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[protege-discussion] IRI uniqueification ideas

Timothy Redmond tredmond at
Thu Nov 8 19:31:49 PST 2012

The usual technique that moves in this direction is to use numeric ids.  
An example of such an id is:


and the idea is that the next id will be #19, etc.  These ids are not 
guaranteed to be unique and their non-uniqueness creates a host of 
problems.   I think that this format is popular because the ids are 
somewhat more memorable than unique ids would be.

On the other hand, if you want your ids to be truly unique there is a 
standard for this and there is an associated java implementation [1].  
Protege supports a method for generating the ids of new entities based 
on such unique identifiers.



On 11/08/2012 05:26 PM, Jim Tivy wrote:
> Hello
> This is not a direct Protege question but involves IRIs. I have alot 
> of individual documents that I wish to track as Individuals in OWL.  
> At first I thought I could generate unique IRIs with meaningful names 
> embedded in the IRI.  Now I am thinking I want to generate unique 
> numbers programmatically to accomplish the need for unique IRIs and to 
> retain the ability to change the name of the Individual without 
> deleting and adding it again.  There is  GUI to add these individuals 
> so I can generate a next integer Id in the GUI code.
> I was curious, however, what people on this group consider best 
> practice for this problem of uniqifying IRIs and avoiding the 
> embedding of possibly changing semantic information in those IRIs.
> All the examples seem to show IRIs with cute names, like .../John and 
> ../Mary.  My individuals will also have Name and Description 
> properties, so I will recognize them in the GUI by their name and 
> description properties.
> cheers
> Jim
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