KR2021Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and ReasoningProceedings of the 18th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning

Online event. November 3-12, 2021.

Edited by

ISSN: 2334-1033
ISBN: 978-1-956792-99-7

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Published by

Copyright © 2021 International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence Organization

On Free Description Logics with Definite Descriptions

  1. Alessandro Artale(Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)
  2. Andrea Mazzullo(Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)
  3. Ana Ozaki(University of Bergen)
  4. Frank Wolter(University of Liverpool)


  1. Computational aspects of knowledge representation
  2. Description logics
  3. Knowledge representation languages
  4. Ontology formalisms and models


Definite descriptions are phrases of the form ‘the x such that φ’, used to refer to single entities in a context. They are often more meaningful to users than individual names alone, in particular when modelling or querying data over ontologies. We investigate free description logics with both individual names and definite descriptions as terms of the language, while also accounting for their possible lack of denotation. We focus on the extensions of ALC and, respectively, EL with nominals, the universal role, and definite descriptions. We show that standard reasoning in these extensions is not harder than in the original languages, and we characterise the expressive power of concepts relative to first-order formulas using a suitable notion of bisimulation. Moreover, we lay the foundations for automated support for definite descriptions generation by studying the complexity of deciding the existence of definite descriptions for an individual under an ontology. Finally, we provide a polynomial-time reduction of reasoning in other free description logic languages based on dual-domain semantics to the case of partial interpretations.