Analysis of Ontology Competency Questions and their Formalisations in SPARQL-OWL
25 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2019 First Look: Under Review
Competency Questions (CQs) are natural language questions outlining and constraining the scope of knowledge represented in an ontology. Despite that CQs are a part of several ontology engineering methodologies, the actual publication of CQs for the available ontologies is very limited and even scarcer is the publication of their respective formalisations in terms of, e.g., SPARQL queries. This paper aims to contribute to addressing the myriad of engineering hurdles to using CQs in ontology development. A prerequisite to this is to understand the relation between CQs and the queries over the ontology. We use a new dataset of 234 competency questions and their SPARQL-OWL queries for several ontologies in dierent domains developed by dierent groups, and analysed the CQs in two principal ways. The first stage focused on a linguistic analysis of the natural language text itself, i.e., a lexico-syntactic analysis without any presuppositions of ontology elements, and a subsequent step of semantic analysis in order to find patterns. This increased diversity of CQ sources resulted in a 4-5-fold increase of hitherto published patterns, to 106 distinct CQ patterns, which have a limited subset of few patterns shared across the CQ sets from the dierent ontologies. Next, we analysed the relation between the found CQ patterns and their respective SPARQL-OWL patterns, which revealed that one CQ pattern may be realised by more than one SPARQL-OWL query pattern, and vice versa. These insights may contribute to establishing common practices, templates, automation, and user tools that will support CQ formulation, formalisation, execution, and general management.
Keywords: Ontology Authoring, Competency Questions, SPARQL-OWL
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