Community:View Inheritance

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View Inheritance

Title: View Inheritance

Description: Representation of the multiple alternative criteria available to classify the abstractions of a certain ontology domain concept.

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Users BenedictoRodriguezCastro, HughGlaser
Domains General
Competency Questions For example, in the case of the representation of the "wine" domain concept:
  • Allow me to select a bottle of wine by color, region, flavour and(or) ocassion.

In the case of the representation of the "pizza" domain concept:

  • Allow me to select a pizza based on the type of base, the toppings and(or) the name.
Scenarios This modeling problem is discussed in object-oriented design as the motivation to introduce "View Inheritance" (see page 824 of [Meyer 2000]). "View Inheritance" corresponds to one of the 12 valid uses of inheritance identified by the author.

There are cases when the application intended to use the ontology requires the multiple abstractions available to classify the domain concept to be represented in the ontology.

As an example from the object-oriented design, consider the alternative criteria that are avaible to classify the abstraction of a simple domain concepts such as "employee" (page 852 in [Meyer 2000]):

  • Employee: by contract type (permanent vs. temporary), by job type (engineering, administrative, managerial).

Similar examples exist in the ontology design field such us "wine" [Noy and McGuiness 2001] and "pizza" [Horridge et al. 2009]:

  • Wine: color, region, flavour, ocassion, etc.
  • Pizza: base (deep pan, thin), topping (cheese, meat, vegetable, etc.), name (margherita, american, etc.)

Now, let us think of a web site that attemtps to provide wine recommendations to its visitors or a web site to order pizza.

Proposed Solutions (OWL files)
Related patterns

Additional information

After some time looking at this type of modeling problem, another domain that deals with this type of conceptual modelling scenario is "facet analisys" and "faceted classification" in Library Science.

It seems that there is a strong correlation across different disciplines regarding how they address the modeling problem presented here:

  • "View Inheritance" in Object-Oriented Design (see page 824 of [Meyer, 2000]).
  • The "polyhierarchies" or "semantic axes" refered to in the "Normalization Ontology Design Pattern" in Ontology Design [Rector, 2003][Normalization ODP].
  • "Facet Analysis" and "Facetted Classification" in Library Science. See example on how to model the concept of "dish detergent" in [Denton, 2003].


Add a reference

  • Bertrand Meyer. Object-Oriented Software Construction (Book/CD-ROM) (2nd Edition). Prentice Hall PTR, March 2000. ISBN 0136291554. Documentation | reference page
  • N. F. Noy and D. McGuinness. Ontology development 101: A guide to creating your first ontology. Technical Report SMI-2001-0880, Stanford Medical Informatics, Stanford, 2001. Documentation | reference page
  • Matthew Horridge, Nick Drummond, Simon Jupp, Georgina Moulton, Robert Stevens. A Practical Guide To Building OWL Ontologies Using Protege 4 and CO-ODE Tools Edition 1.2. Technical report, The University Of Manchester, March 2009. Documentation | reference page
  • Alan L. Rector. Modularisation of domain ontologies implemented in description logics and related formalisms including owl. In K-CAP '03: Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on Knowledge capture, pages 121{128, New York, NY, USA, 2003. ACM. ISBN 1-58113-583-1. Documentation | reference page
  • Denton, William. How to Make a Faceted Classification and Put It On the Web. Nov 2003. Documentation | reference page
  • Normalization Ontology Design Pattern Documentation | reference page
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