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[protege-owl] I want to submit a question

Thomas Russ tar at ISI.EDU
Mon Apr 16 10:23:17 PDT 2007

On Apr 16, 2007, at 6:29 AM, Zemirline Nadjet wrote:

> Hi,
> I want to submit a question,
> Subject:  how can I express that a given class is abstract with  
> protégé.
> message :
> I am searching how to express that a given class is abstract (i.e a  
> class cannot have a direct instances) with protégé,
> and a specialy in owl project
> Thanks.

There isn't any built-in OWL language construct for expressing this.

You could, of course, introduce your own metaclass and use that as an  
annotation.  It won't, however, be enforced by the Protégé interface.

At a more fundamental level, this isn't really the sort of  
distinction that one normally makes in OWL models.  It seems more to  
be a carry-over from certain programming languages instead.  The  
general idea is to allow the flexibility to make assertions at  
whatever level of abstraction is appropriate.

Indeed, one use for defined classes is that one can assert instances  
at more abstract levels in the hierarchy, and then, as more  
information becomes available, additional assertions will enable the  
system to infer membership in more specialized subclasses.  This  
allows one to make commitments incrementally instead of forcing an  
all-or-nothing approach.

Can you give an example of an abstract class for which it wouldn't  
make sense to make a membership assertion?

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