OWL 2 Web Ontology Language
Manchester Syntax

W3C Working Draft 21 April 2009

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Matthew Horridge, University of Manchester
Peter F. Patel-Schneider, Bell Labs Research, Alcatel-Lucent

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The OWL 2 Web Ontology Language, informally OWL 2, is an ontology language for the Semantic Web with formally defined meaning. OWL 2 ontologies provide classes, properties, individuals, and data values and are stored as Semantic Web documents. OWL 2 ontologies can be used along with information written in RDF, and OWL 2 ontologies themselves are primarily exchanged as RDF documents. The OWL 2 Document Overview describes the overall state of OWL 2, and should be read before other OWL 2 documents.
The Manchester syntax is a user-friendly compact syntax for OWL 2 ontologies; it is frame-based, as opposed to the axiom-based other syntaxes for OWL 2. The Manchester Syntax is used in the OWL 2 Primer, and this document provides the language used there. It is expected that tools will extend the Manchester Syntax for their own purposes, and tool builders may collaboratively extend the common language.

Status of this Document

May Be Superseded

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.

Summary of Changes

This Working Draft has a few changes since the previous version of 02 December 2008.

Please Comment By 12 May 2009

The OWL Working Group seeks public feedback on this Working Draft. Please send your comments to public-owl-comments@w3.org (public archive). If possible, please offer specific changes to the text that would address your concern. You may also wish to check the Wiki Version of this document and see if the relevant text has already been updated.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction

The Manchester OWL syntax is a user-friendly syntax for OWL 2 descriptions, but it can also be used to write entire OWL 2 ontologies. The original version of the Manchester OWL syntax [Manchester OWL DL Syntax] was created for OWL 1 [OWL Semantics and Abstract Syntax]; it is here updated for OWL 2 [OWL 2 Specification]. The Manchester syntax is used in Protégé 4 [Protégé 4] and TopBraid Composer® [TopBraid Composer], particularly for entering and displaying descriptions associated with classes. Some tools (e.g., Protégé 4) extend the syntax to allow even more compact presentation in some situations (e.g., for explanation) or to replace IRIs by label values, but this document does not include any of these special-purpose extensions.

The Manchester OWL syntax gathers together information about names in a frame-like manner, as opposed to RDF/XML [RDF Syntax], the functional-style syntax for OWL 2 [OWL 2 Specification], and the XML syntax for OWL 2 [OWL 2 XML Syntax]. It is thus closer to the abstract syntax for OWL 1 [OWL Semantics and Abstract Syntax], than the above syntaxes for OWL 2. Nevertheless, parsing the Manchester OWL syntax into the OWL 2 structural specification is quite easy, as it is easy to identify the axioms inside each frame.

As the Manchester syntax is frame-based, it cannot directly handle all OWL 2 ontologies. However, there is a simple transform that will take any OWL 2 ontology that does not overload between object, data, and annotation properties or between classes and datatypes into a form that can be written in the Manchester syntax.

An example ontology in the Manchester OWL syntax can be found in the OWL Primer [OWL 2 Primer].

2 The Grammar

The Manchester syntax for OWL 2 ontologies is defined using a standard BNF notation, which is summarized in the table below.

Table 1. The BNF Notation Used in this Document
Construct Syntax Example
nonterminal symbols boldface ClassExpression
terminal symbols single quoted 'PropertyRange'
zero or more curly braces { ClassExpression }
zero or one square brackets [ ClassExpression ]
alternative vertical bar Assertion | Declaration
grouping parentheses dataPropertyExpression )

Because comma-separated lists occur in very many places in the syntax, to save space the grammar has three meta-productions, one for non-empty lists, one for lists of minimum length two, and one for non-empty lists with annotations in them.

<NT>List ::= <NT> { ',' <NT> } <NT>2List ::= <NT> ',' <NT>List <NT>AnnotatedList ::= [annotations] <NT> { ',' [annotations] <NT> }

Documents in the Manchester OWL syntax form OWL 2 ontologies and consist of sequences of Unicode characters [
UNICODE] and are encoded in UTF-8 [RFC3829].

The grammar for the Manchester syntax does not explicitly show white space. White space is allowed between any two terminals or non-terminals except inside nonNegativeInteger, prefixName, IRI, and literal. White space is required between two terminals or non-terminals if its removal could cause ambiguity. Generally this means requiring white space except before and after punctuation (e.g., commas, parentheses, braces, and brackets).

White space is a sequence of blanks (U+20), tabs (U+9), line feeds (U+A), carriage returns (U+D), and comments. Comments are maximal sequences of Unicode characters starting with a '#' and not containing a line feed or a carriage return. Note that comments are only recognized where white space is allowed, and thus not inside the above non-terminals.

2.1 IRIs, Integers, Literals, and Entities

Names are IRIs (the successors of URIs) and can either be given in full or can be abbreviated similar to as in SPARQL [SPARQL]. Abbreviated IRIs consist of an optional colon-terminated prefix followed by a local part. Prefixes in abbreviated IRIs must not match any of the keywords of this syntax. Prefixes should begin with lower case letters so that they do not clash with colon-terminated keywords introduced in future versions of this syntax. Local parts with no prefix are expanded as if they had an initial colon and must not match any keyword of this syntax.

