Improving an RCC-Derived Geospatial Approximation by OWL Axioms

  • Rolf Grütter
  • Thomas Scharrenbach
  • Bettina Bauer-Messmer
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5318)


An approach to improve an RCC-derived geospatial approximation is presented which makes use of concept inclusion axioms in OWL. The algorithm used to control the approximation combines hypothesis testing with consistency checking provided by a knowledge representation system based on description logics. Propositions about the consistency of the refined ABox w.r.t. the associated TBox when compared to baseline ABox and TBox are made. Formal proves of the divergent consistency results when checking either of both are provided. The application of the approach to a geospatial setting results in a roughly tenfold improved approximation when using the refined ABox and TBox. Ways to further improve the approximation and to automate the detection of falsely calculated relations are discussed.


Geospatial approximation Region Connection Calculus Web Ontology Language hypothesis testing consistency checking 


  1. 1.
    Shekhar, S., Chawla, S.: Spatial Databases: A Tour. Pearson Education. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Randell, D.A., Cui, Z., Cohn, A.G.: A Spatial Logic based on Regions and Connections. In: Nebel, B., Rich, C., Swartout, W. (eds.) Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, pp. 165–176. Morgan Kaufmann, San Mateo (1992)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bennett, B.: Logics for Topological Reasoning. In: 12th European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI-MM), Birmingham, UK, August 2000, pp. 6–18 (2000)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Patel-Schneider, P.F., Hayes, P., Horrocks, I.: OWL Web Ontology Language: Semantics and Abstract Syntax. W3C Recommendation, February 10, 2004. World Wide Web Consortium (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Grütter, R., Bauer-Messmer, B., Hägeli, M.: Extending an Ontology-based Search with a Formalism for Spatial Reasoning. In: Proceedings of the 23rd Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (ACM SAC 2008), pp. 2266–2270. ACM, New York (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wessel, M., Möller, R.: Flexible Software Architectures for Ontology-Based Information Systems. Journal of Applied Logic, Special Issue on Emperically Sucessful Systems (2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Grütter, R., Bauer-Messmer, B.: Towards Spatial Reasoning in the Semantic Web: A Hybrid Knowledge Representation System Architecture. In: Fabrikant, S.I., Wachowicz, M. (eds.) The European Information Society: Leading the Way with Geo-information. LNGC, pp. 349–364. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Grütter, R., Bauer-Messmer, B.: Combining OWL with RCC for Spatioterminological Reasoning on Environmental Data. In: Golbreich, C., Kalyanpur, A., Parsia, B. (eds.) OWL: Experiences and Directions (OWLED). CEUR Workshop Proceedings, vol. 258 (2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Haarslev, V., Lutz, C., Möller, R.: Foundations of Spatioterminological Reasoning with Description Logics. In: Cohn, A.G., Schubert, L.K., Shapiro, S.C. (eds.) Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, pp. 112–123. Morgan-Kaufmann, San Mateo (1998)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Baader, F., Hanschke, P.: A scheme for integrating concrete domains into concept languages. In: Twelfth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, August 1991, pp. 452–457 (1991)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Haarslev, V., Lutz, C., Möller, R.A.: Description Logic with Concrete Domains and a Role-Forming Predicate Operator. Journal of Logic and Computation 9(3), 351–384 (1999)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wessel, M.: On Spatial Reasoning with Description Logics. Position Paper. In: Horrocks, I., Tessaris, S. (eds.) Proceedings of the International Workshop on Description Logics (DL 2002), CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Toulouse, France, April 19–21, 2002, vol. 53, pp. 156–163 (2002)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lutz, C., Miličić, M.: A Tableau Algorithm for Description Logics with Concrete Do-mains and General TBoxes. Journal of Automated Reasoning 38(1-3), 227–259 (2007)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Katz, Y., Grau, B.C.: Representing Qualitative Spatial Information in OWL-DL. In: Proceedings of OWL: Experiences and Directions, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Galway, Ireland, vol. 188 (2005)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Horrocks, I., Sattler, U.: Decidability of SHIQ with Complex Role Inclusion Axioms. In: Proceedings of the 18th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2003), pp. 343–348. Morgan Kaufmann, Los Altos (2003) Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Horrocks, I., Kutz, O., Sattler, U.: The Even More Irresistible SROIQ. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR 2006), Lake District, United Kingdom (2006)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Grau, B.C., Motik, B.: OWL 1.1 Web Ontology Language: Model-Theoretic Semantics. Editor’s Draft of (April 6, 2007),
  18. 18.
    Patel-Schneider, P.F., Hayes, P., Horrocks, I.: OWL Web Ontology Language: Semantics and Abstract Syntax. W3C Recommendation February 10, 2004. World Wide Web Consortium (2004)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bishr, Y.: Geospatial Semantic Web. In: Rana, S., Sharma, J. (eds.) Frontiers of Geo-graphic Information Technology, pp. 139–154. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Horrocks, I., Patel-Schneider, P.F., Boley, H., Tabet, S., Grosof, B., Dean, M.: SWRL: A Semantic Web Rule Language. Combining OWL and RuleML. W3C Member Submission May 21, 2004. World Wide Web Consortium (2004)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Egenhofer, M., Franzosa, R.: Point-Set Topological Spatial Relations. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 5(2), 161–174 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Baader, F., Nutt, W.: Basic Description Logics. In: Baader, F., Calvanese, D., McGuin-ness, D.L., Nardi, D., Patel-Schneider, P.F. (eds.) The Description Logic Handbook, pp. 47–100. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2003)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Merton, R.K.: Social Theory and Social Structure (Enlarged Edition). The Free Press, New York (1968)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolf Grütter
    • 1
  • Thomas Scharrenbach
    • 1
  • Bettina Bauer-Messmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Research Institute WSLAn Institute of the ETH BoardBirmensdorfSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations