AAAI Publications, Twelfth International Conference on the Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning

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Decomposing Description Logic Ontologies
Boris Konev, Carsten Lutz, Denis Ponomaryov, Frank Wolter

Last modified: 2010-04-27


Recent years have seen the advent of large and complex ontologies, most notably in the medical domain. As a consequence, structuring mechanisms for ontologies are nowadays viewed as an indispensible tool. A basic such mechanism is the automatic decomposition of the vocabulary of an ontology into independent parts. In this paper, we study decompositions that are syntax independent in the sense that the resulting partitioning depends only on the meaning of the vocabulary items, but not on the concrete syntactic form of the axioms in the ontology.

We present the first systematic investigation of decompositions of this type in the context of ontologies. Specifically, we focus on ontologies formulated in description logics and provide a variety of results that range from theorems stating the existence of unique finest decompositions to complexity results and algorithms computing decompositions. We also investigate the relationship between the existence of unique finite decompositions and a variant of the Craig interpolation property called parallel interpolation.


Description Logic; Ontologies; Modularity

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