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Cardinality Restrictions on Concepts

Franz Baader; Martin Buchheit; Bernhard Hollunder
DFKI, DFKI Research Reports (RR), Vol. 93-48, 1993.


The concept description formalisms of existing terminological systems allow the user to express local cardinality restrictions on the fillers of a particular role. It is not possible, however, to introduce global restrictions on the number of instances of a given concept. The paper argues that such cardinality restrictions on concepts are of importance in applications such as configuration of technical systems, an application domain of terminological systems that is currently gaining in interest. It shows that including such restrictions into the description language leaves the important inference problems such as instance testing decidable. The algorithm combines and simplifies the ideas developed for the treatment of qualifying number restrictions and of general terminological axioms.