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11 June 2003

Appendix C. Transformation to OWL in RDF/XML

An XSLT stylesheet (owlxml2rdf.xsl) is available for the transformation of an OWL document from the XML presentation syntax to the RDF/XML syntax [RDF/XML Syntax]. This stylesheet basically follows the mapping rules in [OWL Semantics], but tries to achieve a more legible result that the mere set of triples.

The stylesheet accepts a number of parameters that allows to refine its behavior:

Currently known limitations of the stylesheet are:

Appendix D. Acknowledgements

The Element Reference section of this document was written on the basis of the OWL Reference document [OWL Reference] edited by Mike Dean and Guus Schreiber. In addition, Appendix B was derived from the OWL Guide document [OWL Guide] authored by Michael K. Smith, Chris Welty, and Deborah L. McGuinness.

This document is the result of extensive discussions within the Web Ontology Working Group as a whole. The members of this working group were Jean-François Baget, James Barnette, Sean Bechhofer, Jonathan Borden, Frederik Brysse, Stephen Buswell, Peter Crowther, Jos De Roo, David De Roure, Mike Dean, Larry Eshelman, Jérôme Euzenat, Dieter Fensel, Tim Finin, Nicholas Gibbins, Pat Hayes, Jeff Heflin, Ziv Hellman, James Hendler, Bernard Horan, Masahiro Hori, Ian Horrocks, Francesco Iannuzzelli, Mario Jeckle, Ruediger Klein, Ora Lassila, Alexander Maedche, Massimo Marchiori, Deborah McGuinness, Libby Miller, Enrico Motta, Leo Obrst, Laurent Olivry , Peter Patel-Schneider, Martin Pike, Marwan Sabbouh, Guus Schreiber, Noboru Shimizu, Michael Sintek, Michael Smith, Ned Smith, John Stanton, Lynn Andrea Stein, Herman ter Horst, Lynne R. Thompson, David Trastour, Frank van Harmelen, Raphael Volz, Evan Wallace, Christopher Welty, and John Yanosy.

Appendix E. References

[OWL Guide]
OWL Web Ontology Language Guide. Michael K. Smith, Chris Welty, and Deborah L. McGuinness. W3C Working Draft, 31 March 2003,
[OWL Reference]
OWL Web Ontology Language Reference. Mike Dean and Guus Schreiber (eds.). W3C Working Draft, 31 March 2003,
[OWL Requirement]
Web Ontology Language (OWL) Use Cases and Requirements. Jeff Heflin (ed.). W3C Working Draft, 31 March 2003,
[OWL Semantics]
OWL Web Ontology Language Semantics and Abstract Syntax. Peter F. Patel-Schneider, Patrick Hayes, and Ian Horrocks (eds.). W3C Working Draft, 31 March 2003,
[RDF Schema]
RDF Vocabulary Description Language 1.0: RDF Schema. Dan Brickley and R.V. Guha. W3C Working Draft 23 January 2003,
[RDF/XML Syntax]
RDF/XML Syntax Specification (Revised). Dave Beckett (ed.). W3C Working Draft, 23 January 2003,
[XHTML m12n]
Modularization of XHTML in XML Schema. Daniel Austin, Shane McCarron, and Masayasu Ishikawa (eds.). W3C Working Draft, 9 December 2002,
XML Schema Part 1: Structures. Henry S. Thompson, David Beech, Murray Maloney, and Noah Mendelsohn (eds.). W3C Recommendation, 2 May 2001,
XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes. Henry S. Thompson, David Beech, Murray Maloney, and Noah Mendelsohn (eds.). W3C Recommendation, 2 May 2001,

