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Completed research project

Title / Titel Beyond Monotonic Inheritance - Novel Approaches for Representing Ontology Data
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Semantic Web Services (SWS), the convergence of Semantic Web and Web Services, is the emerging next major generation of the Web, in which e-services and business communication become more knowledge-based and agent-based. In the SWS vision, service descriptions are built partly upon process ontologies – widely shared ontological knowledge about business processes – which are represented using Semantic Web techniques for declarative knowledge representation (KR), e.g., OWL Description Logic or RuleML Logic Programs.

In this project, we investigate a previously unsolved, crucial problem in representing process ontologies using SW KR: how to represent non-monotonic inheritance reasoning, in which at each (sub)class in the class hierarchy, any inherited property value may be overridden with another value, or simply canceled (i.e., not inherited). Non-monotonic inheritance is an important, heavily-used feature in pre-SWS process ontologies, e.g., ubiquitous in object-oriented (OO) programming. The advantages of non-monotonicity in inheritance include greater reuse/modularity and easier specification, updating, and merging. We focus in particular on the MIT Process Handbook (PH), a large, influential, and well-used process ontologies repository that is representative in its features for non-monotonic inheritance. W3C’s OWL, the currently dominant SW KR for ontologies, is fundamentally incapable of representing non-monotonicity; so too is First Order Logic. Using instead another form of leading SW KR – RuleML – we give a new approach that successfully represents the PH’s style of non-monotonic inheritance. In this Courteous Inheritance approach, PH ontology knowledge is represented as prioritized default rules expressed in the Courteous Logic Programs (CLP) subset of RuleML.

A prototype of our approach is in progress. We aim to use it to enable SWS exploitation of the forthcoming open-source version of the PH.
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Publications / Publikationen A. Bernstein, B. Grosof, "Beyond Monotonic Inheritance: Towards Semantic Web Process Ontologies", Working Paper, University of Zurich, Department of Information Technology, August 2003

A. Bernstein, B. Grosof, M. Kifer, "Beyond Monotonic Inheritance: Towards Non-Monotonic Semantic Web Process Ontologies", W3C Workshop On Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services, June 2005, World Wide Web Consortium. (inproceedings)

S. Battle, A. Bernstein, H. Boley, B. Grosof, M. Gruniger, R. Hull, M. Kifer, D. Martin, S. McIlraith, D. McGuinness, J. Su, S. Tabet, "Semantic Web Services Framework (SWSF)", Technical Report, Semantic Web Services Initiative (SWSI), April 2005. (techreport)

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Keywords / Suchbegriffe Smeantic web, ontologies, knowlwdge base, rules, reasoning, RuleML, Courteous Logic Programs
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Abraham Bernstein, PhD (Project Leader)  
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Prof. Benjamin Grosof, MIT - Slon School of Management United States
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jul 2003 to Jul 2008