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[protege-owl] Problem with imported ontology and instances

Martin O'Connor martin.oconnor at
Thu Jan 10 12:41:04 PST 2008

Netty Rajsiri - EBM WebSourcing wrote:

> Hi all,
> I created ontology with Protégé 3.4beta. Then, I imported two 
> ontologies which one has only classes and properties and another one 
> contains only instances. What I intend to do is to use copy some 
> instances of the imported ontology to the one I created. I cannot copy 
> and create new instances one by one because I have a thousand instances.
> I had an idea to use SWRLtab writing some rules and it works as I 
> wanted…except once I delete the imported ontologies, all copied 
> instances were deleted also. At the end I would like to keep only the 
> ontology I created and some imported instances.

SWRL does not really copy individuals - it adds new assertions about 
individuals. Something like: a:X(?i) -> Y(?i) will classify individuals 
of type X from an imported ontology (identified by the prefix 'a') to 
also be individuals of type Y the local ontology. However, in no sense 
are the individuals copied or moved - instead new assertions are made 
about those individuals.

The built-in swrlx:makeOWLThing [1] can be used to create new 
individuals and copy facts about them but it is not semantically safe.

You might want to look at the Galen Segmenter [2], which might help you 



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