This syntax uses short forms for common data values, e.g., strings and numbers, and short forms for some common datatypes, e.g., integer. These correspond to the obvious long forms.

fullIRI := an IRI as defined in [RFC3987], enclosed in a pair of < (U+3C) and > (U+3E) characters
prefixName := a finite sequence of characters matching the PNAME_NS production of [SPARQL] and not matching any of the keyword terminals of the syntax
abbreviatedIRI := a finite sequence of characters matching the PNAME_LN production of [SPARQL]
simpleIRI := a finite sequence of characters matching the PN_LOCAL production of [SPARQL] and not matching any of the keyword terminals of the syntax
IRI := fullIRI | abbreviatedIRI | simpleIRI

nonNegativeInteger ::= zero | positiveInteger
positiveInteger ::= nonZero { digit }
digits ::= digit { digit }
digit ::= zero | nonZero
nonZero := '1' | '2' | '3' | '4' | '5' | '6' | '7' | '8' | '9'
zero ::= '0'

classIRI ::= IRI
Datatype ::= datatypeIRI | 'integer' | 'decimal' | 'float' | 'string'
datatypeIRI ::= IRI
objectPropertyIRI ::= IRI
dataPropertyIRI ::= IRI
annotationPropertyIRI ::= IRI
individual ::= individualIRI | nodeID
individualIRI ::= IRI
nodeID := a finite sequence of characters matching the BLANK_NODE_LABEL production of [SPARQL]

literal ::= typedLiteral | abbreviatedXSDStringLiteral | abbreviatedRDFTextLiteral | integerLiteral | decimalLiteral | floatingPointLiteral
typedLiteral ::= lexicalValue '^^' Datatype
abbreviatedXSDStringLiteral ::= quotedString
abbreviatedRDFTextLiteral ::= quotedString languageTag
languageTag := @ (U+40) followed a nonempty sequence of characters matching the langtag production from [BCP 47]
lexicalValue ::= quotedString
quotedString := a finite sequence of characters in which " (U+22) and \ (U+5C) occur only in pairs of the form \" (U+5C, U+22) and \\ (U+5C, U+5C), enclosed in a pair of " (U+22) characters
floatingPointLiteral ::= [ '+' | '-'] ( digits ['.'digits] [exponent] | '.' digits[exponent]) ( 'f' | 'F' )
exponent ::= ('e' | 'E') ['+' | '-'] digits
decimalLiteral ::= ['+' | '-'] digits '.' digits
integerLiteral ::= ['+' | '-'] digits

entity ::= 'Datatype' '(' Datatype ')' | 'Class' '(' classIRI ')' | 'ObjectProperty' '(' objectPropertyIRI ')' | 'DataProperty' '('dataPropertyIRI ')' | 'AnnotationProperty' '(' annotationPropertyIRI ')' | 'NamedIndividual' '(' individualIRI ')'

2.2 Ontologies and Annotations

annotations ::= 'Annotations:' annotationAnnotatedList annotation ::= annotationPropertyIRI annotationTarget annotationTarget ::= nodeID | IRI | literal ontologyDocument ::= { prefixDeclaration } ontology prefixDeclaration ::= 'Prefix:' prefixName fullIRI ontology ::= 'Ontology:' [ ontologyIRI [ versionIRI ] ] { import } { annotations } { frame } ontologyIRI ::= IRI versionIRI ::= IRI import ::= 'Import:' IRI frame ::= datatypeFrame | classFrame | objectPropertyFrame | dataPropertyFrame | annotationPropertyFrame | individualFrame | misc

The 'rdf:', 'rdfs:', 'owl:', and 'xsd:' prefixes are pre-defined as follows and cannot be changed. Each other prefix used in an ontology document must have exactly one prefix declaration in the ontology document.

Prefix: rdf: <http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#>
Prefix: rdfs: <http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#>
Prefix: xsd: <http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#>
Prefix: owl: <http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#>

2.3 Property and Datatype Expressions

objectPropertyExpression ::= objectPropertyIRI | inverseObjectProperty inverseObjectProperty ::= 'inverse' objectPropertyIRI dataPropertyExpression ::= dataPropertyIRI dataRange ::= dataConjunction 'or' dataConjunction { 'or' dataConjunction } | dataConjunction dataConjunction ::= dataPrimary 'and' dataPrimary { 'and' dataPrimary } | dataPrimary dataPrimary ::= [ 'not' ] dataAtomic dataAtomic ::= Datatype | '{' literalList '}' | datatypeRestriction | '(' dataRange ')' datatypeRestriction ::= Datatype '[' facet restrictionValue { ',' facet restrictionValue } ']' facet ::= 'length' | 'minLength' | 'maxLength' | 'pattern' | 'langPattern' | '<=' | '<' | '>=' | '>' restrictionValue ::= literal

In a datatypeRestriction, the facets and restrictionValues must be valid for the Datatype, as in the OWL 2 Specification [OWL 2 Specification], after making the obvious change for the comparison facets.

