Semantic Web Ontology Design Patterns for the Hohfeld Semantic-Conceptual Model

  • A. Zomerdijk

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This paper proposes Ontology Design Patterns (ODPs) for the Hohfeld semantic-conceptual model. These ODPs facilitate modelling solutions for ontology engineering and reasoning with legal information. The Hohfeld semantic-conceptual model, as introduced by Van Engers & Nijssen, extends the Hohfeld legal relations with temporal aspects, events, and legal facts. We propose the Temporal Information ODP for temporal reasoning and determining the sequences of (legal) facts, actions, and events. We differentiate between valid times for temporal aspects of real world concepts and transaction times for the moment a fact is stored in a database. The Legal Fact ODP infers which actions and events count as certain as legal facts. This enables a qualification process, giving legal meaning to facts, and infers the legal consequences of events and actions. The Temporal Legal Relations ODP facilitates the expression of temporal Hohfeld legal relations. We implement this work with the Semantic Web technologies RDFS, OWL, and SWRL. This paper presents each ODP with a description of its intent, competency questions, and schema diagram. We evaluate the ODPs with a case study. For this, we use the car sale scenario of Van Engers & Nijssen. We provide an OWL file for each ODP for reusability.
    Date of Award2018
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorLloyd Rutledge (Examiner) & Stef Joosten (Supervisor)


    • Semantic Web.
    • Ontology Design Patterns
    • Hohfeld Semantic-Conceptual Model
    • Temporal Reasoning
    • Legal Reasoning
    • Hohfeld Legal Relations

    Master's Degree

    • Master Business Process management & IT (BPMIT)

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