Optimising Ontology Classification

Ontology classification - the computation of subsumption hierarchies for classes and properties is one of the most important tasks for OWL reasoners. Based on the algorithm by Shearer and Horrocks [9], we present a new classification procedure that addresses several open issues of the original algorithm, and that uses several novel optimisations in order to achieve superior performance. We also consider the classification of (object and data) properties. We show that algorithms commonly used to implement that task are incomplete even for relatively weak ontology languages. Furthermore, we show how to reduce the property classification problem into a standard (class) classification problem, which allows reasoners to classify properties using our optimised procedure. We have implemented our algorithms in the OWL HermiT reasoner, and we present the results of a performance evaluation.