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[protege-owl] how to query an owl ontology

Alan Ruttenberg alanruttenberg at
Wed May 21 11:19:03 PDT 2008

On May 21, 2008, at 1:27 PM, Thomas Russ wrote:
> Well, I suppose in a strictly technical sense, the serialization of
> OWL into RDF is deterministic, in that a given program will always
> produce the same serialization for a given ontology.  But any change
> to the ontology can result in a radically different serialization, so
> that it is not trivially predictable.
> Part of this is related to options available in the serialized form of
> OWL.  For example, the following are both valid serializations of
> "Fred is a Person":
> <Person rdf:id="Fred"/>
> <owl:Thing rdf:about="#Fred">
>    <rdf:type rdf:resource="#Person">
> </owl:Individual>
> But working on the RDF, you would have to use different SPARQL queries
> to get the semantic results you would expect if you wanted to get all
> of the instances of Person.


1) In both cases if you queried  ?x rdf:type Person you would get  
fred (assuming that you fixed the serialization of the second example  
so that it has a matching closing tag).

2) In the first case there is one triple and the second two.

3) The issues you point out is equally of concern in RDF/S, where the  
RDF/S semantics allows for many serializations that have the same  
model. It is not an issue with OWL per se.


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