1.1 including qualified cardinality, negation and property chains. The first two are analogous to: chemical has two bonds and chemical has exactly one bond.

Property chains are another interesting feature which is highlighted in the above paper, in "The OBO to OWL mapping, GO to OWL 1.1!" and in the first paper Bijan spoke about. In one way this is a bit disappointing because the OBO work replicates what we been doing in the BioMANTA project (I hate duplication in all its forms) - we based it on the Protégé plugin. Our relationships are quite simple, mainly is-a, so OWL DL was enough. We hadn't yet encountered some of the problems such as reflexive and anti-symmetric relationships. It also links to a web page mapping OBO to OWL 1.1 and OWL DL semantics.

As noted in "Igniting the OWL 1.1 Touch Paper: The OWL API" the addition of an object model along with the OWL 1.1 specification makes it obvious what an OWL 1.1 API should look like. I haven't yet used OWL API much, except looking at how it integrates with Pellet and how closely it matched the OWL specification. The use of axioms made the addition of RBox a bit easier to understand (or misunderstand if I've got it wrong). Hopefully, punning will be made clear to me eventually too (I've been too stupid to understand it just based on the explanations and too lazy to look into it). Pellet 1.5 also introduces incremental inferencing which is hopefully as good as it sounds.

The other papers that were of interest: "Representing Phenotypes in OWL" (again making use of qualified cardinality) and "A survey of requirements for automated reasoning services for bio-ontologies in OWL".

And just to round off, I found a very good paper, "Towards a Quantitative, Platform-Independent Analysis of Knowledge Systems", about all the mistakes that can be made during modeling (errors, assumptions, etc.) and other types of failures such as language (under or over expressive), management, learning, reasoning, querying, and others.

And I know I'll need to come back to this, which lists the fragments of OWL 1.1 that can be used to keep things computable in polynomial time.
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