Empirical Semantics

Wouter Beek (w.g.j.beek@vu.nl),
Frank van Harmelen (Frank.van.Harmelen@vu.nl)

2 notions of meaning

Formal meaning

Empirical meaning

Jim Hendler, ESWC 2016

Formally incorrect, but not meaningless


bpo:has_event rdfs:domain bpo:person.
bpo:has_event rdfs:domain bpo:event.
bpo:has_event rdfs:domain bpo:disease.
Examples from BioPortal.

LOD Laundromat


Formal Semantics: Identity assertions about ‘Barack Obama’

Source: LOD Laundromat

Empirical Semantics: Identity assertions about ‘Barack Obama’



  • person
  • senator
  • president
  • government

Names are not arbitrary constants

Graph G₁

id:store def:sells id:tent.
id:tent  def:costs "¥150,000".
id:tent  rdf:type  id:Product.

Graph G₂

fy:aHup   pe:ko9sap_ fy:jufn12.
fy:jufn12 pe:oao9_   "Ufou".
fy:jufn12 rdf:type   fyufnt:tmffqt.

Empirically evaluating ABox repair



$$\models_{IAR} \quad \subseteq \quad \models_{AR} \quad \subseteq \quad \models_{Brave}$$
Three formal approaches with different properties.


obtained by Jacco van Splunteren.

Thank you for your attention!

Formal meaning

Empirical meaning