Chapter

The Semantic Web – ISWC 2005

Volume 3729 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 745-757

Debugging OWL-DL Ontologies: A Heuristic Approach

  • Hai WangAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, The University of Manchester
  • , Matthew HorridgeAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, The University of Manchester
  • , Alan RectorAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, The University of Manchester
  • , Nick DrummondAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, The University of Manchester
  • , Julian SeidenbergAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, The University of Manchester

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Abstract

After becoming a W3C Recommendation, OWL is becoming increasingly widely accepted and used. However most people still find it difficult to create and use OWL ontologies. On major difficulty is “debugging” the ontologies – discovering why a reasoners has inferred that a class is “unsatisfiable” (inconsistent). Even for people who do understand OWL and the logical meaning of the underlining description logic, discovering why concepts are unsatisfiable can be difficult. Most modern tableaux reasoners do not provide any explanation as to why the classes are unsatisfiable. This paper presents a ‘black boxed’ heuristic approach based on identifying common errors and inferences.