2.4 Descriptions

description ::= conjunction 'or' conjunction { 'or' conjunction } | conjunction conjunction ::= classIRI 'that' [ 'not' ] restriction { 'and' [ 'not' ] restriction } | primary 'and' primary { 'and' primary } | primary primary ::= [ 'not' ] ( restriction | atomic ) restriction ::= objectPropertyExpression 'some' primary | objectPropertyExpression 'only' primary | objectPropertyExpression 'value' individual | objectPropertyExpression 'Self' | objectPropertyExpression 'min' nonNegativeInteger [ primary ] | objectPropertyExpression 'max' nonNegativeInteger [ primary ] | objectPropertyExpression 'exactly' nonNegativeInteger [ primary ] | dataPropertyExpression 'some' dataPrimary | dataPropertyExpression 'only' dataPrimary | dataPropertyExpression 'value' literal | dataPropertyExpression 'min' nonNegativeInteger [ dataPrimary ] | dataPropertyExpression 'max' nonNegativeInteger [ dataPrimary ] | dataPropertyExpression 'exactly' nonNegativeInteger [ dataPrimary ] atomic ::= classIRI | '{' individualList '}' | '(' description ')'

2.5 Frames and Miscellaneous

datatypeFrame ::= 'Datatype:' Datatype { 'Annotations:' annotationAnnotatedList } [ 'EquivalentTo:' annotations dataRange ] { 'Annotations:' annotationAnnotatedList } classFrame ::= 'Class:' classIRI { 'Annotations:' annotationAnnotatedList | 'SubClassOf:' descriptionAnnotatedList | 'EquivalentTo:' descriptionAnnotatedList | 'DisjointWith:' descriptionAnnotatedList | 'DisjointUnionOf:' annotations description2List } | 'HasKey:' annotations ( objectPropertyExpression | dataPropertyExpression ) { objectPropertyExpression | dataPropertyExpression } objectPropertyFrame ::= 'ObjectProperty:' objectPropertyIRI { 'Annotations:' annotationAnnotatedList | 'Domain:' descriptionAnnotatedList | 'Range:' descriptionAnnotatedList | 'Characteristics:' objectPropertyCharacteristicAnnotatedList | 'SubPropertyOf:' objectPropertyExpressionAnnotatedList | 'EquivalentTo:' objectPropertyExpressionAnnotatedList | 'DisjointWith:' objectPropertyExpressionAnnotatedList | 'InverseOf:' objectPropertyExpressionAnnotatedList | 'SubPropertyChain:' annotations objectPropertyExpression 'o' objectPropertyExpression { 'o' objectPropertyExpression } } objectPropertyCharacteristic ::= 'Functional' | 'InverseFunctional' | 'Reflexive' | 'Irreflexive' | 'Symmetric' | 'Asymmetric' | 'Transitive' dataPropertyFrame ::= 'DataProperty:' dataPropertyIRI { 'Annotations:' annotationAnnotatedList | 'Domain:' descriptionAnnotatedList | 'Range:' dataRangeAnnotatedList | 'Characteristics:' annotations 'Functional' | 'SubPropertyOf:' dataPropertyExpressionAnnotatedList | 'EquivalentTo:' dataPropertyExpressionAnnotatedList | 'DisjointWith:' dataPropertyExpressionAnnotatedList } annotationPropertyFrame ::= 'AnnotationProperty:' annotationPropertyIRI { 'Annotations:' annotationAnnotatedList } | 'Domain:' IRIAnnotatedList | 'Range:' IRIAnnotatedList | 'SubPropertyOf:' annotationPropertyIRIAnnotatedList individualFrame ::= 'Individual:' individual { 'Annotations:' annotationAnnotatedList | 'Types:' descriptionAnnotatedList | 'Facts:' factAnnotatedList | 'SameAs:' individualAnnotatedList | 'DifferentFrom:' individualAnnotatedList } fact ::= [ 'not' ] (objectPropertyFact | dataPropertyFact) objectPropertyFact ::= objectPropertyIRI individual dataPropertyFact ::= dataPropertyIRI literal misc ::= 'EquivalentClasses:' annotations description2List | 'DisjointClasses:' annotations description2List | 'EquivalentProperties:' annotations objectProperty2List | 'DisjointProperties:' annotations objectProperty2List | 'EquivalentProperties:' annotations dataProperty2List | 'DisjointProperties:' annotations dataProperty2List | 'SameIndividual:' annotations individual2List | 'DifferentIndividuals:' annotations individual2List

2.6 Global Concerns

The Manchester syntax has the same global conditions on ontologies as for OWL 2 ontologies in the OWL 2 Specification [OWL 2 Specification], with the addition of the typing constraints for OWL 2 DL ontologies, but using the appropriate frame instead of declarations.

The Manchester syntax global conditions for OWL 2 DL ontologies are the same as in the OWL 2 Specification except as mentioned just above.

3 Quick Reference

This is a made-up partial ontology that provides a quick reference guide to the Manchester Syntax. Not all of the ontology makes logical sense so that all aspects of the syntax can be shown in a small example.

