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[protege-owl] preferences in ontologies

Timothy Redmond tredmond at
Thu Nov 18 09:48:08 PST 2010

My immediate reaction, maybe someone else will have a better one, is 
that you could use ontology annotations.  So 'Movie Actor' could have an 
'important properties' annotation of "spouse, films acted in, ..." but 
politican could have an 'important properties annotation of 'date of 
birth, political property'.  Annotations can then be handled in whatever 
way you want by your application.

Another possibility would be to keep the preference information in a 
separate file.

> or XML schema is the only option here?

If by this you mean to parse the owl ontology with an xml (not an owl) 
parser then this is strongly discouraged.  By taking this path you would 
be guaranteeing your application a slow, agonizing and angry death.  
When this has come up before, it has been argued that the OWL/XML format 
is consistent enough for a xml parse and perhaps this is true.  But the 
RDF/XML format is very difficult to accurately parse without OWL or RDF 
tools because syntactically identical RDF ontologies can be represented 
in many completely different ways.


On 11/18/2010 03:14 AM, Dhaval Thakker wrote:
> Hi I have an ontology design question. Not sure if this is the best 
> place to discuss it. Please tell me off if it is not.
> We have a fairly complex and large ontology that is to be consumed by 
> few applications. What I am looking for is a structured and formalized 
> way to assign application preferences per class/per property.
> Here is an example to outline the issue,
> The ontology has classes such as   "Person", "Politician", 
> "MovieActor" where "Politician" and "MovieActor" are subclasses of 
> Person.
> "Person" class has properties such as "date of birth", "birthplace" 
> and "spouse". "Politician" class have some specific properties such as 
> "political party" and similarly for MovieActor there are some specific 
> properties such as "films acted in" and so on.
> We have one application that is celebrity oriented and can display/is 
> interested only in few properties and few classes. For this I would 
> like to do such as:
> Celebrity Application
>      -> Movie Actor
>             - spouse
>             - films acted in
> [states that "spouse" property from Person->MovieActor inheritance is 
> of more importance here than others]
> Politics Application
>     -> Politician
>             - date of birth
>             - political party
> [states that "date of birth" property from 
> Person->Politician inheritance is of more importance here]
> As you can see, I want some preference mechanism for various 
> applications that uses this ontology and have different view of 
> importance of Classes->Properties.
> Has anybody come across this sort of design decision in their 
> applications? And if so, is it possible to do it in OWL/Ontology or 
> XML schema is the only option here?
> Thanks
> Dhaval
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