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Justification Based Explanation in Ontologies

Matthew Horridge (author)

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ISBN: 9781780171791
Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 210 x 297 x 16.17
Number of pages: 304
Publication date: 26 NOV 2012
Publisher: BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT




The Web Ontology Language, OWL, is the latest standard in logic based ontology languages. The Description Logic foundations of OWL mean that it is possible to compute what is entailed by an OWL ontology. However, without tool support, it can be very diffcult or impossible to understand why an entailment holds. In the OWL world, justifications, which are minimal entailing subsets of ontologies, have emerged as the dominant form of explanation. This thesis investigates justification based explanation techniques. The core of the thesis is devoted to defining and analysing Laconic and Precise Justifications. These are fine-grained justifications whose axioms do not contain any superfluous parts. An extensive empirical evaluation shows that it is practical to compute Laconic Justifications and also reveals prevalence of non-laconic justifications in the wild. The results indicate that Laconic and Precise justifications are likely to be useful in practice.
Matthew Horridge completed his PhD in the Information Management Group at The University of Manchester where he was supervised by Dr Bijan Parsia and Prof Uli Sattler. Prior to this he worked as a software engineer developing widely used APIs and tools for working with OWL ontologies. Matthew currently works in the Biomedical Informatics Research Group at Stanford University, California. His research interests centre around the conceptual, computational and cognitive aspects of explanation in ontologies.
  1. Introduction
  2. Preliminaries
  3. Computing Justifications
  4. Justification Finding Algorithms
  5. The BioPortal Corpus
  6. Justification Finding Experiments
  7. Justification Granularity
  8. Laconic and Precise Justifications
  9. Justification Masking
  10. Laconic Justification Finding Algorithms
  11. Laconic Justification Finding Experiments
  12. Understanding Justifications
  13. Justification Oriented Proofs
  14. Conclusions
  15. Bibliography

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