Appendix F. Change Log

Abstract of this document was revised to clarify this document is to provide OWL's XML Presentation Syntax rather that serialization syntax. See also In addition, the convention of a namespace prefix for the XML Presentation Syntax was changed from 'owls' to 'owlx'.
Details of document style have been corrected to follow the W3C's publication rules.
'value' element, which corresponds to 'owl:hasValue', was renamed 'hasValue', so that the declarations of cardinality restrictions can be fully compatible with the RDF/XML syntax.
'cardinality' element (with 'minValue', 'maxValue' and 'value' attributes) was removed, and 'minCardinality', 'maxCardinality' and 'cardinality' (all solely with 'value' attribute) was added so that multiple cardinality values can be appropriately prohibited for OWL Lite.
'cardinality' element and its 'minValue', 'maxValue' and 'value' attributes were introduced; and 'minCardinality', 'maxCardinality' and 'cardinality' attributes of 'DataRestriction' and 'ObjectRestriction' were removed instead. On the basis of these revisions, syntax of content elements for 'DataRestriction' and 'ObjectRestriction' was revised in accordance with the changes in the OWL Abstract Syntax (see also That is, the restrections for OWL Lite was changed to eliminate to have exactly one component, while those for OWL DL and Full were changed to allow to have at least one component.
'xsi:type' attribute of 'DataValue' was changed as 'datatype', because DataValue is the only element using 'xsi:type' for data typing while 'datatype' is used for all the other cases in DataRestriction/allValuesFrom, DataRestriction/someValuesFrom, and DatatypeProperty/range. Note that the QName datatype (used as the value type of 'xsi:type') requires a namespace declaration to be in scope during the datatype mapping, and is not suitable for use in RDF. See also and a thread of RDF Core WG's discussions including
'Info' element (a child of 'Annotation') was removed, since 'Info' cannot have any corresponding construct in the RDF/XML syntax (although 'Info' can directly be mapped to an RDF triple by using 'subject' and 'object' attributes). See also
'super' element contained by 'DatatypeProperty' and 'ObjectProperty' was renamed as 'superProperty', in order to avoid confusion with another 'super' element contained by 'SubClassOf'.
The 'subject' attribute of 'Documentation' was removed, since it cannot be mapped on any construct in the RDF/XML syntax.
Miss-spelled element name 'someValueFrom' was corrected to be 'someValuesFrom' for DataRestriction and ObjectRestriction.
The following changes were made in accordance with the changes in the OWL semantics document (editor's version of 15 February 2003). See also
'DatatypeRestriction' was renamed back to 'DataRestriction' because 'DataRestriction' is consistent with 'ObjectRestriction' (that is not 'ClassRestriction').
'xsd:redefine' element was removed from 'owl1-dl-descriptionGroup.xsd' in order for the XML Schemas not to use xsd:redefine at all. This change allowed for the Schemas to be usable for more XML parsers, because it was reported a couple of XML parsers did not support the 'redefine' construct of XML Schema. See also
Individuals in 'SameIndividual', 'DifferentIndividual' and 'EnumeratedClass' were changed from individual constructs to individual IDs, in order to be consistent with the OWL Abstract Syntax.
'Annotation' element was extended as a placeholder of additional metadata (e.g., Dublin Core Metadata) to meet the requirement R5 Ontology metadata []. 'Annotation' may take elements that can be in any namespace other than the target namespace 'owls'. See also
'Label' element was introduced, in order to meet the requiremnet R18 User-displayable labels []. See also (2) in
'xml:lang' attribute was added to 'Label' and 'Documentation' elements, in order to meet the requirement of I18N (Internationalization) in R19. Supporting a character model []. See also
The maximum occurence of 'Annotation' element in the 'annotated' complex type was changed to 1, because the content elements of the 'Annotation' in itself allows unbounded occurence. Note that multiple 'Annotation' elements are still allowed as immediate children of the root ('Ontology') element.
'VersionInfo' element was added again because there was not any strong reason for the removal after all. See also
'VersionInfo' element was removed since it was not included in the versioning identifier. See also
Child element 'Annotation' was removed from 'DeprecatedClass' and 'DepricatedProperty' and a class ID and a property ID attribute were added to 'DeprecatedClass' and 'DepricatedProperty' respectively.
'type' of individuals was extended to have arbitrary descriptions in OWL DL/Full. See also
Update of the XML Schemas was posted as, including an XSLT stylesheet that transforms OWL in XML syntax to RDF/XML syntax. The stylesheet was created by Jérôme Euzenat (
Elements for ontology versioning were added: DeprecatedClass, DeprecatedProperty, VersionInfo, PriorVersion, BackwardCompatibleWith.
The element names 'DataRestriction' and 'IndividualRestriction' were changed respectively to 'DatatypeRestriction' and 'ObjectRestriction'. See also
Constraints on property type are incorporated into 'SubPropertyOf' and 'EquivalentProperties'. See also and
'EquivalentClasses' for OWL Lite was revised with restricted type of non-empty class IDs.
'domain' and 'range' (DatatypeProperty and ObjectProperty) for OWL Lite were reivsed with restricted types: ClassIDType and DatatypeIDType.
'allValuesFrom' and 'someValueFrom' for OWL Lite are revised with restricted types: ClassIDType and DatatypeIDType.
'AnnotationType' was extended to have 'Info' and 'Documentation' children. The Annotation element was made available for all the elements specified in the OWL Abstract Syntax. See also:
On the basis of the XML presentation syntax schema created by Peter F. Patel-Schneider (, the XML schema was modularized for OWL Lite/DL/Full by Masahiro Hori (

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