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[protege-owl] overwriting inherited conditions in owl

Thomas Russ tar at ISI.EDU
Thu Apr 26 08:59:23 PDT 2007

On Apr 26, 2007, at 3:57 AM, Antonio Toral wrote:

> hi,
> I'm using Protege 3.2.1. with the OWL plugin to model an OWL  
> ontology. I have
> a problem regarding intherited conditions. Although I've looked for  
> it in the
> archive of the list I haven't found any message with a related  
> topic. I'll
> try to explain it with a simple example:
> Let's say I have an ontology with the following elements:
> - Classes A and B (B is a subclass of A)
> - ObjectProperty p
> I'd like A to have one and only one p (max 1 & min 1 for A) and so  
> I apply two
> restrictions to A:
> - p mincardinality 1
> - p maxcardinality 1
> I'd like B to have at least one p (min 1 for B) but B inherits from A:
> - p mincardinality 1
> - p maxcardinality 1
> p minc. 1 is ok but I'd like to overwrite p maxc. 1. So far I've  
> only come up
> with the solution of writing a new maxcardinality restriction to B  
> such as:
> - p maxcardinality 100000 (so this new maxc. overwrites the  
> inherited maxc. 1)
> however, what I'd like is not to have any maxcardinality at all for  
> B! is that
> possible?

It is possible to add an additional max cardinality restriction to  
the subclass B, but it won't have any effect.  That is because in  
your structure, you have told the system that all B's are A's (the  
meaning of subclass).  So anything that is a B must also be an A and  
satisfy the restrictions on A.

Perhaps what you want to do is make A be a subclass of B, since it  
appears that A has more specific restrictions than B does.  In that  
case you do the following:

B:  p mincardinality 1
   -- A: subclassof B
         p maxcardinality 1

That would seem to be the structure that your restrictions indicate  
is the correct one.  When you make subclasses, it means that the  
subclasses are MORE specific and have more restrictions than their  

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