Mapping OWL to an OWL Ontology

The OWL language is well-structured and meticulously designed for description logic. There are many sources of documentation describing its specifications with examples. There are also thousands of projects that utilize the OWL language. It is well documented for humans.

In the Otter Project, all ontologies are designed to be understood by both humans and computers. Humans can understand most anything, but computers are limited to their functionality. Since the Otter Server has a finite set of functionality, the OWLMap exists to reflect the existing Otter Server functionality.

OTTER utilizes this ontology to provide access to all OWL-defined ontologies. This ontology, developed as part of the Otter Project, has been through multiple revisions. The revisions have been required as the OTTER project has progressed.

All graph structures in the Otter Server are defined as SDO Datagraphs, and Datagraphs are created from OWL class expressions. The OWLMap ontology provides the Otter Server with the ability to use a class expression to access the content of all the loaded ontologies. The class expression is the base for queries, updates, and server messages.

The OWLMap ontology is not intended to be a complete representation of the OWL language. The structure of OWLMap follows the principle of “form follows function”. With this principle In mind, the purpose of OWLMap is to provide a form which can give full access to the functionality of the Otter Server.

There are twenty-six classes described in the OWLMap as of 3/11/18. The following diagram generated using d3.js shows the class content and the class relations:

When accessing this diagram within the Otter Server and focus is given to a single class, only its relations are shown in the diagram. Giving focus to a relation will show the relation as either a subset or as having one or more object properties (domain and range) or class relationships.

Selecting a class will bring up a diagram that shows the properties and relations of the class. The following is an example of the OWL_Entity class:

The object properties include: inDocument (The containing document), has Annotation (A list of annotations),and  isEntityOf (The class of the entity as a subclass of OWL_Document). The data properties include: hasName (The string name of the entity).

The OWL_Entity is the super class of: OWL_Document, OWL_Class, OWL_Datatype, OWL_Annotaion, OWL_Individual, and OWL_Property. Each of these classes inherits the object properties and data properties of OWL_Entity.

Another more recently added class is ExpType, which defines the content of a class expression as shown in the following diagram:

This class is the super class of the five assertion classes of a class expression. This includes: IndividualRestriction (An specific individual name), OWL_Class (An OWL class name), BooleanConstructor (Defines “and”, “or”, and “not”), DataRestriction (A data property restriction), and ObjectRestriction (An object property restriction).

The ExpType class was added to support the construction of a visual function to build a class expression. Class expressions can be very complex. The visual function builds a class expression in the tradition of “What you see is what you get.”

These diagrams are visual results of the use of the OWLMap ontology. The OWLMap is also being used to construct the class expression builder for both service messages and repository queries. It will also be used to construct the ontology builder.


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