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Hands-On Session: Basic OWL modelling

Overview and tools

The idea behind this hands-on is to introduce the basic constructs in OWL and how to find them and use them, within an ontology engineering tool. The tool to use is up to the participants, but in the lectures Protege 5 will be used.

Protege can be downloaded from here.

Alternative tools to use: If you cannot or do not want to download any tool, you can use WebProtege, which is also online here, but that will not have all the functionality for all the hands-on sessions, so you will have to skip some parts. For more advanced users, and users who are very familiar with the Eclipse environment an alternative is to download the trial version of TopBraid Composer.

If you need to (or want to) look something up in the OWL specification, the best place to look is probably the OWL2 Primer.


In this hands-on, you will try to model the sentences expressed below in OWL. Just try to express the sentences as closely as possible to what you think the intended meaning is, but you don't need to model anything beyond what the sentence actually states. Some sentences build on previous sentences, but some do not, don't worry that your ontology will look a bit strange in the end, i.e. where some things are used in other definitions and axioms and some are not. Sometimes you may also have to read the other sentences that comes next to be able to understand the best way to model the sentence at hand. The very last sentence should be interpreted as an instruction and question to you, rather than a sentence to literally model in the ontology.

  • Women are defined as persons that are also female
  • A person cannot be both a man and a woman
  • Persons are either men or women
  • Liking something is a relation applicable to persons
  • A lion is a kind of animal
  • Simba and Nala are famous lions
  • All women like some lion
  • Women like only famous lions
  • Men like at least one animal
  • Clara is a woman, so is Laura
  • Clara and Laura are different individuals
  • Lalu is the same person as Laura
  • To adore is a special case of liking, where the thing being liked is always an animal
  • To be adored by is the inverse of adoring
  • To be part of something is a transitive relation
  • Add an instance of owl:Thing named Timon, add a man named Thomas, then add the fact that Thomas adores Timon. Run a reasoner over the ontology. What is concluded about Timon?

Page responsible: Olaf Hartig
Last updated: 2018-03-13