To validate facts about statements in the ontology (and thus also for the Structured Machine Learning task), the help of a reasoner component is required.

For this guide we will also consider the ‘Father’ ontology that we slightly described here:

from ontolearn.base import OWLOntologyManager_Owlready2

manager = OWLOntologyManager_Owlready2()
onto = manager.load_ontology(IRI.create("KGs/Family/father.owl"))

In our Ontolearn library, we provide several reasoners to choose from. Currently, there are the following reasoners available:

  • OWLReasoner_Owlready2

    Or differently Structural Owlready2 Reasoner, is the base reasoner in Ontolearn. The functionalities of this reasoner are limited. It does not provide full reasoning in ALCH. Furthermore, it has no support for instances of complex class expressions, which is covered by the other reasoners (CCEI and FIC). We recommend to use the other reasoners for any reasoning tasks.


    from ontolearn.base import OWLReasoner_Owlready2
    structural_reasoner = OWLReasoner_Owlready2(onto)

    The structural reasoner requires an ontology (OWLOntology). The second argument is isolate argument which isolates the world (therefore the ontology) where the reasoner is performing the reasoning. More on that on Reasoning Details.

  • OWLReasoner_Owlready2_ComplexCEInstances (CCEI)

    Can perform full reasoning in ALCH due to the use of HermiT/Pellet and provides support for complex class expression instances (when using the method instances). CCEI is more useful when your main goal is reasoning over the ontology.


    from ontolearn.base.complex_ce_instances import OWLReasoner_Owlready2_ComplexCEInstances
    from ontolearn.base import BaseReasoner_Owlready2
    ccei_reasoner = OWLReasoner_Owlready2_ComplexCEInstances(onto, BaseReasoner_Owlready2.HERMIT,
                                                             infer_property_values = True)

    CCEI requires an ontology and a base reasoner of type BaseReasoner_Owlready2 which is just an enumeration with two possible values: BaseReasoner_Owlready2.HERMIT and BaseReasoner_Owlready2.PELLET. You can set the infer_property_values argument to True if you want the reasoner to infer property values. infer_data_property_values is an additional argument when the base reasoner is set to BaseReasoner_Owlready2.PELLET. The argument isolated is inherited from the base class

  • OWLReasoner_FastInstanceChecker (FIC)

    FIC also provides support for complex class expression but the rest of the methods are the same as in the base reasoner. It has a cache storing system that allows for faster execution of some reasoning functionalities. Due to this feature, FIC is more appropriate to be used in concept learning.


    from ontolearn.base.fast_instance_checker import OWLReasoner_FastInstanceChecker
    fic_reasoner = OWLReasoner_FastInstanceChecker(onto, structural_reasoner, property_cache = True,
                                                   negation_default = True, sub_properties = False)

    Besides the ontology, FIC requires a base reasoner to delegate any reasoning tasks not covered by it. This base reasoner can be any other reasoner in Ontolearn. property_cache specifies whether to cache property values. This requires more memory, but it speeds up the reasoning processes. If negation_default argument is set to True the missing facts in the ontology means false. The argument sub_properties is another boolean argument to specify whether you want to take sub properties in consideration for instances() method.

  • TripleStoreReasoner

    Triplestores are known for their efficiency in retrieving data, and they can be queried using SPARQL. Making this functionality available in Ontolearn makes it possible to use concept learners that fully operates in datasets hosted on triplestores. Although that is the main goal, the reasoner can be used independently for reasoning tasks.

    In Ontolearn, we have implemented TripleStoreReasoner, to query triplestore endpoints using SPARQL queries. It has only one required parameter:

    • ontology - a TripleStoreOntology that can be instantiated using a string that contains the URL of the triplestore host/server.

    This reasoner inherit from OWLReasoner, and therefore you can use it like any other reasoner.


    from ontolearn.triple_store import TripleStoreReasoner, TripleStoreOntology
    reasoner = TripleStoreReasoner(TripleStoreOntology("http://some_domain/some_path/sparql"))

Usage of the Reasoner

All the reasoners available in the Ontolearn library inherit from the class: OWLReasonerEx. This class provides some extra convenient methods compared to its base class OWLReasoner, which is an abstract class. Further in this guide, we use OWLReasoner_Owlready2_ComplexCEInstances. to show the capabilities of a reasoner implemented in Ontolearn.

