Batsakis, Sotiris, Tachmazidis, Ilias and Antoniou, Grigoris (2017) Representing time and space for the semantic web. International Journal on Artificial Intelligence Tools, 26 (3). ISSN 0218-2130

Representation of temporal and spatial information for the Semantic Web often involves qualitative defined information (i.e., information described using natural language terms such as "before" or "overlaps") since precise dates or coordinates are not always available. This work proposes several temporal representations for time points and intervals and spatial topological representations in ontologies by means of OWL properties and reasoning rules in SWRL. All representations are fully compliant with existing Semantic Web standards and W3C recommendations. Although qualitative representations for temporal interval and point relations and spatial topological relations exist, this is the first work proposing representations combining qualitative and quantitative information for the Semantic Web. In addition to this, several existing and proposed approaches are compared using different reasoners and experimental results are presented in detail. The proposed approach is applied to topological relations (RCC5 and RCC8) supporting both qualitative and quantitative (i.e., using coordinates) spatial relations. Experimental results illustrate that reasoning performance differs greatly between different representations and reasoners. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first such experimental evaluation of both qualitative and quantitative Semantic Web temporal and spatial representations. In addition to the above, querying performance using SPARQL is evaluated. Evaluation results demonstrate that extracting qualitative relations from quantitative representations using reasoning rules and querying qualitative relations instead of directly querying quantitative representations increases performance at query time.

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