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Quantitative Variants of Language Equations and their Applications to Description Logics

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Unification in description logics (DLs) has been introduced as a novel inference service that can be used to detect redundancies in ontologies, by finding different concepts that may potentially stand for the same intuitive notion. Together with the special case of matching, they were first investigated in detail for the DL $${\mathcal{FL}}_0$$ FL 0 , where these problems can be reduced to solving certain language equations. In this thesis, we extend this service in two directions. In order to increase the recall of this method for finding redundancies, we introduce and investigate the notion of approximate unification, which basically finds pairs of concepts that “almost” unify, in order to account for potential small modelling errors. The meaning of “almost” is formalized using distance measures between concepts. We show that approximate unification in $${\mathcal{FL}}_0$$ FL 0 can be reduced to approximately solving language equations, and devise algorithms for solving the latter problem for particular distance measures. Furthermore, we make a first step towards integrating background knowledge, formulated in so-called TBoxes, by investigating the special case of matching in the presence of TBoxes of different forms. We acquire a tight complexity bound for the general case, while we prove that the problem becomes easier in a restricted setting. To achieve these bounds, we take advantage of an equivalence characterization of $${\mathcal{FL}}_0$$ FL 0 concepts that is based on formal languages. Even though our results on the approximate setting cannot deal with TBoxes yet, we prepare the framework that future research can build on.


Marantidis, Pavlos (2020): Quantitative Variants of Language Equations and their Applications to Description Logics. KI - Künstliche Intelligenz: Vol. 34, No. 3. DOI: 10.1007/s13218-020-00664-9. Springer. PISSN: 1610-1987. pp. 405-409