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A Tractable Approach to ABox Abduction over Description Logic Ontologies

Last modified: 2014-06-21

#### Abstract

ABox abduction is an important reasoning mechanism for description logic ontologies. It computes all minimal explanations (sets of ABox assertions) whose appending to a consistent ontology enforces the entailment of an observation while keeps the ontology consistent. We focus on practical computation for a general problem of ABox abduction, called the query abduction problem, where an observation is a Boolean conjunctive query and the explanations may contain fresh individuals neither in the ontology nor in the observation. However, in this problem there can be infinitely many minimal explanations. Hence we first identify a class of TBoxes called first-order rewritable TBoxes. It guarantees the existence of finitely many minimal explanations and is sufficient for many ontology applications. To reduce the number of explanations that need to be computed, we introduce a special kind of minimal explanations called representative explanations from which all minimal explanations can be retrieved. We develop a tractable method (in data complexity) for computing all representative explanations in a consistent ontology. xperimental results demonstrate that the method is efficient and scalable for ontologies with large ABoxes.

#### Keywords

ABox abduction; abductive reasoning; query abduction problem; description logics; first-order rewritable

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