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[protege-owl] Modeling change, source, uncertainty, contradiction?

Johann Petrak johann.petrak at
Wed Aug 22 02:48:22 PDT 2007

I am pretty new to using Ontologies for knowledge represenation so
most of the tutorials and examples I have seen only are about
modeling some consistent set of unchanging facts.

However, in real word situations it is often necessary to deal
with knowledge or information that has one of the following

* a fact might change over time. More exactly, a property
  might be valid during some period of time but not another.
  Is it possible to model this in OWL ontologies and if yes,
  what are common design patterns to do it?

* The fact that some instance has some property might be
  known based on sources A and B but might not be confirmed
  from source C. More problematic, it might contradict
  information from source D. So instead of some fact just
  "existing" we would like to model that it exists
  "according to source A" but "not confirmed by source C"
  and "not, according to source D"
  Is it possible to model this?

* Sometimes it would be useful to attach a level of belief
  to a fact. E.g. some instance having some property might
  be likely but not certain.

These things are probably differently hard to model, if at
My biggest concern at the moment is change over time: for
most applications where I need some knowledge representation
it would be extremely important to be able to know that
e.g. some name was used during a certain time or that some
property existed during a certain period but not another.

I would be thankful for any hints you could give me or
any papers or sources you could point out where these
issues are discussed.


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