All colon-terminated keyword constructs except Ontology: (e.g., Import:, Class:, Domain:, SubClassOf:) are optional and can be repeated. Most keyword constructs take a comma-separated list of sub-constructs, which is sometimes indicated by ",...". Annotations are allowed for elements in these lists of sub-constructs except where annotations are explicitly noted (e.g., in DisjointUnionOf:, in DisjointClasses:).

Prefix: : <http://ex.com/owl/families#>
Prefix: g: <http://ex.com/owl2/families#>

Ontology: <http://example.com/owl/families> <http://example.com/owl/families-v1>
  Import: <http://ex.com/owl2/families.owl>
  Annotations: creator John, 
               Annotations: rdfs:comment "Creation Year"
                 creationYear 2008, 
               mainClass Person

  ObjectProperty: hasWife
    Annotations: ...
    Characteristics: Functional, InverseFunctional, Reflexive, Irreflexive, Asymmetric, Transitive
    Domain: Annotations: rdfs:comment "General domain",
                         creator John
            Annotations: rdfs:comment "More specific domain"
    Range: Person, Woman
    SubPropertyOf: hasSpouse, loves
    EquivalentTo: isMarriedTo ,...
    DisjointWith: hates ,...
    InverseOf: hasSpouse, inverse hasSpouse
    SubPropertyChain: Annotations: ... hasChild o hasParent o...

  DataProperty: hasAge
    Annotations: ...
    Characteristics: Functional
    Domain: Person ,...
    Range: integer ,...
    SubPropertyOf: hasVerifiedAge ,...
    EquivalentTo: hasAgeInYears ,...
    DisjointWith: hasSSN ,...

  AnnotationProperty: creator
    Annotations: ...
    Domain: Person ,...
    Range: integer ,...
    SubPropertyOf: initialCreator ,...

  Datatype: NegInt
    Annotations: ...
    EquivalentTo: integer[< 0]  

  Class: Person
    Annotations: ...
    SubClassOf: owl:Thing that hasFirstName exactly 1 and hasFirstName only string[minLength 1]  ,...
    SubClassOf: hasAge exactly 1 and hasAge only not NegInt,...
    SubClassOf: hasGender exactly 1 and hasGender only {female , male} ,...
    SubClassOf: hasSSN max 1, hasSSN min 1
    SubClassOf: not hates Self, ...
    EquivalentTo: g:People ,...
    DisjointWith: g:Rock , g:Mineral ,...
    DisjointUnionOf: Annotations: ... Child, Adult
    HasKey: Annotations: ... hasSSN

  Individual: John
    Annotations: ...
    Types: Person , hasFirstName value "John" or hasFirstName value "Jack"^^xsd:string
    Facts: hasWife Mary, not hasChild Susan, hasAge 33, hasChild _:child1
    SameAs: Jack ,...
    DifferentFrom: Susan ,...

  Individual: _:child1
    Annotations: ...
    Types: Person ,...
    Facts: hasChild Susan ,...

  DisjointClasses: Annotations: ... g:Rock, g:Scissor, g:Paper
  EquivalentProperties: Annotations: ... hates, loathes, despises
  DisjointProperties: Annotations: ... hates, loves, indifferent
  EquivalentProperties: Annotations: ... favoriteNumber, g:favouriteNumber, g:favouriteInteger
  DisjointProperties: Annotations: ... favoriteInteger, favouriteReal
  SameIndividual: Annotations: ... John, Jack, Joe, Jim
  DifferentIndividuals: Annotations: ... John, Susan, Mary, Jill

4 Appendix: Translation to and from OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax

Most of the translation between the Manchester OWL syntax and OWL 2 is obvious. The translation given here is with the OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax [OWL 2 Specification].

4.1 Informal Description

In many cases there is a one-to-one correspondence between the Manchester OWL syntax and the OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax. For example, dataComplementOf in the Manchester OWL syntax corresponds directly to dataComplementOf in the OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax. All that is required is to translate the keywords and adjust to a parenthesized syntax.

IRIs and their parts are the same in the Manchester OWL syntax and the OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax, no change is needed for them, except that the "special" datatypes are translated into the corresponding XML Schema datatypes. Literals are mostly the same, but the abbreviated syntaxes for numbers and strings have to be translated in the obvious way. The syntax for data ranges in the Manchester OWL syntax corresponds exactly with the syntax in the OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax.

The syntax for annotations in the Manchester OWL syntax closely corresponds to the syntax in the OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax. The only special processing that needs to be done is to determine which frame to attach entity annotations to in the reverse mapping. Translating to the Functional-Style syntax and back again can thus lose some non-logical information in the Manchester syntax.

Descriptions also correspond closely between the Manchester OWL syntax and the OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax.

The translation of frame axioms is performed by splitting them into pieces that correspond to single axioms. This is done by taking each of the pieces of the frame (Annotations:, Domain:, Range:, etc) and making new frames for each of them. The new frame is of the same kind (Class:, ObjectProperty:, etc.) and for the same IRI. Then each resultant frame that contains an AnnotatedList with more than one element is broken into a frame for each element of the list in a similar manner.

