Combining OWL Ontologies Using E-Connections

Bernardo Cuenca Grau, Bijan Parsia, Evren Sirin


The standardization of the Web Ontology Language, OWL, leaves (at least) two crucial issues for Web-based ontologies unsatisfactorily resolved, namely how to represent and reason with multiple distinct, but linked ontologies, and how to enable effective knowledge reuse and sharing on the Semantic Web. In this paper, we present a solution for these fundamental problems based on EConnections. We aim to use E-Connections to provide modelers with suitable means for developing Web ontologies in a modular way and to provide an alternative to the owl:imports construct. With such motivation, we present in this paper a syntactic and semantic extension of the Web Ontology language that covers E-Connections of OWL-DL ontologies. We show how to use such an extension as an alternative to the owl:imports construct in many modeling situations. We investigate different combinations of the logics SHIN(D), SHON(D) and SHIO(D) for which it is possible to design and implement reasoning algorithms, well-suited for optimization. Finally, we provide support for E-Connections in both an ontology editor, SWOOP, and an OWL reasoner, Pellet.

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Type of Paper: Research Paper
Keywords: Web Ontology Language; Integration and Combination of Ontologies; Combination of Knowledge Representation Formalisms; Description Logics reasoning
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