General Terminology Induction in Description Logics

  • Viachaslau Sazonau

Student thesis: Phd


In computer science, an ontology is a machine-processable representation of knowledge about some domain. Ontologies are encoded in ontology languages, such as the Web Ontology Language (OWL) based on Description Logics (DLs). An ontology is a set of logical statements, called axioms. Some axioms make universal statements, e.g. all fathers are men, while others record data, i.e. facts about specific individuals, e.g. Bob is a father. A set of universal statements is called TBox, as it encodes terminology, i.e. schema-level conceptual relationships, and a set of facts is called ABox, as it encodes instance-level assertions. Ontologies are extensively developed and widely used in domains such as biology and medicine. Manual engineering of a TBox is a difficult task that includes modelling conceptual relationships of the domain and encoding those relationships in the ontology language, e.g. OWL. Hence, it requires the knowledge of domain experts and skills of ontology engineers combined together. In order to assist engineering of TBoxes and potentially automate it, acquisition (or induction) of axioms from data has attracted research attention and is usually called Ontology Learning (OL). This thesis investigates the problem of OL from general principles. We formulate it as General Terminology Induction that aims at acquiring general, expressive TBox axioms (called general terminology) from data. The thesis addresses and investigates in depth two main questions: how to rigorously evaluate the quality of general TBox axioms and how to efficiently construct them. We design an approach for General Terminology Induction and implement it in an algorithm called DL-Miner. We extensively evaluate DL-Miner, compare it with other approaches, and run case studies together with domain experts to gain insight into its potential applications. The thesis should be of interest to ontology developers seeking automated means to facilitate building or enriching ontologies. In addition, as our experiments show, DL-Miner can deliver valuable insights into the data, i.e. can be useful for data analysis and debugging.
Date of Award1 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorUli Sattler (Supervisor) & Gavin Brown (Supervisor)


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • OWL
  • Axiom
  • Data Mining
  • Ontology Learning
  • DL-Miner
  • General Terminology Induction
  • Mining
  • Reasoning
  • Learning
  • Description Logics
  • Web Ontology Language
  • Ontology

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