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Session Ontology Development
Duration 1 hour
Date/Time 19 Apr 2023 16:00 GMT
9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT
4:00pm GMT/5:00pm CST
Convener Gary Berg-Cross

Ontology Summit 2023 Ontology Development

Helping scientific researchers make better use of ontologies


  • Martin G. Skjæveland will present Pattern-based ontology development with Reasonable Ontology Templates (OTTR) Slides
  • The talk will introduce the Resonable Ontology Templates (OTTR) framework, and explain what pattern-based ontology development is and it benefits and added complexities compared to traditional ontology development. There will be live demonstrations of different tools and resources made available by the OTTR project. For more information on OTTR, see
  • Martin G. Skjæveland is a researcher at the University of Oslo and an adjunct associate professor at the University of Stavanger. His research interests are knowledge representation, ontology engineering - in particular tools and methods for developing large scale ontologies, and uses of ontology-based systems in industrial settings. He was previously a consultant with DNV working with information management, ontologies and semantic technologies. Martin is the development lead of the OTTR framework.
  • Video Recording

Conference Call Information

  • Date: Wednesday, 19 Apr 2023
  • Start Time: 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EDT / 6:00pm CEST / 5:00pm BST / 1600 UTC
  • Expected Call Duration: 1 hour
  • Video Conference URL
    • Conference ID: 837 8041 8377
    • Passcode: 323309
  • Chat Room

The unabbreviated URLs are:


There were 32 attendees including:


[12:08] janet singer: Using ontologies to automate highly complex but trivial work is a good characterization

[12:17] RaviSharma: Martin, How does abstraction help achieve better semantics compared to only OWL?

[12:22] chris_kindermann: Ravi, OTTR expands into a concrete knowledge representation languages, e.g., OWL. So, if your base templates are written in OWL, then you are still writing OWL and you do not change OWL's semantics. However, by using OTTR templates, you can capture (syntactic) modeling patterns that consist of multiple OWL axioms. This in turn allows you to reveal the design intention of your ontology by telling your users how certain modeling patterns have been used to build the ontology.

[12:33] RaviSharma: Chris - how does reasoning work differently, folding OTTR vs OWL only

[12:34] Jim Balhoff: Ravi - reasoning is the same, but is more likely to give you the results you intend, since your modeling will tend to be more consistent

[12:34] RaviSharma: do you also support NoSQL or Sparse Columnar DBs

[12:35] chris_kindermann: Ravi, Reasoning is currently only supported in OWL. So, this means that you would need to first expand an ontology written in OTTR back to OWL and then do your reasoning (exactly as Jim said).

[12:38] RaviSharma: Looks like KG or Class diagrams are generated? Are these reverse engineered from Code?

[12:41] chris_kindermann: I think all of the shown diagrams are derived from template definitions.

[12:44] RaviSharma: This is the first time I see a vocabulary generation application.

[12:45] RaviSharma: How do you also extract meaning of vocabulary terms, is it because you started with OTTR classes or because of only OWL?

[12:45] RaviSharma: I am looking for what OTTR added and what was in OWL natively?

[12:46] RaviSharma: yes OTTR site is extensive.

[12:47] Michelle McGee: say more about the OTTR triple

[12:49] PaulT: This is very exciting tool, best I've seen in this area. Looking forward to using it!

[12:50] MarciaZeng: Template used in demo:

[12:51] RaviSharma: I see interplay of Tools we learned earlier as James outlined, and Prolog and OWL now enriched by OTTR is the power in it recursive or variety of classes or both, and how much more have we achieved by one only of these Vs collective power of combination.

[12:52] RaviSharma: What is significant is ability to extract vocabularies? which is the capability of OTTR that allows Vocab extraction?

[12:53] RaviSharma: Paul I also have a great feeling about demo and OTTR today

[12:54] PaulT: This is the first tool I would put before my business users and SMEs to help with ontology development and testing. The Excel config will be tricky for users to learn, but getting immediate feedback from web tool will help.

[12:59] Mike Bennett: Useful for mapping - I've been in a project using IDEAS/BORO ontologies, which have clearly constrained patterns, so we needed to define common patterns for mappings.

[13:02] James Overton: A few OWL programming languages that I know of: Tawny OWL ;

[13:02] James Overton: FunOWL

[13:03] Jim Balhoff: Also Scowl

[13:05] PaulT: OTtR templates could be used iteratively. At first, you don't know all the concepts in scope. So you have a template that just wants a name and description. Domain experts fill out a spreadsheet with their candidate concepts. Then you expand it to capture relationships, properties, etc. Finally you can get to class restrictions.

[13:06] James Overton: These can define templates as code, which has some advantages. OTTR's declarative approach has other advantages.

[13:11] RaviSharma: many thanks to Martin and Chris and James and others especially for clarifying and for answering my Qs as well

[13:11] RaviSharma: Thanks to all who attended and contributed.


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