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Subject: Proposal for a new version of OWL Profile

Dear Colleagues,

I have been thinking about a new version of the OWL Profile that reflects the experience we have gained over the last several years since version 1.5 of the OWL profile was approved in April 2007:


Here is a summary of my thinking on how to proceed. Lets discuss in today's TC call as well as over email.
I am copying Asuman as she was the original author for the good work on version 1.5 and will likely have
good input on the scope for the proposed new version.

//------------------ Begin proposal for new OWL Profile -------------------------------

Summary of Version 1.5:

The version 1.5 specification specifies the following:

  • A standard mapping of OWL-Lite constructs to an ebRIM 3.0 representation

  • A standard cataloging service that takes as input OWL-Lite content and automatically generates as output the ebRIM metadata representing the input OWL-Lite content

  • A standard parameterized queries that operates on the OWL-Lite constructs defined in the RegRep and return matching OWL-Lite constructs in their ebRIm representation

Issues in Version 1.5:

The current version 1.5 specification has a the following issues:

  • Current mapping from OWL is to ebRIM 3.0 not ebRIM 4.0

  • Current specification creates two representations of OWL constructs (native OWL RDF/XML and ebRIM 3.0)

  • There is no support for using SPARQL as query language for querying OWL-Lite constructs

  • There is no standard way to reference ontological concepts from a RegistryObject attribute, slot value or association type

  • There is no standard way to use  managed ontologies for inference
Use Cases for Enhanced OWL Support in ebXML RegRep:

Here are some use cases that have been considered as main motivations for adding enhanced OWL features to ebXML RegRep. Each use case is annotated with a perceived priority (P1 is highest, P3 is lowest) and are listed in decreasing priority order.

  • Semantic discovery (P1)

    • Allows discovery of objects based on a semantic match on an attribute value rather than a precise literal match. An example is the “field” and “threshold” search parameters in current Find Dataset query provided as an implementation-specific feature in WellGEO RegRep implementation

    • Makes use of domain and mapping ontologies to perform semantic harmonization and determine synonymous terms

    • May make use of semantically annotated ebRIM metadata

  • Semantic annotation (P1)

    • Allow repository content to be described by semantically annotated ebRIM metadata

    • Support the use of ontological concepts as attribute value for ebRIM objects, specifically as value of slots, association type and other RegistryObject attributes

  • Collaborative ontology authoring and management (P2)

    • Supports ontology elements to be development by multiple organizations and individuals collaboratively

    • Allows browsing and discovering ontology elements within regrep

    • Provide governance process for managing changes to an ontologies

Proposal for Version 2.0:

I propose that a new version 2.0 of the specification be developed under the title “ebXML RegRep Profile for Web Ontology Language (OWL)”.

The proposed specification should be able to support the following functional requirements:
  • Allow publish of an OWL ontology to a RegRep Register via ebRS protocol

    • Granularity of items published to an ontology Register is a set of ontology axioms

    • A set of ontology axioms published as a single Register member should be related to each other and be owned by the same author

    • A set of ontology axioms published as a single Register member is published as a single ExtrinsicObject - RepositoryItem pair

      • The RepositoryItem is in RDF/XML format

      • The ExtrinsicObject has mimeType “application/rdf+xml” and an ObjectType of OWL.

    • Minimal information (details TBD) is to be cataloged from RepositoryItem to ExtrinsicObject. Specifically no mapping to ebRIM objects will be defined for owl:Ontology, owl:Class, owl:Individual, rdf:Property, owl:ObjectProperty, owl:DatatypeProperty

    • It is likely that implementations would use a specialized Repository plugin for the OWL repository. Such an OWL Repository would support efficient storage and retrieval of OWL ontology constructs and would be queryable using SPARQL
  • Allow discovery of OWL ontology constructs via ebRS protocol

    • Allow use canonical parameterized queries same as version 1.5 (updated and enhanced from version 1.5 as needed)

    • Allow use of AdhocQuery with SPARQL expression syntax

      • Query is only run on ontology axioms in OWL repository

      • Issue: What does the query return and how is it packaged in a QueryReponse??

  • Allow new Registration Procedures feature set to manage changes to an Ontology Register

    • Support ebRS versioning, notification, access control etc.

    • Granularity of management is same as that in publish case - a set of ontology axioms published as a single Register member

  • Specify how ebRIM objects reference ontology concepts via attributes, slot values and association types

    • Issue: How to distinguish an ontological reference from a normal reference? Do we need a special urn prefix like urn:ontology-repo:<id of ontological axiom>

  • Allow queries to match semantically annotated attributes using inference on domain ontology for the attribute value

//------------------ End proposal for new OWL Profile -------------------------------

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge and thank Kajal Claypool of MIT Lincoln Labs for her valuable contributions towards my work on ebXML RegRep and OWL. Kajal works on the same team as Oliver and has promised to provide continued contribution and review to the proposed new specification.

Web: http://www.wellfleetsoftware.com

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