Modular Ontologies – A Formal Investigation of Semantics and Expressivity

  • Jie Bao
  • Doina Caragea
  • Vasant G. Honavar
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4185)


With the growing interest in modular ontology languages to address the need for collaborative development, integration, and use of ontologies on the Web, there is an urgent need for a common framework for comparing modular ontology language proposals on the basis of criteria such as their semantic soundness and expressive power. We introduce an Abstract Modular Ontology (AMO) language and offer precise definitions of semantic soundness such as localized semantics and exact reasoning, and expressivity requirements for modular ontology languages. We compare Distributed Description Logics (DDL), ε-connections, and Package-Based Description Logics (P-DL) with respect to these criteria. Our analysis suggests that by relaxing the strong domain disjointedness assumption adopted in DDL and ε-connection, as P-DL demonstrated, it is possible to overcome some known semantic difficulties and expressivity limitations of DDL and ε-Connections.


Description Logic Formal Investigation Local Domain Domain Relation Ontology Language 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Bao
    • 1
  • Doina Caragea
    • 1
  • Vasant G. Honavar
    • 1
  1. 1.Artificial Intelligence Research Laboratory, Department of Computer ScienceIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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