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[protege-discussion] Multiple inheritance

Jonathan Carter jonathan.carter at
Thu Nov 19 03:01:44 PST 2009

In Protege 3 (Frames) you can certainly do multiple inheritance and I  
expect that this is also true in Protege 4.

I think there are 2 concepts that you need to consider here, as it  
feels a bit like your issue with concepts inheriting from different  
classes depending on their meaning is more about polymorphism than  
inheritance. That is, the concept that you are working with can be of  
different classes but all are valid in this situation. e.g. you may  
have a slot in a class called "relative" which need to hold instances  
of classes Parent, Child, Sibling etc. all of which are valid for that  
slot. This is different from defining a Relative class that, e.g.  
inherits from Parent, Child and Sibling.

You might achieve this by having an Instance slot on a class that can  
allow instances of more than one class. You simply add to the list of  
allowed classes and Protege handles this very nicely.

Multiple inheritance in Protege 3 Frames, does what you would expect  
by creating a class that has all the attributes of all the parent  
classes. At the forms level, this means that the forms from the parent  
classes are concatenated, too.  Slots/attributes that appear in more  
than one parent class are not repeated.

I realise that this may not work quite like this in Protege 4 but  
hopefully it helps get you started.


Jonathan Carter - Head of Technical Architecture
Enterprise Architecture Solutions Ltd

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On 19 Nov 2009, at 08:04, Soha Said wrote:

> Hello,
> I build a sample ontology about colleges or institutes, I have a  
> problem with many concepts that may inherit from different classes  
> according to their meaning in wordnet.
> How can I solve this problem ? I use protege 4.
> thanks in advance
> _______________________________________________
> protege-discussion mailing list
> protege-discussion at
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