Luis Bermudez Stephanie Watson

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Coastal Atlas Interoperability - Ontologies (Advanced topics that we did not get to in detail)

  • Luis Bermudez

  • Stephanie Watson

  • Marine Metadata Interoperability Initiative


  • Goals

  • Introduction to Ontologies

  • Ontology Components and Practical Exercise

  • Advanced Ontology Concepts

    • Mappings
    • Restrictions and Description Logic
    • SPARQL and Rules
  • MMI Tools

  • Ontology Engineering

  • Interoperability Demonstration

  • Discussions

Mapping ala SKOS


  • provides a standardized way of representing KOS, such as thesauri, classification schemes, and taxonomies

  • uses RDF

    • RDF vocabularies:
      • SKOS Core (for describing KOS)
      • SKOS Mapping (for mapping between concepts - broad, narrow, exact match)
      • SKOS Extensions

Mapping ala SKOS

  • import skos.owl

  • it defines 3 convenient properties to relate instances

Import the 2 atlas ontologies that were created by the 2 groups

  • Make relations between your aX.owl file and one of the atlas files

    • select one of your favorite topics in your aX.owl file and create an skos:relation (broad, narrow, exact match) to a topic from one of the atlases.
  • Need to add the skos:property in the Resource Form

Adding SKOS Property(ies) in Resource Form

  • Commit to SVN - check the web site to make sure your file is there

  • Meanwhile, atlas experts - make SKOS type mappings among the terms in your atlases

Categorization by properties or the world of restrictions or defining classes using Description Logics (DL)


  • Facts:

  • We are in 2010...

  • SuperAtlas is a super ontology for atlas features. It was signed in 2009 in Monterey by 103 web atlas representatives.

  • Each group is now an atlas and will have 4 SuperAtlas Features available in the next 20 minutes.


  • We will define categories as allowed in OWL-DL.

  • The definitions of the categories are based on the SuperAtlas Ontology, which is the common vocabulary.

  • We will run the inferencer, which will automatically categorize your instances.

SuperAtlas Ontology


  • Import SuperAtlas Ontology

  • Create a class “PersonRecreationalFeature” which is a sub (or sub-sub) class of your:PersonConcept

  • make it subclass of superatlas:RecreationalFeature

Create features (e.g. places that could appear in an atlas)

Add Facts about Those Features:

  • Relative location

  • Activities that can occur

    • add an Activity
    • create/add new instance

You should have 4 instances similar to these:

  • You should have 4 instances similar to these:

Defining Classes using Description Logics

  • Defining Classes using Description Logics

Defining a Class in OWL DL

  • Example: Define EuropeanRegion

    • = All regions that are part of Europe.
    • More formally:

Equivalent Restrictions

Subclass Restrictions

Restriction Keywords

Restriction Keywords (cont.)

Complex Expressions

Restrictions Exercise

BREAK 10:30-10:45



  • Query language for RDF (similar to SQL)

  • Think - triple triple triple

SPARQL Examples

  • PREFIX table: <>

  • SELECT ?name ?symbol ?number ?color

  • FROM <>


  • {

  • ?element table:name ?name.

  • ?element table:symbol ?symbol.

  • ?element table:atomicNumber ?number.

  • OPTIONAL { ?element table:color ?color. }

  • }


  • Find all the subclasses of superatlas:Feature

Create your own queries

  • ...

Using Rules

  • OWL is limited in expressiveness.

    • can’t combine properties (e.g., uncle is a composition of brother and parent)
    • can’t use computed values or arithmetic comparisons (e.g., stating that a teenager is a person with age between 13 and 19)
  • Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL)

    • combines OWL and RuleML
    • proposed to standardize the expression of rules in OWL
  • Open ontology and view rules


  • Rule is simple: If A then B or A -> B

  • Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL)

  • swrl:body -> swrl:head

  • or

  • using JENA rules - very similar syntax

Create Rules

  • ensure your ontology imports these namespaces:

  • SWRL rules are instances of swrl:Imp and can be created by:

    • Select swrl:Imp, edit body and head. e.g., to formalize the rule that says...
      • (?a hasChild ?c) for swrl:body
      • Parent (?a) for swrl: head

Rules Exercise

  • Import jena.owl

Configure Inferencing


MMI Tools


    • to convert CVs into a common language, OWL
  • VINE

    • to map between CVs/ontologies represented in OWL

    • matches your search term to terms from other controlled vocabularies to find data and information

Engineering Lifecycle

What we did ....

  • Controlled Vocabularies

    • your topics
    • web portal controlled vocabulary
  • Mappings

  • Categories

    • Infer hierarchies
  • Knowledge of a Domain

    • Formal definition of classes
    • Rules expression
  • MMI Tools

  • Ontology Engineering

Slides acknowledgments

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