Requirements work space

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Use Cases and Requirements document resource page

This page is intended to support collaborative development of a Use Cases and Requirements Document for OWL 2


The goal of the requirements document is to capture the needs of user and implementer communities that motivated this revision to OWL.

Suggested Inputs

Links suggested by Bijan:

In addition to the requirements motivating the language features, add material about motivation for changes in the abstract syntax and addition of the functional syntax.

Implementor papers:

More links:

Christine Golbreich's OWLED document on examples and use cases for OWL1.1 features (oct 2007 working draft):

and other links collected by users in LS and Industry (oct 2007)

Vipul Kashyap's proposal for Use Cases and Requirements Document Framework to motivate OWL 2.0 Design:


  • Issue 124, discusses that ComplementOf applied to data ranges includes all datatypes not in the datarange, which is not very useful for modeling. Justification for having it in the language is based on Boris explanation that this form of ComplementOf comes up in common logical tranformations, and there is a desire to be able to communicate such transformed ontologies between reasoners.
  • The addition of the reverse RDF mapping is motivated by the fact that this was simply missing in the previous specification and therefore difficult for developers to implement.
  • There is general desire to keep the vocabulary small, which partially motivated the removal of object/datatype property punning.
  • Regarding profiles, there were concerns that the practical difference between OWL Lite and OWL DL was small, motivating new fragments that had more clear benefits. On the other hand, it was thought that too many profiles in the language could overwhelm the developer community (there already being a concern by some that OWL is "too complicated"), motivating the choice of fewer profiles than initially proposed.
  • Structural equivalence and structural consistency are motivated by implementor desire to have a clear "object oriented" model for what an ontology is.
  • Other types of requirement categories:
    • Implementor,
    • Semantic Web interoperability

Suggested Structure

Include a major section oriented to the viewpoints of specialized disciplines such as Life Science, Telecommunications, Manufacturing, and Earth and Space Sciences. Describe modeling problems/use cases from each of these domains and the language features they require. Map these into the appropriate place in another major section which more generally describes the language features and links these into more detailed descriptions in other OWL2 documentation.


New Features and Rationale (Working draft of the Requirements)