Rabbit: Developing a Control Natural Language for Authoring Ontologies
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The mathematical nature of description logics has meant that domain experts find it hard to understand. This forms a significant impediment to the creation and adoption of ontologies. This paper describes Rabbit, a Controlled Natural Language that can be translated into OWL with the aim of achieving both comprehension by domain experts and computational preciseness. We see Rabbit as complementary to OWL, extending its reach to those who need to author and understand domain ontologies but for whom OWL is difficult to comprehend even when expressed in more user-friendly forms such as the Manchester Syntax. The paper outlines the main grammatical aspects of Rabbit, which can be broadly classified into declarations, concept descriptions and definitions, and elements to support interoperability between ontologies. The paper also describes the human subject testing that has been performed to date and indicates the changes currently being made to the language following this testing. Further modifications have been based on practical experience result from the application of Rabbit for the development of operational ontologies in the domain of topography.
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