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[protege-dev] Explanation code

Pavel Klinov pavel.klinov at
Fri Feb 28 06:07:25 PST 2014

Hi all,

So this is a follow-up to the recent thread on the protege-user
mailing list [1].

I'm trying to understand how Protege gets and renders explanations and
which code is actually responsible for what. It's a bit confusing
because some relevant bits can be found in:

1) the OWL API (owlapi-tools, com.clarkparsia.owlapi.explanation.* and
somehow also in owlapi-contract,
2) the Protege plug-in code in Github at
3) some explanation-3.3.0.jar, which is committed to the git repo at
but without source code.

AFAICT, 2) is mostly GUI stuff which can, hopefully, be (partly)
reused if one computes explanations differently from the current
black-box methods. But the separation of concerns between 1) and 3) is
quite elusive. For example, BlackBoxExplanation from 1) is essentially
a generator so it's unclear how it's different from
BlackBoxExplanationGenerator from 3).

Also, is there any good reason for not open-sourcing explanation-3.3.0.jar?




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