Justification Patterns for OWL DL Ontologies

Nguyen, Tu Anh T.; Power, Richard; Piwek, Paul and Williams, Sandra (2011). Justification Patterns for OWL DL Ontologies. Technical Report 2011/05; Department of Computing, The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.00008536


For debugging OWL-DL ontologies, natural language explanations of inconsistencies and undesirable entailments are of great help. From such explanations, ontology developers can learn why an ontology gives rise to specific entailments. Unfortunately, commonly used tableaux-based reasoning services do not provide a basis for such explanations, since they rely on a refutation proof strategy and normalising transformations that are difficult for human ontology editors to understand. For this reason, we investigate the use of automatically generated justifications for entailments (i.e., minimal sets of axioms from the ontology that cause entailments to hold). We show that such justifications fall into a manageable number of patterns, which can be used as a basis for generating natural language explanations by associating each justification pattern with a rhetorical pattern in natural language.

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