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UNIVERSITY OF CATANIA
DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS AND
COMPUTER SCIENCE
MASTERS DEGREE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

A SEMANTIC WEB ONTOLOGY FOR


CERAMICS CATALOGUING AND A
SET-THEORETICAL
REPRESENTATION FOR OWL 2
PROFILES

Author:
Daniele Francesco Santamaria

Supervisors:
Prof. Marianna Nicolosi Asmundo
Prof. Francesca Trapani

ACADEMIC YEAR 2013-2014

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Abstract
In my first level degree thesis [18] I have analysed the languages of the
Semantic Web (query, serialization and rule languages) and I have developed a collection of OWL ontologies for cataloguing archaeological findings
(Archeontology [18]), taking advantage of the power of semantic reasoning
to achieve an effective data control consistency and a better, more precise,
and specific query system.
In view of the implementation results of Archeontology, an archaeological
expert, Prof. Francesca Trapani, proposed the specific application field of
ceramic cataloguing. This idea concretized in an ontology called OntoCeramic. OntoCeramic provides semantic web reasoning to achieve many tasks
like comparing different findings by their fragment composition and specification, by current localisation or finding place, object measurement, shape
and type and many other features. Shape and type, in particular, are currently an open question in the archaeological field. In fact, without an
information system, or in case it is present, without a versatile and flexible

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data-managing that is not achievable by classic data-storing techniques (i.e.,


entity-relation database) they were left to personal, arbitrary and unshared
interpretations, bringing to ambiguous classifications of data. This represents an obstacle to the retrieval, circulation and understanding of artistic
heritage. The ontology tries to overcome to these obstacles using the power
of linked-data. During the development process, together with the past experience, I have made many observations.
First at all, the reasoners Archeontology and OntoCeramic has been tested
with, each one in different way, had thrown many problems. For example,
if Hermit Reasoner [22] was capable to reason about all of the constructs
provided by the ontology, on the other hand it did not support reasoning on
data-type operation, so many feature were not made available. On the other
hand, Pellet Reasoner [17] was capable to reason with data-type operations
as long the ontology is pruned by some constructs. Moreover, there is no
profile of OWL 2 that completely fits on Archeontology and OWL 2 DL is
much more powerful than required. Another question concerns the query
system. Even though many query languages are currently available, it is
required a query system that full support OWL 2 in all its facets and in
data-type reasoning. In the light of these observations, this masters thesis
tries to answer some of the previous questions.
As a first step, a new OWL 2 profile is required that is capable to incorporate the logic model of Archeontology and OntoCeramic (and of all the

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applications based on the same model) and that is powerful and efficient.
This logic model includes large taxonomies, hierarchies of classes with disjoint classes, equivalent classes, intersection and union of classes, equivalent
and different instances of class. Furthermore, it includes a large number of
non-simple object-properties and data-properties with defined domain and
range, data-type reasoning, and a restricted use of universal quantifier (dually, of existential quantifier). In view of this model, I decided to provide
a new OWL 2 profile that can answer all of the previous problems and can
completely fit on OntoCeramic. To construct such a new OWL 2 profile, I
looked for a suitable theoretical foundation. I found a good candidate in a
fragment of Computable Set Theory [3] [4] [19] called Four Level Stratified
Sylllogistic (4LQS), proved to be decidable in [8]. Over the years, only few
stratified syllogistics have been investigated, despite the fact that in many
fields of computer science often one has to deal with multi-sorted language.
Most of the decidability results in computable set theory concern one-sorted
multi-level syllogistic. An efficient decision procedure [12] was presented
for the Two-Level Syllogistic language (2LS); subsequently, a three-sorted
language 3LSSPU ( Three-Level Syllogistic with Singleton, Powerset and
general Union) has proved to be decidable [5]. Later in [9], the fragment
3LQS R ( Three-Level Quantified Syllogistic with Restricted quantifier) has
proved to have a decidable satisfiability problem.
In this thesis, I introduce a sub-language of 4LQS, called SSOWL , that I de-

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signed to express a new OWL profile that can resolve the previous problems,
called OWL SS, that I completely described and compared with the existing
W3C profiles. As I show in this work, OWL SS is able to represent a wide
fragment of OWL 2 without sacrificing efficiency. In fact, together with the
language, I provide a decision procedure and a complexity analysis in order
to prove that, under certain conditions which are not too restrictive and
allow to include OntoCeramic, is NP-complete. To prove that OntoCeramic
can be expressed by the language, a SSOWL representation of the application
is provided too.
Chapter 1 presents the application OntoCeramic with its development
process, implementation choices and features. Chapter 2 first presents the
4LQS language, then the SSOWL language with the OWL 2 profile OWL
SS, and a comparison with existing OWL 2 profiles. Chapter 3 provides
the entire representation of OntoCeramic inside SSOWL . Finally, Chapter 4
provides the decision procedure for SSOWL giving also some complexity results.

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