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[protege-owl] Managing Annotation Properties in P4

Thomas Russ tar at
Mon Nov 29 09:29:01 PST 2010

On Nov 29, 2010, at 12:12 AM, Hammond, Tony wrote:

> Hi Alan:
> Many thanks for that explanation. I kind of wondered.
> So, DC is promoted as a semantic lingua franca on the Web. And yet  
> here it seems that Protege has effectively outlawed it and decided  
> it cannot be applied to objects of discourse, but can only assume  
> the inferior role of "annotating" ontologies. A laudable role  
> certainly, but not centre stage.
> Shouldn't the ontology maker be the one to make that call?

Disclaimer:  I have no knowledge of the thought processes behind that  
decision, but my speculation follows:

Well, part of this may be related to restrictions placed on properties  
in OWL 1 DL, where you can apply annotation properties to any type of  
object, but the annotation properties have to be disjoint from  
datatype and object properties.  So to avoid forcing any ontology that  
uses DC into being an OWL-Full ontology, there had to be some decision  
about which of the disjoint set of properties in OWL-DL to put the DC  
properties.  I think that annotation properties gives the most  
flexibility, even though it does prevent you from defining a class of  
items authored by a particular person.

I'm unsure about the need to have annotation properties and object/ 
datatype properties be disjoint in OWL 2.  My quick search didn't find  
a definitive statement, but perhaps one of the other commentators can  
answer this.

OWL Full does not put any constraints on annotations in an ontology.  
OWL DL allows annotations on classes, properties, individuals and  
ontology headers, but only under the following conditions:

	• The sets of object properties, datatype properties, annotation  
properties and ontology properties must be mutually disjoint. Thus, in  
OWL DLdc:creator cannot be at the same time a datatype property and an  
annotation property.
	• Annotation properties must have an explicit typing triple of the  
AnnotationPropertyID rdf:type owl:AnnotationProperty .
	• Annotation properties must not be used in property axioms. Thus, in  
OWL DL one cannot define subproperties or domain/range constraints for  
annotation properties.
	• The object of an annotation property must be either a data literal,  
a URI reference, or an individual.

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