A Novel Approach to Ontology Classification

Birte Glimm, Ian Horrocks, Boris Motik, Rob Shearer, Giorgos Stoilos


Ontology classification—the computation of the subsumption hierarchies for classes and properties—is a core reasoning service provided by all OWL reasoners known to us. A popular algorithm for computing the class hierarchy is the so-called Enhanced Traversal (ET) algorithm. In this paper we present a new classification algorithm that attempts to address certain shortcomings of ET and improve its performance. Apart from classification of classes, we also consider object and data property classification. Using several simple examples, we show that the algorithms commonly used to implement these tasks are incomplete even for relatively weak ontology languages. Furthermore, we show that property classification can be reduced to class classification, which allows us to classify properties using our optimised algorithm. We implemented all our algorithms in the OWL reasoner HermiT. The results of our performance evaluation show significant performance improvements on several well-known ontologies.

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Type of Paper: Research Paper
Keywords: Ontologies, OWL, Class Classification, Property Classification, Optimisations
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