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This is one of the possible Use Cases.

1. Abstract

This use case provides a scenario where rules are used to extend an OWL-DL ontology. The application aims at assisting the labeling of the brain cortex structures in MRI images. It requires reasoning with an OWL ontology and rules.


A rule is needed for expressing the dependency between the two ontology properties isMAEConnectedTo and isMAEBoundedBy:

Two MAE entities having a shared boundary are connected (simplified form)

isMAEBoundedBy(?x1,?x3) and isMAEBoundedBy(?x2,?x3) => isMAEConnectedTo(?x1,?x2)

2. Status

Slides available at:

3. Links to Related Use Cases


4. Relationship to OWL/RDF Compatibility


5. Benefits of Interchange

6. Requirements on the RIF

7. Breakdown

7.1. Actors and their Goals

7.2. Main Sequence

  1. At a first step, numerical tools segment the various parts of a brain cortex in an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image). The ouput is a list of items with a set of features like the length and depth of a sulcus segment in a brain cortex, the connection of two sulcus segments etc
  2. Second step concerns the identification and labeling of the different items
  3. The facts extracted from the image (XML) are converted into facts of the Abox or RBox
  4. A composed query is created for identifying the given items.
  5. A knowledge based engine is run to answer the query from the facts and the KB
  6. The query results are displayed to the user.

8. Narratives

The general framework is sharing anatomical knowledge (ontology and rules) and tools (services) needed in the context of neuroimaging, applied both to medical practice, i.e. decision support in neurology and neurosurgery, and statistical analysis about neurological pathology such as epilepsy, dementia, etc. The application aims at developing new methods for assisting the labeling of the brain cortex structures in MRI images.

The system relies on two components: a brain ontology (O) storing the a priori canonical knowledge about the most important brain cortex anatomical structures and a rule base (R) representing the interdependencies between the properties.

A simplified scenario in [5] illustrates reasoning over the ontology extended by rules. This example illustrates that solutions are missed if the Web ontology language and the rule languages are not closely integrated.

9. Commentary

Extracted from [Use case] from medicine presented at the first f2f. Also available at

Rules available at

[4] Golbreich, C. Bierlaire, O. Dameron, O. and B. Gibaud. Use case: Ontology with rules for identifying brain anatomical structures. W3C Workshop on Rule Languages for Interoperability, 2005.

[5] Golbreich, C. Bierlaire, O. Dameron, O. and B. Gibaud. What reasoning support for Ontology and Rules? the brain anatomy case study, OWL Experiences and Directions Workshop, collocated with the International Conference on Rule Markup Languages for the Semantic Web, Galway, Ireland, 2005