Semantic Mutation Test to OWL Ontologies

Alex Mateus Porn, Leticia Mara Peres


Ontologies are structures used to represent a specific knowledge domain. There is not a right way of defining an ontology, because its definition depends on its purpose, domain, abstraction level and a number of ontology engineer choices. Therefore, a domain can be represented by distinct ontologies in distinct structures and, consequently, they can have distinct results when classifying and querying information. In light of this, faults can be accidentally inserted during its development, causing unexpected results. In this context, we propose semantic mutation operators and apply a semantic mutation test method to OWL ontologies. Our objective is to reveal semantic fault caused by poor axiom definition automatically generating test data. Our method showed semantic errors which occurred in OWL ontology constraints. Eight semantic mutation operators were used and we observe that is necessary to generate new semantic mutation operators to address all OWL language features.


  1. Gruber, T. R., 1995. Toward principles for the design of ontologies used for knowledge sharing. In Int. j. humcomput. st., Vol. 43, No. 5-6, pp. 907-928.
  2. Grüninger, M., Fox, M. S., 1995. Methodology for the Design and Evaluation of Ontologies. In Workshop on Basic Ontological Issues in Knowledge Sharing in Int. Joint Conf. on Artificial Intelligence. Toronto, Canada.
  3. Gómez-Pérez, A., 1996. Towards a framework to verify knowledge sharing technology, Expert Systems with Applications, Vol 11, No. 4, pp. 519-529.
  4. Poveda-Villalón, M., Suárez-Figueroa, M. C., GómezPérez, A., 2012. Validating ontologies with OOPS!, In 18th Int. Conf. in Knowledge Eng. and Knowledge Management. Galway City, Ireland, pp. 267-281.
  5. Batet, M., Sanchez, D., 2014. A Semantic Approach for Ontology Evaluation. In 26th Int. Conf. on Tools with Artificial Intelligence. Limassol, Cyprus, pp. 138-145.
  6. Fernández, M., Overbeeke, C., Sabou, M., Motta, E., 2009. What Makes a Good Ontology? A Case-Study in FineGrained Knowledge Reuse. In 4th Asian Conference on The Semantic Web, pp. 61-75.
  7. Porzel, R., Malaka, R., 2004. A task-based approach for ontology evaluation. In Proc. of the Workshop on Ontology Learning and Population at the 16th European Conf. on Artificial Intel. Valencia, Spain.
  8. Brewster, C., Alani, H., Dasmahapatra, S., Wilks, Y., 2004. Data driven ontology evaluation, In Int. Conf. on Language Resources and Evaluation. Lisbon, Portugal.
  9. Porn, A. M., Huve, C. G., Peres, L. M. Direne, A. I., 2016. A Systematic Literature Review of OWL Ontology Evaluation. In 15th International Conference on WWW/Internet. Mannheim, Germany, pp. 67-74.
  10. Vrandecic, D., Gangemi, A., 2006. Unit tests for ontologies. In On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems. Montpellier, France, pp. 1012-1020.
  11. García-Ramos, S, Otero, A., Fernández-López, M., 2009. OntologyTest: A Tool to Evaluate Ontologies through Tests Defined by the User. In 10th Int. Work-Conf. on Art. Neural Networks. Salamanca, Spain, pp. 91-98.
  12. Blomqvist, E., Sepour, A. S., Presutti, V., 2012. Ontology testing-methodology and tool, In 18th International Conference in Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management. Galway City, Ireland, pp. 216-226.
  13. Lee S, Bai X, Chen Y., 2008. Automatic Mutation Testing and Simulation on OWL-S Specified Web Services. In Simulation Symposium, Annual, pp. 149-156.
  14. Bartolini, C., 2016. Mutation OWLs: semantic mutation testing for ontologies. In Proc. of the International Workshop on domain specific Model-based approaches to verification and validation. Rome, Italy, pp. 43-53.
  15. Porn, A. M., Peres, L. M., 2014. Mutation Test to OWL Ontologies. In 13th International Conference on WWW/Internet. Porto, Portugal, pp. 123-130.
  16. Delamaro, M. E., Maldonado, J. C., Jino, M., 2007. Introdução ao Teste de Software, in Portuguese, volume 394 of Campus. Elsevier, 2007.
  17. DeMillo, R. A., Lipton, R. J., Sayward, F. G., 1978. Hints on Test Data Selection: Help for the Practicing Programmer. Computer. pp. 34-41.
  18. Budd. T. A., 1981. Mutation Analysis: Ideas, Example, Problems and Prospects. In Proceedings of the Summer School on Computer Program Testing held at SOGESTA, Urbino, Italy, pp. 129-148.
  19. Horrocks, I., Sattler, U., Tobies, S., 2000. Reasoning with Individuals for the Description Logic SHIQ. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Automated Deduction. Pittsburgh, USA, pp. 482-496.
  20. Musen, M. A., 2015. The Protégé project: A look back and a look forward. AI Matters. Association of Computing Machinery Specific Interest Group in Art. Intelligence.
  21. Bechhofer, S., Horrocks, I., Patel-Schneider, P., 2003. Tutorial on OWL. In 2nd International Semantic Web Conference. Sanibel Island, Florida, USA. Available in: <>. Accessed: November 10th, 2016.
  22. Horrocks, I., 2008. Ontologies and the semantic web. In Magazine Communications of the ACM - Surviving the data deluge. Vol. 51, Issue 12, pp. 58-67.
  23. McGuinness, D. L., Harmelen, F. van, 2004. OWL Web Ontology Language Overview. Available in: <>. Accessed: November 11th, 2016.
  24. OWL Working Group, 2012. Web Ontology Language (OWL). Available in: <>. Accessed: November 11th, 2016.
  25. Budd, T. A., DeMillo, R. A., Lipton, R. J., Sayward, F. G., 1980. Theoretical and Empirical Studies on Using Programa Mutation to Test the Functional Correctness of Programs. In Proc. of the 7th ACM Symposium of Principles of Programming Languages. pp. 220-233, New York, NY, USA.
  26. Gómez-Pérez, A., 2004. Ontology Evaluation. Handbook on Ontologies, Springer, pp. 251-273.
  27. Burton-Jones, A., Storey, V. C., Sugumaran, V., Ahluwalia, P., 2005. A semiotic metrics suite for assessing the quality of ontologies, Data & Knowledge Engineering, Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 84-102.
  28. Hlomani, H., Stacey, D., 2014. An extension to the datadriven ontology evaluation. In 15th Int. Conf. on Info. Reuse and Integration. Redwood, USA, pp. 845-849.
  29. Wong, W. E., Mathur, A. P., Maldonado, J. C., 1995. Mutation Versus All-uses: An Empirical Evaluation of Cost, Strength and Effectiveness. In Software Quality and Productivity: Theory, Practice and Training. London, UK, pp. 258-265.

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Porn A. and Peres L. (2017). Semantic Mutation Test to OWL Ontologies . In Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 2: ICEIS, ISBN 978-989-758-248-6, pages 434-441. DOI: 10.5220/0006335204340441

in Bibtex Style

author={Alex Mateus Porn and Leticia Mara Peres},
title={Semantic Mutation Test to OWL Ontologies},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 2: ICEIS,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 2: ICEIS,
TI - Semantic Mutation Test to OWL Ontologies
SN - 978-989-758-248-6
AU - Porn A.
AU - Peres L.
PY - 2017
SP - 434
EP - 441
DO - 10.5220/0006335204340441