Temporal Representation and Reasoning in OWL 2

Tracking #: 1359-2571

Sotiris Batsakis
Euripides Petrakis
Ilias Tachmazidis
Grigoris Antoniou

Responsible editor: 
Aldo Gangemi

Submission type: 
Full Paper
The representation of temporal information has been in the center of intensive research activities over the years in the areas of knowledge representation, databases and more recently, the Semantic Web. The proposed approach extends the existing framework of representing temporal information in ontologies by allowing for representation of concepts evolving in time (referred to as “dynamic” information) and of their properties in terms of qualitative descriptions in addition to quantitative ones (i.e., dates, time instants and intervals). For this purpose, we advocate the use of natural language expressions, such as “before” or “after”, for temporal entities whose exact durations or starting and ending points in time are unknown. Reasoning over all types of temporal information (such as the above) is also an important research problem. The current work addresses all these issues as follows: The representation of dynamic concepts is achieved using the “4D-fluents” or, alternatively, the “N-ary relations” mechanism. Both mechanisms are thoroughly explored and are expanded for representing qualitative and quantitative temporal information in OWL. In turn, temporal information is expressed using either intervals or time instants. Qualitative temporal information representation in particular, is realized using sets of SWRL rules and OWL axioms leading to a sound, complete and tractable reasoning procedure based on path consistency applied on the existing relation sets. Building upon existing Semantic Web standards (OWL), tools and member submissions (SWRL), as well as integrating temporal reasoning support into the proposed representation, are important design features of our approach.
Full PDF Version: 


Solicited Reviews:
Click to Expand/Collapse
Review #1
By Aldo Gangemi submitted on 12/May/2016
Review Comment:

The paper has been substantially improved, and all requested modifications and comments have been taken into account. Clarifications have been provided.

Review #2
Anonymous submitted on 01/Jun/2016
Review Comment:

The paper is correct and can be published.

However, I have the (kind) suggestions below:

Representing information in ontologies that evolve in time
Representing information that evolve in time in ontologies

In this case intervals are related
In this case, intervals are related

equation (7) is the only equation with arrow right to left,
you may want to align it with other equations which are left to right

rather than by OWL axioms as it is typical in static ontologies
rather than by OWL axioms as it is typical in DL ontologies

Review #3
By Anisa Rula submitted on 20/Jun/2016
Review Comment:

The paper was improved significantly from the last round. The authors have addressed various issues that my review raised. As a result, I am recommending an accept.

However I have a few comments I want the authors to address for the camera ready that I am not sure they completely addressed from my previous review:
* “(or the equivalent property timeSliceOf)” and “(or the equivalent
property interval)”
-> it is not clear where did you define the equivalent properties.
you cannot introduce them in this way. Property tsTimeSliceOf (or the equivalent property times. You may say that tsTimeSliceof is an equivalent property of timeSliceOf property defined in Welty and Fikes
* where did you define DOS. I understand that the meaning is During,
Overlaps and Starts but you should explain the first time what the
acronym means. In section 4 page 10 the sentence “three possible relations (During, Overlaps, Starts)” -> three possible relations During, Overlaps, Starts (DOS)

I list some final minor comments with respect to phrasing and typos that the authors should look into for the camera-ready version:
* which automatically handle tasks that are typically handled -> rephrase
*The last -> The latter
*is extended in certain ways -> is extended as follows
*over interval Allen relations -> over Allen's interval relations
* in certain ways -> as follows
* check through the paper to be coherent for time points vs temporal points, time intervals vs temporal intervals
*make sentences active and not passive e.g. first sentence section 3.1
*put the following sentence as a footnote: “equivalent properties are used in order to allow users use both names”
*double check names of fig 5 e.g. price vs Price
*Fig 7 and fig 8 there is an incorrectness about the properties startsAt and endsAt. You cannot have them once as datatype property see fig 7 and once as object property.
*check footnote 10

Please proof read the camera ready and fix all the typos and English when possible.