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Contextual Semantic Embeddings for Ontology Subsumption Prediction

Chen, J., He, Y., Geng, Y. , Jimenez-Ruiz, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-9083-4599, Dong, H. & Horrocks, I. (2023). Contextual Semantic Embeddings for Ontology Subsumption Prediction. World Wide Web, 26(5), pp. 2569-2591. doi: 10.1007/s11280-023-01169-9


Automating ontology construction and curation is an important but challenging task in knowledge engineering and artificial intelligence. Prediction by machine learning techniques such as contextual semantic embedding is a promising direction, but the relevant research is still preliminary especially for expressive ontologies in Web Ontology Language (OWL). In this paper, we present a new subsumption prediction method named BERTSubs for classes of OWL ontology. It exploits the pre-trained language model BERT to compute contextual embeddings of a class, where customized templates are proposed to incorporate the class context (e.g., neighbouring classes) and the logical existential restriction. BERT-Subs is able to predict multiple kinds of subsumers including named classes from the same ontology or another ontology, and existential restrictions from the same ontology. Extensive evaluation on five real-world ontologies for three different subsumption tasks has shown the effectiveness of the templates and that BERTSubs can dramatically outperform the baselines that use (literal-aware) knowledge graph embeddings, non-contextual word embeddings and the state-of-the-art OWL ontology embeddings.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at:
Publisher Keywords: Ontology Embedding, Subsumption Prediction, OWL, Pre-trained Language, Model, BERT, Ontology Alignment
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
SWORD Depositor:
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