The Efficacy of OWL and DL on User Understanding of Axioms and Their Entailments


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Alharbi, Eisa, Howse, John, Stapleton, Gem, Hamie, Ali and Touloumis, Anestis (2017) The Efficacy of OWL and DL on User Understanding of Axioms and Their Entailments In: ISWC2017 The 16th International Semantic Web Conference, Vienna, Austria, 21-25 October 2017.

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OWL is recognized as the de facto standard notation for on- tology engineering. The Manchester OWL Syntax (MOS) was developed as an alternative to symbolic description  logic (DL) and it is believed to be more eective for users. This paper sets out to test that belief from two perspectives by evaluating how accurately and quickly people understand the informational content of axioms and derive inferences from them. By conducting a between-group empirical study, involving 60 novice participants, we found that DL is just as eective as MOS for people's understanding of axioms. Moreover, for two types of inference problems, DL supported signi cantly better task performance than MOS, yet MOS never signi cantly outperformed DL. These surprising results suggest that the belief that MOS is more eective than DL, at least for these types of task, is unfounded. An outcome of this research is the suggestion that ontology axioms, when presented to non experts, may be better presented in DL rather than MOS. Further empirical studies are needed to explain these unexpected results and to see whether they hold for other types of task.

Item Type: Contribution to conference proceedings in the public domain ( Full Paper)
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Uncontrolled Keywords: ontologies; OWL; DL; Manchester OWL Syntax; usability
Depositing User: Converis
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2017 03:00
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2018 00:38

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