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[protege-discussion] IRI uniqueification ideas

Jim Tivy jimt at
Thu Nov 8 20:33:08 PST 2012

Hi Tim


That makes sense.

For individuals, is the word on the street to avoid IRIs with embedded names
and other possibly changing semantic information.  For example, with a name
you may find it is misspelled or not the complete name or not unique.  If it
is baked into the URI then any changes to the IRI would cause necessary
changes to assertions and other things that refer to the individual IRI - a
nightmare.  And deleting the individual causes it's death and break the
integrity of any existing assertions.




From: protege-discussion-bounces at
[mailto:protege-discussion-bounces at] On Behalf Of Timothy
Sent: November-08-12 7:32 PM
To: protege-discussion at
Subject: Re: [protege-discussion] IRI uniqueification ideas


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:



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


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.




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