The resultant axioms and any miscellaneous axioms then correspond closely to the OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax axioms and can be directly translated. The only special cases are that annotations directly in frames become annotations in entity annotation axioms and that (negative) property assertions have to be disambiguated depending on whether the property is an object property or a data property.

Translations of OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax axioms back to frames can be done piecemeal or the axioms on a single entity can be all combined together, which is done here.

The remaining top-level constructs of an ontology (prefix declarations, imports, ontology annotations, and the ontology name) can be directly translated.

4.2 Formal Description for Mapping to OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax

Formally the transformation takes an ontology in the Manchester OWL syntax and produces an ontology in the Functional-Style syntax. The transformation needs access to the imported ontologies.

First, for each frame in the ontology, produce the appropriate declaration as follows:

Frame Declaration
Class: IRI ... Declaration( Class(IRI) )
ObjectProperty: IRI ... Declaration( ObjectProperty(IRI) )
DataProperty: IRI ... Declaration( DataProperty(IRI) )
AnnotationProperty: IRI ... Declaration( AnnotationProperty(IRI) )
Individual: IRI ... Declaration( NamedIndividual(IRI) )
Individual: nodeID ...

Second, split up frames into single axioms in three stages. The first stage splits apart top-level pieces of frames that have multiple top-level pieces, transforming F: IRI p1 p2 ... into F: IRI p1 F: IRI p2 ... for F: one of the frame keywords (Class:, ...), until no more transformations are possible. The second stage splits apart the pieces of each of the top-level pieces, transforming F: IRI P: s1 s2 ... into F: IRI P: s1 F: IRI P: s2 ... for P: one of the keywords immediately inside a frame (Annotations:, SubClassOf:, ...), until no more transformations are possible. The third stage just removes any frame containing only an IRI.

Next, perform the actual syntax transformation. Any piece of syntax with no transformation listed here is just copied through.

