Ontology Design Rules Based On Comparability Via Certain Relations

The difficulty of representing and organizing knowledge, especially in reasonably complete and not “implicitly redundant” ways, raises at least two research questions: “how to check that certain relations are systematically used not simply whenever this is possible but whenever this is relevant for the knowledge providers?” and “how to extend best practices, ontology patterns or methodologies that advocate the systematic use of certain relations, and make the following of these methods easier to check?”. As an answer to these research questions, this article proposes a generic “ontology design rule” (ODR). A first general formulation of this generic ODR is: in a given KB, for each pair of information objects of a given set chosen by the user of this ODR, there should be either statements connecting these objects by relations of certain given types or statements negating such relations, i.e. expressing that these relations do not or cannot occur in the given KB. This article further specifies this ODR and shows its interests for subtype relations and other transitive relations, e.g. part relations and specialization relations with genus & differentia. This article shows how this ODR can be implemented via OWL and SPARQL, at least for common or simple cases. A generic implementation, in a higher-order logic based language, is given in an extended online companion article.


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