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Current revision ID: 9707

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General information

Name Partition
Also known as
SubmittedBy OlafNoppens


Motivation The Partition Pattern is a logical pattern that introduces axioms which model a partition of concepts. A partition is a general structure which is divided into several disjoint parts. With respect to ontologies the structure is a concept which is divided into several pair-wise disjoint concepts. This pattern reflects the simplest case where a named concept is defined as a partition of concepts.
Aim The Partition Pattern describes how to model a partition, i.e., a named concept which is divided into several disjoint concepts. Applying this pattern to an ontology will introduce the necessary axioms.
Solution description Let P be a named concept that is the partition which is divided into several concepts C_i. Then the partition is defined by introducing the following axioms (expressed in KRSS [1]):

(define-concept P (or C0 C1 ... Cn) ) (disjoint Ci Cj) ( 0 ≤ i,j ≤ n, i ≠ j ).

Here (disjoint C_i C_j)a placeholder for the pair-wise disjointness of all C_i. Note that C_i can also be arbitrary concept expressions (even if this is not allowed in the original KRSS syntax).

In OWL 2 [2] the axioms can be expressed as follows (using OWL 2 Abstract Syntax):

EquivalentClasses(P, ObjectUnionOf(C1, ..., Cn))

DisjointClasses(C1, ..., Cn)

[1] Patel-Schneider, P. F., Swartout, B.: Description-Logic Knowledge Representation System Specification, 1993

[2] Motik, B., Patel-Schneider, P. F., Parsia, B.: OWL 2 Structural Specification and Functional-Style Syntax. W3C Candidate Recommendation 11 June 2009.

Reusable component
Component type


Problem example In an ontology about family relationship we defined concepts such as Person,

Aunt and ParentOfSon which are characterized by a relationships such as hasChild(resp. the inverse relationship hasParent), hasSibling, ' married-with as well as by the gender of people (Male respectively Female). There are a lot of similar ontologies about family relationships.

EquivalentClasses(Parent-Of-Son ObjectSomeValuesFrom (has-Child Male) ) EquivalentClasses(Parent-Of-Daughter ObjectSomeValuesFrom(has-Child Female) ) EquivalentClasses(Aunt ObjectIntersectionOf(Uncle-Or-Aunt Female)) EquivalentClasses(Uncle-Or-Aunt ObjectIntersectionOf(Person ObjectSomeValuesFrom(has-Sibling Parent)))

The concept Gender is partitioned in Male and Female. Applying this pattern results in the following axioms:

EquivalentClasses(Gender, ObjectUnionOf(Male Female)) DisjointClasses(Male Female)

Pattern solution example

Pattern reference

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Additional information


Scenarios about Partition

No scenario is added to this Content OP.


Reviews about Partition
Review article Posted on About revision (current is 9707)
LuigiIannone about Partition 24550827 September 2009 56165,616
MartaSabou about Partition 24550838 September 2009 56795,679
HenrikEriksson about Partition 24550849 September 2009 57485,748
LuigiIannone about Partition 2 245508510 September 2009 57505,750
RinkeHoekstra about Partition 245513025 October 2009 59015,901

This revision (revision ID 9707) takes in account the reviews: Http:// about Partition, Http:// about Partition, Http:// about Partition 2

Other info at evaluation tab

Modeling issues

Modeling issues about Partition
Modeling issue Competency question Domains
Multiple Alternative Classification Criteria Allow me to retrieve all "elements" (classes/individuals) of a "domain concept" viewed by a combination of "values" (or "terms") from various "classification criteria" (or "facets").
View Inheritance For example
in the case of the representation of the "wine" domain concept:
  • Allow me to select a bottle of wine by color
    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.


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