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[protege-owl] properties on classes?

Thomas Russ tar at ISI.EDU
Tue Jan 19 17:27:36 PST 2010

On Jan 19, 2010, at 5:07 PM, Anthony McCallum wrote:

> Thanks for your response.  As of now I am still working on a simple  
> classification which will not rely on reasoning.  However, I would  
> like to ensure that this structure will allow for certain  
> characteristics to be attached to some of the classes that I have  
> defined.  So perhaps in the future, we would like to be able to  
> reason and automatically classify individuals based on these  
> properties.  Based on your answer, I understand that this could  
> potentially be possible if I use OWL-Full.  This automatic  
> classification will not be attempted for quite some time (if ever)  
> so I believe that OWL-Full should be appropriate (assuming that new  
> reasoners, etc. will now be using OWL-Full).  Please let me know if  
> I am completely wrong on this.

There is some work on OWL-Full reasoners, but I'm not current with  
what is being done.  In general, they are not as widespread because  
you run into computational issues with OWL-Full.  That is why OWL-DL  
has the restrictions it has -- to make tractable, sound and complete  
reasoners possible.

> On another note, is there any way to reason using annotation  
> properties, or do these have no logical significance?

The classifiers won't do any reasoning with annotation properties,  
because they do not affect the structural definition of classes.   
Really only the property restrictions do that, so that is what is  
considered when performing classification (as well as asserted  

What sort of reasoning would you want to do with the annotation  
properties?  And what sort of annotations do you wish to use?  A bit  
of an example often makes it easier to come up with modeling  

Some common examples of annotations would be things like a  
lastChangedDate, author, etc. which you would want to attach to a  
particular class.  The standard rdfs:comment is also like an annotation.

> Thanks,
> Anthony
> On 13-Jan-10, at 12:08 PM, protege-owl-request at  
> wrote:
>> Message: 5
>> Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 10:14:04 -0800
>> From: Thomas Russ <tar at ISI.EDU>
>> To: User support for the Protege-OWL editor
>> 	<protege-owl at>
>> Subject: Re: [protege-owl] properties on classes?
>> Message-ID: <B0435737-DC73-4A31-BC52-34C201E8538E at>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed
>> On Jan 12, 2010, at 8:49 PM, Anthony McCallum wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> Is there any practical way to attach properties to classes?  Or can
>>> properties only be used in the context of individuals?
>> Short Answer:  Use an AnnotationProperty.
>> Long Answer:  It depends.
>> If you want to stay within the OWL-DL level of expressivity, then you
>> are limited to using Annotation properties for attaching information
>> to classes themselves.  In OWL-DL, ObjectProperty, DatatypeProperty
>> and AnnotationProperty are disjoint.  And you can't attach Object or
>> Datatype properties to classes or properties.  You also cannot have
>> classes or properties be property values, except for certain built-in
>> properties like equvialentClass, subClassOf, etc.
>> If you are willing to use OWL-Full, then AnnotationProperty is not
>> disjoint from ObjectProperty or DatatypeProperty.  You can attach any
>> properties to classes and you can also uses classes as property
>> values.  Reasoners are not guaranteed to work on OWL-Full ontologies,
>> although in practice the reasoners will generally function while
>> ignoring the OWL-Full constructs.
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