Extracting Modules from Ontologies: A Logic-Based Approach

  • Bernardo Cuenca Grau
  • Ian Horrocks
  • Yevgeny Kazakov
  • Ulrike Sattler
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5445)


The ability to extract meaningful fragments from an ontology is essential for ontology reuse. We propose a definition of a module that guarantees to completely capture the meaning of a given set of terms, i.e., to include all axioms relevant to the meaning of these terms. We show that the problem of determining whether a subset of an ontology is a module for a given vocabulary is undecidable even for OWL DL. Given these negative results, we propose sufficient conditions for a for a fragment of an ontology to be a module. We propose an algorithm for computing modules based on those conditions and present our experimental results on a set of real-world ontologies of varying size and complexity.


Cystic Fibrosis Description Logic Locality Test Conservative Extension Ontology Language 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernardo Cuenca Grau
    • 1
  • Ian Horrocks
    • 1
  • Yevgeny Kazakov
    • 1
  • Ulrike Sattler
    • 2
  1. 1.University of OxfordUK
  2. 2.University of ManchesterUK

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