Nonterminal Form Transformation (T)
simpleIRI localPart  :localPart
Datatype integer xsd:integer
Datatype decimal xsd:decimal
Datatype float xsd:float
Datatype string xsd:string
integerLiteral integer "integer"^^xsd:integer
decimalLiteral decimal "decimal"^^xsd:decimal
floatingPointLiteral float "float"^^xsd:float
abbreviatedXSDStringLiteral string string
abbreviatedRDFTextLiteral string@tag string@tag
facet length xsd:length
facet minLength xsd:minLength
facet maxLength xsd:maxLength
facet pattern xsd:pattern
facet langPattern rdf:langPattern
facet <= xsd:minInclusive
facet < xsd:minExclusive
facet >= xsd:maxInclusive
facet > xsd:maxExclusive
datatypeRestriction Datatype[facet-value list] DatatypeRestriction(T(datatype) T(facet-value list))
dataAtomic { literal list } DataOneOf(T(literal list))
dataAtomic (dataRange) T(dataRange)
dataPrimary dataAtomic T(dataAtomic)
dataPrimary not dataAtomic DataComplementOf(T(dataAtomic))
dataConjunction dataPrimary and ... DataIntersectionOf(T(dataPrimary) ...)
dataConjunction dataPrimary T(dataPrimary)
dataRange dataConjunction or ... DataUnionOf(T(dataConjunction) ...)
dataRange dataConjunction T(dataConjunction)
inverseObjectProperty inverse objectPropertyExpression InverseObjectProperty(T(objectPropertyExpression))
atomic {individual list} ObjectOneOf(T(individual list))
atomic (description) T(description)
restriction objectPropertyExpression some primary ObjectSomeValuesFrom(T(objectPropertyExpression) T(primary))
restriction objectPropertyExpression only primary ObjectAllValuesFrom(T(objectPropertyExpression) T(primary))
restriction objectPropertyExpression value individual ObjectHasValue(T(objectPropertyExpression) individual)
restriction objectPropertyExpression min nni ObjectMinCardinality(T(objectPropertyExpression) nni)
restriction objectPropertyExpression min nni primary ObjectMinCardinality(T(objectPropertyExpression) nni T(primary))
restriction objectPropertyExpression exactly nni ObjectExactCardinality(T(objectPropertyExpression) nni)
restriction objectPropertyExpression exactly nni primary ObjectExactCardinality(T(objectPropertyExpression) nni T(primary))
restriction objectPropertyExpression max nni ObjectMaxCardinality(T(objectPropertyExpression) nni)
restriction objectPropertyExpression max nni primary ObjectMaxCardinality(T(objectPropertyExpression) nni T(primary))
restriction objectPropertyExpression Self ObjectHasSelf(T(objectPropertyExpression))
restriction dataPropertyExpression some dataRange DataSomeValuesFrom(T(dataPropertyExpression) T(dataRange))
restriction dataPropertyExpression only dataRange DataAllValuesFrom(T(dataPropertyExpression) T(dataRange))
restriction dataPropertyExpression value literal DataHasValue(T(dataPropertyExpression) T(literal))
restriction dataPropertyExpression min nni DataMinCardinality(T(dataPropertyExpression) nni)
restriction dataPropertyExpression min nni dataRange DataMinCardinality(T(dataPropertyExpression) nni T(dataRange))
restriction dataPropertyExpression exactly nni DataExactCardinality(T(dataPropertyExpression) nni)
restriction dataPropertyExpression exactly nni dataRange DataExactCardinality(T(dataPropertyExpression) nni T(dataRange))
restriction dataPropertyExpression max nni DataMaxCardinality(T(dataPropertyExpression) nni)
restriction dataPropertyExpression max nni dataRange DataMaxCardinality(T(dataPropertyExpression) nni T(dataRange))
primary atomic T(atomic)
primary not atomic ObjectComplementOf(T(atomic))
conjunction classIRI that primary ... ObjectIntersectionOf(classIRI T(primary) ...)
conjunction primary and ... ObjectIntersectionOf(T(primary) ...)
conjunction primary T(primary)
description conjunction or ... ObjectUnionOf(T(conjunction) ...)
description conjunction T(conjunction)
annotation annotations annotationPropertyIRI target Annotation(T(annotations) annotationPropertyIRI T(target))
annotations Annotations: annotation ... Annotation(T(annotation) ...
datatypeFrame Datatype: Datatype Annotations: annotations annotationPropertyIRI target AnnotationAssertion(T(annotations) annotationPropertyIRI T(Datatype) T(target))
datatypeFrame Datatype: IRI EquivalentTo: annotations dataRange DatatypeDefinition(T(annotations) IRI T(dataRange))
classFrame Class: IRI Annotations: annotations annotationPropertyIRI target AnnotationAssertion(T(annotations) annotationPropertyIRI IRI T(target))
classFrame Class: IRI SubClassOf: annotations description SubClassOf(T(annotations) IRI T(description))
classFrame Class: IRI EquivalentTo: annotations description EquivalentClasses(T(annotations) IRI T(description))
classFrame Class: IRI DisjointWith: annotations description DisjointClasses(T(annotations) IRI T(description))
classFrame Class: IRI DisjointUnionOf: annotations descriptions DisjointUnion(T(annotations) IRI T(description))
classFrame Class: IRI HasKey: annotations properties HasKey(T(annotations) IRI T(properties))
other properties ( T(objectProperties) ) ( T(dataProperties) ) Note: Sort the properties into object and data properties.
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI Annotations: annotations annotationPropertyIRI target AnnotationAssertion(T(annotations) annotationPropertyIRI IRI T(target))
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI Domain: annotations description ObjectPropertyDomain(T(annotations) IRI T(description))
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI Range: annotations description ObjectPropertyRange(T(annotations) IRI T(description))
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI Characteristics: annotations Functional ObjectFunctionalProperty(T(annotations) IRI)
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI Characteristics: annotations InverseFunctional ObjectInverseFunctionalProperty(T(annotations) IRI)
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI Characteristics: annotations Reflexive ObjectReflexiveProperty(T(annotations) IRI)
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI Characteristics: annotations Irreflexive ObjectIrreflexiveProperty(T(annotations) IRI)
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI Characteristics: annotations Symmetric ObjectSymmetricProperty(T(annotations) IRI)
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI Characteristics: annotations Asymmetric ObjectAsymmetricProperty(T(annotations) IRI)
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI Characteristics: annotations Transitive ObjectTransitiveProperty(T(annotations) IRI)
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI SubPropertyOf: annotations objectPropertyExpression SubObjectPropertyOf(T(annotations) IRI T(objectPropertyExpression))
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI EquivalentTo: annotations objectPropertyExpression EquivalentObjectProperties(T(annotations) IRI T(objectPropertyExpression))
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI DisjointWith: annotations objectPropertyExpression DisjointObjectProperties(T(annotations) IRI T(objectPropertyExpression))
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI InverseOf: annotations objectPropertyExpression InverseObjectProperties(T(annotations) IRI T(objectPropertyExpression))
objectPropertyFrame ObjectProperty: IRI SubPropertyChain: objectPropertyExpression o ... SubObjectPropertyOf(ObjectPropertyChain(T(objectPropertyExpression) ...) IRI)
dataPropertyFrame DataProperty: IRI Annotations: annotations annotationPropertyIRI target AnnotationAssertion(T(annotations) annotationPropertyIRI IRI T(target))
dataPropertyFrame DataProperty: IRI Domain: annotations description DataPropertyDomain(T(annotations) IRI T(description))
dataPropertyFrame DataProperty: IRI Range: annotations dataRange DataPropertyRange(T(annotations) IRI T(dataRange))
dataPropertyFrame DataProperty: IRI Characteristics: annotations Functional FunctionalDataProperty(T(annotations) IRI)
dataPropertyFrame DataProperty: IRI SubPropertyOf: annotations dataPropertyExpression SubDataPropertyOf(T(annotations) IRI T(dataPropertyExpression))
dataPropertyFrame DataProperty: IRI EquivalentTo: annotations dataPropertyExpression EquivalentDataProperties(T(annotations) IRI T(dataPropertyExpression))
dataPropertyFrame DataProperty: IRI DisjointWith: annotations dataPropertyExpression DisjointDataProperties(T(annotations) IRI T(dataPropertyExpression))
annotationPropertyFrame AnnotationProperty: IRI Annotations: annotations annotationPropertyIRI target AnnotationAssertion(T(annotations) annotationPropertyIRI IRI T(target))
annotationPropertyFrame AnnotationProperty: IRI Domain: annotations IRI AnnotationPropertyDomain(T(annotations) IRI IRI)
annotationPropertyFrame AnnotationProperty: IRI Range: annotations IRI AnnotationPropertyRange(T(annotations) IRI IRI)
annotationPropertyFrame AnnotationProperty: IRI SubPropertyOf: annotations annotationPropertyIRI SubAnnotationPropertyOf(T(annotations) IRI T(annotationPropertyIRI))
individualFrame Individual: IRI Annotations: annotations annotationPropertyIRI target AnnotationAssertion(T(annotations) annotationPropertyIRI IRI T(target))
individualFrame Individual: nodeID Annotations: annotations annotation AnnotationAssertion(T(annotations) annotationPropertyIRI nodeID T(target))
individualFrame Individual: individual Types: annotations description ClassAssertion(T(annotations) T(description) individual)
individualFrame Individual: individual Facts: annotations objectPropertyIRI individual2 ObjectPropertyAssertion(T(annotations) objectPropertyIRI individual individual2)
individualFrame Individual: individual Facts: annotations not objectPropertyIRI individual2 NegativeObjectPropertyAssertion(T(annotations) objectPropertyIRI individual individual2)
individualFrame Individual: individual Facts: annotations dataPropertyIRI literal DataPropertyAssertion(T(annotations) dataPropertyIRI individual T(literal))
individualFrame Individual: individual Facts: annotations not dataPropertyIRI literal NegativeDataPropertyAssertion(T(annotations) dataPropertyIRI individual T(literal))
individualFrame Individual: individual SameAs: annotations individual2 SameIndividual(T(annotations) individual individual2)
individualFrame Individual: individual DifferentFrom: annotations individual2 DifferentIndividuals(T(annotations) individual individual2)
misc EquivalentClasses: annotations descriptions EquivalentClasses(T(annotations) T(descriptions))
misc DisjointClasses: annotations descriptions DisjointClasses(T(annotations) T(descriptions))
misc EquivalentProperties: annotations objectProperties EquivalentObjectProperties(T(annotations) T(objectProperties))
misc DisjointProperties: annotations objectProperties DisjointObjectProperties(T(annotations) T(objectProperties))
misc EquivalentProperties: annotations dataProperties EquivalentDataProperties(T(annotations) T(dataProperties))
misc DisjointProperties: annotations dataProperties DisjointDataProperties(T(annotations) T(dataProperties))
misc SameIndividual: annotations individuals SameIndividual(T(annotations) individuals)
misc DifferentIndividuals: annotations individuals DifferentIndividuals(T(annotations) individuals)
prefixDeclaration Prefix: prefix fullIRI Prefix(prefix = fullIRI)
import Import: IRI Import(IRI)
ontology Ontology: IRI IRI imports annotations frames Ontology(IRI IRI T(imports) T(annotations) T(frames))
ontology Ontology: IRI imports annotations frames Ontology(IRI T(imports) T(annotations) T(frames))
ontology Ontology: imports annotations frames Ontology(T(imports) T(annotations) T(frames))
ontologyDocument prefixDeclarations ontology T(prefixDeclarations) T(ontology)

