Import-by-Query: Ontology Reasoning under Access Limitations

To enable ontology reuse, the Web Ontology Language (OWL) allows an ontology Kv to import an ontology Kh. To reason with such a Kv, a reasoner needs physical access to the axioms of Kh. For copyright and/or privacy reasons, however, the authors of Kh might not want to publish the axioms of Kh; instead, they might prefer to provide an oracle that can answer a (limited) set of queries over Kh, thus allowing Kv to import Kh "by query." In this paper, we study import-by-query algorithms, which can answer questions about Kv U Kh by accessing only Kv and the oracle. We show that no such algorithm exists in general, and present restrictions under which importing by query becomes feasible.

Bernardo Cuenca Grau, Boris Motik, Yevgeny Kazakov