Consequence-Based Reasoning for Description Logics with Disjunctions and Number Restrictions

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Abstract

Classification of description logic (DL) ontologies is a key computational problem in modern data management applications, so considerable effort has been devoted to the development and optimisation of practical reasoning calculi. Consequence-based calculi combine ideas from hypertableau and resolution in a way that has proved very effective in practice. However, existing consequence-based calculi can handle either Horn DLs (which do not support disjunction) or DLs without number restrictions. In this paper, we overcome this important limitation and present the first consequence-based calculus for deciding concept subsumption in the DL ALCHIQ+. Our calculus runs in exponential time assuming unary coding of numbers, and on ELH ontologies it runs in polynomial time. The extension to disjunctions and number restrictions is technically involved: we capture the relevant consequences using first-order clauses, and our inference rules adapt paramodulation techniques from first-order theorem proving. By using a well-known preprocessing step, the calculus can also decide concept subsumptions in SRIQ---a rich DL that covers all features of OWL 2 DL apart from nominals and datatypes. We have implemented our calculus in a new reasoner called Sequoia. We present the architecture of our reasoner and discuss several novel and important implementation techniques such as clause indexing and redundancy elimination. Finally, we present the results of an extensive performance evaluation, which revealed Sequoia to be competitive with existing reasoners. Thus, the calculus and the techniques we present in this paper provide an important addition to the repertoire of practical implementation techniques for description logic reasoning.

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