Finally, put the declarations produced in the first step into the ontology.

4.3 Formal Description for Mapping from OWL 2 Functional-Style Syntax

The mapping from the Functional-Style Syntax back to the Manchester Syntax essentially just runs the above translation in reverse.

Some axioms that become part of a frame in the Manchester syntax do not need to have a name for the frame, e.g., a SubClassOf axiom between two complex descriptions, so the construction below cannot be directly used. To transform these axioms to the Manchester syntax, take a fresh name and turn the axiom into two axioms, one that makes the new name equivalent to the first piece of the axiom and the other the axiom with the sub-construct replaced by the new name. This would turn a SubClassOf axiom into an EquivalentClasses axiom plus a SubClassOf axiom.

The basic mapping first creates a trivial frame containing only an IRI for each named class, property, and individual in the ontology. Second, turn the Functional-Style Syntax into the Manchester Syntax by running the syntax transformation above in reverse. The non-determinism in the mapping of entity annotations is resolved by uniformly making them annotations in individual frames. Third, collapse frames for the same entity into one frame by running that part of the forward transformation in reverse. This step does not affect the meaning of an ontology and is thus optional.

5 Appendix: Internet Media Type, File Extension and Macintosh File Type

Sandro Hawke
See also
How to Register a Media Type for a W3C Specification Internet Media Type registration, consistency of use TAG Finding 3 June 2002 (Revised 4 September 2002)

The Internet Media Type / MIME Type for the OWL Manchester Syntax is "text/owl-manchester".

It is recommended that OWL Manchester Syntax files have the extension ".omn" (all lowercase) on all platforms.

It is recommended that OWL Manchester Syntax files stored on Macintosh HFS file systems be given a file type of "TEXT".

The information that follows will be submitted to the IESG for review, approval, and registration with IANA.

