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[protege-owl] Transitivity isn't working!! Why?

Alex Macfie alex at
Mon Nov 1 13:58:52 PDT 2010

I am defining an OWL ontology that extensively uses transitive
properties. However, I  find that no reasoner infers any transitive
relations. I would naturally expect, if I define property senior_to as
transitive, and assert the following:

Individuals: Alice, Bob, Carol
Alice senior_to Bob
Bob senior_to Carol

 I expect to be able to infer through the transitive senior_to
relationship that
Alice senior_to Carol
Yet the Pellet reasoner does not add any new relationships, and SPARQL
only lists the direct relationships when I do a query like
SELECT ?subject ?object
WHERE { ?subject :senior_to ?object }

What is going on here? What is the point of the "transitive" tick-box
when creating a property if it cannot be used to actually infer
transitive relationships? I am fairly new to OWL and Protege but I know
what transitivity is and what one would expect to infer with a
transitive property. So I find it very frustrating that this elementary
concept doesn't actually seem to *work*.



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