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Computing Least Common Subsumers in ALEN

R. Küsters and R. Molitor

Computing the least common subsumer (lcs) in description logics is an inference task first introduced for sublanguages of CLASSIC. Roughly speaking, the lcs of a set of concept descriptions is the most specific concept description that subsumes all of the input descriptions. As such, the lcs allows to extract the commonalities from given concept descriptions, a task essential for several applications like, e.g., inductive learning, information retrieval, or the bottom-up construction of KR-knowledge bases. Previous work on the lcs has concentrated on description logics that either allow for number restrictions or for existential restrictions. Many applications, however, require to combine these constructors. In this work, we present an lcs algorithm for the description logic ALEN, which allows for both constructors (as well as concept conjunction, primitive negation, and value restrictions). The proof of correctness of our lcs algorithm is based on an appropriate structural characterization of subsumption in ALEN also introduced in this paper.