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[u/philim/db2osl_thesis.git] / osl_intro.tex
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1\chapter{The OBDA Specification Language (OSL)}
2\label{osl}
3
4TODO: aims, proceeding, structure
5
6As described in \cite{eng}, an OBDA specification consists of several types of maps,
7all containing data entries and links to other maps.
8This fits perfectly into the environment of ontologies and \name{OWL}, with data
9properties being the obvious choice to represent contained data entries
10and object properties being the obvious choice to represent links between maps.
11Also, a potential user probably to some degree is familiar with this environment,
12since this is what the bootstrapping process at the end amounts to.
13
14Therefore, an ideal base for the \osllong{} is \name{OWL},
15being a solid framework for data and constraint representation
16with a high degree of software support,
17while imposing only a minimum of introductory preparation to the user.
18
19Another advantage of this approach is that the specification is kept
20compact and focused on the entities that the language has to represent rather than
21primarily dealing with technical details.
22In particular, many of those details can be formulated as \name{OWL} restrictions
23in a header ontology demanded to be imported by documents conforming
24to the \osl{} specification.
25Thus, they are not only specified precisely but they are also stipulated in a
26machine-readable form for which tools are widely available, enabling the user to check
27many aspects of an \osl{} document for conformity with minimal effort.