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[protege-owl] Different levels of relations

Eric Scott eric.d.scott at
Fri Nov 5 13:05:15 PDT 2010

If I may ask, what would be the advantage of subclassing beyond 'Musical 
Genre', with instances as 'jazz', 'rock', etc. and properties 
characterizing rhythm, associated pieces, demographics, labels, and so 
on?  It seems to me that you'd be letting yourself in for all kinds of 
fuzzy-boundary issues if you got carried away with a taxonomy.

Newbie here, so I'm happy to be set straight.

On 11/05/2010 11:29 AM, Thomas Russ wrote:
> On Nov 5, 2010, at 10:51 AM, Paulo Urbano wrote:
>> Hi
>> I have a little modeling problem.
>> Imagine that I want to model musical tastes of individuals using OWL 2.
>> Let's say I want to list the muscial tastes of different people at 
>> different generalization levels: for example,
>> John likes Music
>> Frida likes Rock
>> Albert likes Progressive-Rock (sub-category of Rock)
>> Linda likes free-jazz (sub-category of Jazz).
>> How can I model this?
>> 1) musical categories would be classes, but then how can I have a 
>> property with class Person as domain (likes) whose value is a class 
>> and not an individuals of a class? A kind of meta range...
> Well, actually putting classes into the property values would move you 
> out of OWL 2 DL and into OWL 2 Full.  And the Protege interface 
> doesn't really support that.  There is punning (as you note in item #2).
>> 2. Musical categories would be classes, each would have only one 
>> individual. I could use puning to maintain the same names for classes 
>> and for the respective individuals. So I would have to say that the 
>> class Free-Jazz,  would have only one individual Free-jazz and the 
>> class Music only one individual Music and the same for Rock 
>> (super-class of Progressive-Rock), etc.
> Yes, you could do this.  In effect you would use a canonical 
> individual for each of the classes and then be able to do some 
> reasoning about the hierarchy based on how they classify.
>> 3. Any other way?
> 3.  Instead of direct punning, you could create proxy individuals for 
> the classes, where you effectively move the non OWL-DL parts a bit 
> further away from your restrictions.  This will allow certain 
> reasoners to work with the proxy individuals while ignoring the 
> connection to the classes.  It does make the use of the individuals a 
> bit more difficult.
> 4.  You could dispense with the individuals entirely and work just 
> with the descriptions and the axioms describing the restrictions.  So, 
> for example you could say
>    John type (some likes Music)
>    Frida type (some likes Rock)
> etc.  You could then use things like DL query to find individuals that 
> satisfy the restrictions that you want.  This can be a bit cumbersome 
> in that getting access to the details of the restrictions isn't as 
> easy as dealing directly with individuals and property values, but it 
> should be something you could reasonably encapsulate.
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