Updating OWL2 ontologies using pruned rulesets

Sana Al Azwari, John N. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Evolution in Semantic Web content produces difference files (deltas) that track changes between RDF versions. These changes may represent ontology modifications and be expressed in OWL. The deltas can be used to reduce the storage and bandwidth overhead involved in disseminating ontology updates. Minimising the delta size can be achieved by reasoning over the underlying knowledge base. OWL 2 is a development of the OWL 1 standard that incorporates new features to aid application development. Among the sub languages of OWL 2, OWL 2 RL/RDF provides an enriched rule set that extends the semantic capability of the OWL environment. This additional semantic content can be exploited in change detection approaches that strive to minimise the alterations to be made when ontologies are updated. The presence of blank nodes (i.e. nodes that are neither a URI nor a literal) in RDF collections provides a further challenge to ontology change detection because of the practical problems they introduce when comparing data structures before and after update. In the light of OWL 2 RL/RDF, this paper examines the potential for reducing the delta size by pruning the application of unnecessary rules from the reasoning process and using an approach to delta generation that produces the smallest number of updates. It also assesses the impact of alternative approaches to handling blank nodes during the change detection process in ontology structures. The results indicate that pruning the rule set is a potentially expensive process but has the benefit of reducing the joins when carrying out the subsequent inferencing.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2015
Event11th International Conference on Semantic Systems - Vienna University of Economics, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 16 Sep 201517 Sep 2015


Conference11th International Conference on Semantic Systems


  • ontology updates
  • rule pruning
  • OWL 2 RL-RDF
  • semantic web technologies


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