Tech Reports


Computing Minimal Signature Coverage for Description Logic Ontologies

David Geleta, Terry R. Payne, Valentina Tamma


An ontology signature (set of entities used to define terms in the ontology) may facilitate the expression of more than its constituent concept, role and individual names, since rewriting permits defined entities to be replaced by syntactically different, albeit semantically equivalent definitions. A signature can support and improve a variety of semantic interoperability scenarios, especially when only a restricted subset of terms is available to facilitate (cover) a knowledge-based task, or when it is beneficial to minimise the size of the cover set. Identifying whether a given signature permits the definition of a particular entity is a well-understood problem, while determining the smallest (minimal) signature that covers a set of entities (i.e. a task signature) poses a challenge: the complete set of alternative definitions, or even just their signature, needs to be obtained, and all combinations of such definition signatures need to be explored, for each of the entities under consideration. In this paper, we present and empirically evaluate our novel approach for efficiently computing an approximation of minimal signature cover sets.

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