Notes, Documentation and Annotations - OWL Annotation Property vs. Data Property

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Robert Rovetto

Sep 9, 2021, 11:16:15 AMSep 9
to ontolog-forum
If you use OWL, and you want to add documentation, notes or annotations, do you prefer using OWL Annotation Properties or OWL Data Properties?

I've seen ontologies do both. For example, a text description, definition or note added as an Annotation Property at times, and at other times using Data Property. assertions for OWL Individuals.

And what do you think are reasons for doing either: using Annotation Properties vs. Data Properties (e.g. with String datatype)?
(e.g., a commonly-stated reason for using OWL Annotation Property is if the content you're adding is not to be reasoned over. But I believe there are ways to reason over even them)

Robert Rovetto
Formal ontologist and conceptual modeler.
Actively open to work and PhD study opportunities.
International Association for Ontology & its Applications, Education Technical Committee.

Igor Toujilov

Sep 9, 2021, 5:13:32 PMSep 9

Hi Robert,

The OWL standard explicitly exempts annotation properties from DL reasoning. And this is good for interoperability. So, everyone would know that no DL reasoner will try to reason on annotations.

From another hand, object properties and data properties are explicitly dedicated for DL reasoning. So, if you use an object property or a data property and do not expect it to be used for DL reasoning, then you misuse OWL.

This divide helps to achieve interoperability. In any programming language, executable code is disjoint from comments. No one expects for a compiler to compile executable code from comments. So, consider OWL as a programming language.



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