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[protege-owl] more than one class as range in OWL / Protege 4

Timothy Redmond tredmond at stanford.edu
Sat Aug 21 19:29:30 PDT 2010


On 08/21/2010 04:51 PM, Alexander Nakhimovsky wrote:
> The User Guide says on p. 36:
>
> It is possible to specify multiple classes as the range for a
> property. If multiple
> classes are specified in Prot´eg´e 4 the range of the property is
> interpreted to be
> the intersection of the classes. For example, if the range of a property has the
> classes Man and Woman listed in the range view, the range of the property will
> be interpreted as Man union (italicized-adn) Woman.
>
> Which one is correct, intersection or union?
>
>    

This is not really a matter of being correct.  It is a matter of how the 
same information is presented differently to the user in Protege 3 and 
Protege 4.

In OWL if there are two separate range statements:

    ObjectProperty:<http://www.protege.org/ontologies/tmp.owl#p>
         Range:
             <http://www.protege.org/ontologies/tmp.owl#Man>


    ObjectProperty:<http://www.protege.org/ontologies/tmp.owl#p>
         Range:
             <http://www.protege.org/ontologies/tmp.owl#Woman>
       


then effectively the range is the intersection of the two classes.  In 
Protege 4 this is how the interface presents an OWL ontology to the user.

In Protege 3, it uses the same semantics but it presents the OWL 
ontology in a different manner.  In Protege 3, if there are two separate 
classes, Man and Woman, in the range dialog box, then it will generate 
the following OWL ontology:

    ObjectProperty:<http://www.protege.org/ontologies/tmp.owl#p>
         Range:
             <http://www.protege.org/ontologies/tmp.owl#Man>
              or<http://www.protege.org/ontologies/tmp.owl#Woman>

       


It does this because Protege 3 believes that this is what the user 
really intends.  In addition if there are two range statements

    ObjectProperty:<http://www.protege.org/ontologies/tmp.owl#p>
         Range:
             <http://www.protege.org/ontologies/tmp.owl#Man>


    ObjectProperty:<http://www.protege.org/ontologies/tmp.owl#p>
         Range:
             <http://www.protege.org/ontologies/tmp.owl#Woman>
       


then Protege 3 will not show the range information for the properties in 
the standard range dialog box.  It deliberately does not handle this 
case because it thinks it is exceptional and not what a user usually 
intends.  It is possible to see the two range statements elsewhere in 
the Protege 3 interface but it doesn't show these views by default.

Personally I like the Protege 4 behavior better because the ontology 
editing environment stays closer to the OWL specification.  But I think 
that the Protege 3 developers had a point in that usually when a user 
specifies two ranges for a property the user really wants one range 
assertion where the range is a union of the two specified range classes.

-Timothy



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