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[protege-owl] state of the art for n-ary relations?

Thomas Russ tar at ISI.EDU
Mon Aug 24 09:30:30 PDT 2009

On Aug 24, 2009, at 7:31 AM, Elmar Drewitz wrote:

> Hello,
> is somebody able to give a short survey on the state of the art  
> concerning n-ary relations for protégé-owl?

Essentially the way you have to represent n-ary relations in OWL is to  
create a separate individual that represents the relation.

Say, for example you wanted to have a relation BETWEEN(END1, MIDDLE,  
END2).  You would have to create new class BETWEEN-RELATION and then  
use properties END1, MIDDLE, END2 to  link an individual BETWEEN- 
RELATION to the individuals representing the values of that n-ary  

> In my concrete example I would like to have a simultaneous  
> characterization of entities by a (unique) company ID (say its tax  
> number), a period, a GAAP characterization, a Boolean  
> characterization mandatory or not and the value itself (monetary,  
> digital, percent, string) such that this “vector” is unique.

I'm not quite sure I understand your example here.

In any case, it is unfortunately not possible to have OWL enforce any  
uniqueness constraints based on values of properties.

> Any hints are appreciated.
> Best,
> Elmar Drewitz
> DrewITz Consulting
> mobil +49(172)8213437, skype: edrewitz
> e-mail Drewitz at
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