Relational patterns in OWL and their application to OBO

Robert Hoehndorf, Anika Oellrich, Michel Dumontier, Janet Kelso, Heinrich Herre, Dietrich Rebholz-Schuhmann

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Directed acyclic graphs are commonly used to represent ontologies in the biomedical domain. They provide an intuitive means to formalize relations that hold between ontological categories. However, their semantics is usually not explicit. We provide a semantics for a part of the OBO Flatfile Format by extending OWL with a method to express relational patterns. These patterns are OWL axioms with variables for classes. The variables can only be filled with named classes. Addition- Ally, we provide a semantics for open patterns in OWL. Our method is applicable to the OBO Flatfile Format, and provides a means to design OWL ontologies using complex ontology design patterns. Therefore, it leads not only to an integration of the OBO Flatfile Format and OWL, but extends OWL with an intuitive interface for designing ontologies using complex definition patterns. A prototypic implementation and test results are available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Workshop on OWL: Experiences and Directions, OWLED 2010 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 21 2010Jun 22 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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