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[protege-owl] how to query an owl ontology

Alan Ruttenberg alanruttenberg at
Wed May 21 11:32:56 PDT 2008

On May 21, 2008, at 2:00 PM, Martin O'Connor wrote:

> RDF is essentially a storage representation for OWL in the sense we  
> are
> talking about here. (Though, the relationship between RDF is OWL in
> general is more complex than that; and OWL 1.1 may completely divorce
> itself from RDF.)
> Querying an OWL ontology with SPARQL using its RDF serialization is, I
> would argue, not a good idea. Dealing with a variety of possible
> serializations is a minor problem compared to SPARQL's complete  
> lack of
> understanding of OWL's semantics.

I think the statement is a bit to strong. Rather I would say  
something like:

Using SPARQL that isn't aware of OWL semantics should be done with  
caution, as you need to be aware of the consequences of the OWL  
entailments when forming your queries. On the other hand, there are  
implementations of SPARQL that are aware of OWL semantics e.g. JENA/ 
Pellet. Also, there are many cases where OWL, expressed as RDF, even  
without all the OWL entailments, can be useful. For example,  
sometimes projects generate OWL that includes inferences that were  
computed, for example the inferred superclasses. In this case  
although the document is nominally OWL, it has been augmented  
specifically so it can be of use without reasoners.

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