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[protege-owl] Object vs. Datatype Properties

John Feeney jfeeney at
Fri Sep 22 12:13:18 PDT 2006

Thank for your response.

Your explanation matches what I am seeing. So if I understood this, then 
the property ( slot? ) businessName is in the subclass Division, because 
of the subclass inheritance but that's it. No values get propagated once 
I make a connection of instances. That makes sense now.

I am working through a number of ways to describe the organization with 
an ontology. I agree the subclass structure might not be a good 
representation but that's what I was given to start with. I think I can 
make separate classes and connect them with Object Properties when 
creating instances. I would then use the inferences to get to the 
Datatype Properties - is this correct?

If you have any good resources for how I would do the inference via the 
Object Properties, I would greatly appreciate it.

John Feeney

Papapanagiotou Petros wrote:
> I think you have confused the role of a subclass relationship with that 
> of an Object Property.
> The Division would inherit the businessName property from the 
> superclass, NOT the Business instance with which it is connected with 
> isPartOfBusiness.
> You can't expect a datatype property to be inherited by a Business 
> instance that is connected through an object property. It is still 
> possible to infer the business name of a division but it is not 
> automatically inherited.
> Properties are inherited by subclassing. That means that, according to 
> your specifications, when you create a Divison instance you must also 
> define a businessName for it (as a property inherited by the superclass 
> Business).
> Again, the inherited (abstract) properties of the superclass have 
> nothing to do with the values of the properties of the instance of 
> Business which is connected through the object property to the instance 
> of the Division.
> To be honest I don't think defining the Division as a subclass of 
> Business is correct. Doing that means the Division is a Business with 
> certain properties (like a Man is a Person with certain properties).
> I hope I've somehow helped to make this clear.
> Papapanagiotou Petros
> John Feeney wrote:
>> I've been plugging away at an ontology that includes as part of it an 
>> organization chart.  The are a bunch of other things what will utilized 
>> the information in the org chart for making decision in Jess.
>> For a simple org chart I have a class of Business with a subclass of 
>> Division that has a subclass Section. Business is a subclass of owl:Thing
>> For these classes I set up both Object and Datatype Properties:
>> The Object Properties are hasDivision and isPartOfBusiness, hasSection 
>> and is PartOfDivision.  Essentially a parent child relationship. This 
>> looks like these are getting inherited in the Properties View.
>> I also setup Datatype Properties for each class for their names 
>> businessName, divisionName, sectionName thinking that they would be 
>> inherited based on the class structure. It looks like these Datatype 
>> Properties are inherited when I look at the properties view of the classes.
>> But when I go create an instance of Business and give it a businessName 
>> - why doesn't the value of the Superclasses Datatype Properties get put 
>> into the instance of a Division - and like wise why doesn't both 
>> businessName and sectionName come into the instance of a Section when I 
>> link them with the above Object Properties?
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John Feeney, Ph.D. 
Cognitive Scientist	
Aptima, Inc.
1726 M Street NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036
202-842-1548 x339 (voice)
202-842-2630 (fax)

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