To give examples we consider the father dataset. If you are not already familiar with this small dataset, you can find an overview of it here.

Class Reasoning

Using an OWLOntology you can list all the classes in the signature, but a reasoner can give you more than that. You can get the subclasses, superclasses or the equivalent classes of a class in the ontology:

from owlapy.class_expression import OWLClass
from owlapy.iri import IRI

namespace = ""
male = OWLClass(IRI(namespace, "male"))

male_super_classes = ccei_reasoner.super_classes(male)
male_sub_classes = ccei_reasoner.sub_classes(male)
male_equivalent_classes = ccei_reasoner.equivalent_classes(male)

We define the male class by creating an OWLClass object. The methods super_classes and sub_classes have 2 more boolean arguments: direct and only_named. If direct=True then only the direct classes in the hierarchy will be returned, else it will return every class in the hierarchy depending on the method(sub_classes or super_classes). By default, its value is False. The next argument only_named specifies whether you want to show only named classes or complex classes as well. By default, its value is True which means that it will return only the named classes.

NOTE: The extra arguments direct and only_named are also used in other methods that reason upon the class, object property, or data property hierarchy.

You can get all the types of a certain individual using types method:

anna = list(onto.individuals_in_signature()).pop()

anna_types = ccei_reasoner.types(anna)

We retrieve anna as the first individual on the list of individuals of the ‘Father’ ontology. The type method only returns named classes.

Object Properties and Data Properties Reasoning

Ontolearn reasoners offers some convenient methods for working with object properties and data properties. Below we show some of them, but you can always check all the methods in the OWLReasoner_Owlready2_ComplexCEInstances class documentation.

You can get all the object properties that an individual has by using the following method:

anna = individuals[0] 
object_properties = ccei_reasoner.ind_object_properties(anna)

In this example, object_properties contains all the object properties that anna has, which in our case would only be hasChild. Now we can get the individuals of this object property for anna.

for op in object_properties:
    object_properties_values = ccei_reasoner.object_property_values(anna, op)
    for individual in object_properties_values:

In this example we iterated over the object_properties, assuming that there are more than 1, and we use the reasoner to get the values for each object property op of the individual anna. The values are individuals which we store in the variable object_properties_values and are printed in the end. The method object_property_values requires as the first argument, an OWLNamedIndividual that is the subject of the object property values and the second argument an OWLObjectProperty whose values are to be retrieved for the specified individual.

NOTE: You can as well get all the data properties of an individual in the same way by using ind_data_properties instead of ind_object_properties and data_property_values instead of object_property_values. Keep in mind that data_property_values returns literal values (type of OWLLiteral).

In the same way as with classes, you can also get the sub object properties or equivalent object properties.

from owlapy.owl_property import OWLObjectProperty

hasChild = OWLObjectProperty(IRI(namespace, "hasChild"))

equivalent_to_hasChild = ccei_reasoner.equivalent_object_properties(hasChild)
hasChild_sub_properties = ccei_reasoner.sub_object_properties(hasChild)

In case you want to get the domains and ranges of an object property use the following:

hasChild_domains = ccei_reasoner.object_property_domains(hasChild)
hasChild_ranges = ccei_reasoner.object_property_ranges(hasChild)

NOTE: Again, you can do the same for data properties but instead of the word ‘object’ in the method name you should use ‘data’.

Find Instances

The method instances is a very convenient method. It takes only 1 argument that is basically a class expression and returns all the individuals belonging to that class expression. In Owlapy we have implemented a Python class for each type of class expression. The argument is of type OWLClassExpression.

Let us now show a simple example by finding the instances of the class male and printing them:

male_individuals = ccei_reasoner.instances(male)
for ind in male_individuals:

In this guide we covered the main functionalities of the reasoners in Ontolearn. More details are provided in Reasoning Details.

Since we have now covered all the basics, on the next guide you will see how to use concept learners to learn class expressions in a knowledge base for a certain learning problem.