Type name
Subtype name
Required parameters
Optional parameters
charset This parameter may be required when transfering non-ascii data across some protocols. If present, the value of charset is always UTF-8.
Encoding considerations
The syntax of the OWL Manchester Syntax is expressed over code points in Unicode [UNICODE]. The encoding is always UTF-8 [RFC3629].
Security considerations
The OWL Manchester Syntax uses IRIs as term identifiers. Applications interpreting data expressed in the OWL Manchester Syntax should address the security issues of Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) [RFC3987] Section 8, as well as Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax [RFC3986] Section 7. Multiple IRIs may have the same appearance. Characters in different scripts may look similar (a Cyrillic "o" may appear similar to a Latin "o"). A character followed by combining characters may have the same visual representation as another character (LATIN SMALL LETTER E followed by COMBINING ACUTE ACCENT has the same visual representation as LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH ACUTE). Any person or application that is writing or interpreting data in the OWL Manchester Syntax must take care to use the IRI that matches the intended semantics, and avoid IRIs that may look similar. Further information about matching of similar characters can be found in Unicode Security Considerations [UNISEC] and Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) [RFC3987] Section 8.
Interoperability considerations
There are no known interoperability issues.
Published specification
This specification.
Applications which use this media type
This media type is used by Protege 4.
Additional information
Magic number(s)
OWL Manchester Syntax documents may have the strings 'Prefix:' or 'Ontology:' (case dependent) near the beginning of the document.
File extension(s)
Base URI
There are no constructs in the OWL Manchester Syntax to change the Base URI.
Macintosh file type code(s)
Person & email address to contact for further information
Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Intended usage
Restrictions on usage
Author/Change controller
The OWL Mancheser Syntax is the product of the W3C OWL Working Group in cooperation with OWL ontology tool builders; the specification may be extended by groups of OWL tool builders; W3C reserves change control over this specification.

6 References

6.1 Normative References

[BCP 47]
BCP 47 - Tags for Identifying Languages. A. Phillips, M. Davis, eds. IETF, September 2006, http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/bcp/bcp47.txt.
[OWL 2 Specification]
OWL 2 Web Ontology Language: Structural Specification and Functional-Style Syntax Boris Motik, Peter F. Patel-Schneider, Bijan Parsia, eds. W3C Working Draft, 21 April 2009, http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-owl2-syntax-20090421/. Latest version available at http://www.w3.org/TR/owl2-syntax/.
[RDF Test Cases]
RDF Test Cases. Jan Grant and Dave Beckett, eds. W3C Recommendation, 10 February 2004, http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-testcases/.
UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO 10646. F. Yergeau. IETF, November 2003, http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3629.txt.
RFC 3987 - Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs). M. Duerst and M. Suignard. IETF, January 2005, http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3987.txt.
SPARQL Query Language for RDF. Eric Prud'hommeaux and Andy Seaborne, eds., W3C Recommendation 15 January 2008.
The Unicode Standard. The Unicode Consortium, Version 5.1.0, ISBN 0-321-48091-0, as updated from time to time by the publication of new versions. (See http://www.unicode.org/unicode/standard/versions for the latest version and additional information on versions of the standard and of the Unicode Character Database).

6.2 Non-normative References

[Manchester OWL DL Syntax]
The Manchester OWL Syntax. Matthew Horridge, Nick Drummond, John Goodwin, Alan Rector, Robert Stevens, and Hai H. Wang. OWL Experiences and Directions Workshop, 2006.
[OWL Semantics and Abstract Syntax]
OWL Web Ontology Language: Semantics and Abstract Syntax. Peter F. Patel-Schneider, Patrick Hayes, and Ian Horrocks, eds. W3C Recommendation, 10 February 2004, http://www.w3.org/TR/owl-semantics/.
[OWL 2 Primer]
OWL 2 Web Ontology Language: Primer Pascal Hitzler, Markus Krötzsch, Bijan Parsia, Peter F. Patel-Schneider, Sebastian Rudolph. W3C Working Draft, 21 April 2009, http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-owl2-primer-20090421/. Latest version available at http://www.w3.org/TR/owl2-primer/.
[OWL 2 XML Syntax]
OWL 2 Web Ontology Language: XML Serialization Boris Motik, Bijan Parsia, Peter Patel-Schneider, eds. W3C Working Draft, 21 April 2009, http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-owl2-xml-serialization-20090421/. Latest version available at http://www.w3.org/TR/owl2-xml-serialization/.
[Protégé 4]
Protégé 4 User Documentation. October 2008, http://protegewiki.stanford.edu/index.php/Protege4UserDocs.
[RDF Syntax]
RDF/XML Syntax Specification (Revised). Dave Beckett, ed. W3C Recommendation, 10 February 2004, http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-syntax-grammar/.
RFC 3986 - Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax. T. Berners-Lee, R. Fielding, and L. Masinter. IETF, January 2005, http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3986.txt.
[TopBraid Composer]
TopBraid Composer Home Page. October 2008, http://www.topquadrant.com/topbraid/composer/.
Unicode Security Considerations. Mark Davis and Michel Suignard. July 2008, http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr36/.