How Owl Imports Work
First it must be understood that the semantics of imports in OWL is a subject of some controversy. In the OWL 1.1 specification there is effort in progress to clear up some of this confusion. Until this is settled we will use the definition of the semantics of imports given in the semantics document of the w3.org specs:
- Aside from this local meaning, an owl:imports annotation also imports the contents of another OWL ontology into the current ontology. The imported ontology is the one, if any, that has as name the argument of the imports construct. (This treatment of imports is divorced from Web issues. The intended use of names for OWL ontologies is to make the name be the location of the ontology on the Web, but this is outside of this formal treatment.)
In this note we will describe what this innocent little paragraph is saying and what it means to Protege.