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[protege-owl] existentials and the OWLThing built-in [Re: Re: SWRL doubt: using rules to add new individuals? (Samson Tu)]

Samson Tu swt at
Thu Aug 30 09:40:47 PDT 2007

Nacho Mayorga wrote:
> - first of all, I'd need the new individual to belong to a specific 
> class, not just OWLThing. Will it be possible either forcing the class 
> or changing it later (though still in the same rule)?

Assert the class of the newly-created individual on the consequent side 
of the rule. You need all variables instantiated on the antecedent of 
the rule.

I'll let others answer the other questions, except to say that SWRLtab 
doesn't support the use of existential restriction, and all built-ins 
are out of the reach of classifiers. HOwever, once you import the new 
individuals (from SWRLtab) to OWL, they are indistinguishable from others.

> - I'm not sure whether using the built-in in the antecedent would be 
> what I needed, but I guess that, having all the variables instantiated, 
> it should be the same
> - and, finally, the explanation in the wiki reads:
>     However, while not convenient, existential created in this way are
>     theoretically safe. In contrast, existentials created using this
>     built-in will be beyond the immediate reach of OWL classifiers. They
>     should probably not be stored permanently in an OWL ontology.
> with the first sentence referring to the existential restriction 
> owl:someValuesFrom for adding new individuals. Could you, please, 
> explain why
> a) the existentials created by means of owl:someValuesFrom are not 
> convenient?
> and why the individuals created by using this built-in (createOWLThing) 
> would be
>   b) out of the immediate reach of classifiers and 
>   c) should probably not be stored permanently in the ontology?
> Thanks a lot once again,
>                                                  Nacho
> -- 
> Nacho Mayorga
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Samson Tu                    email: swt at
Senior Research Scientist    web:
Stanford Medical Informatics phone: 1-650-725-3391
Stanford University          fax: 1-650-725-7944

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