Modeling Guidelines

The following guidelines result from best practices and are to establish a common approach to constructing the models.

Named Graphs

  1. Ontologies are levelled graphs with names that have the structure: “prefixNumberName”, where prefix is typically a 2 character code such as “oe” or “us”, the number part is a specificity level, lower numbers being more general and “Name” is the domain-specific part for the graph;
  2. Named Graphs may contain statements that have resources across multiple namespaces;

Name Rules

  1. All Classes and Instances are in Upper CamelCase
  2. All properties are in lower CamelCase
  3. All Government Bodies are abbreviated to a well-known (or new) acronym. For example “FAA” and “DOT”.
  4. Government Bodies that are a sub-organization of another Government Body carry the abbreviation of that body as a prefix field separated by a hyphen. For example the DHS has an “Office of Health Affairs”. Because it is always a sub-organization of DHS it is named “DHS-OHA”. On the other hand, the Coast Guard is more of an independent body and there does not have the “DHS-” prefix, but is simply “CG”.


  1. URIs do not include file extension, e.g. “owl”, “rdf”
  2. Base URIs have no “#” or file extension
  3. An Identifier has a definite description grammar as documented on this [TBD] page.


  1. All Class names are in Upper CamelCase
  2. Classes are always expressed in the Singular
  3. See “Names” for more naming rules
  4. All properties are expressed as OWL Axioms


  1. All Instance names are in Upper CamelCase
  2. Instances are allowed to be of multiple types
  3. See “Names” for more naming rules


  1. All property names are in lower CamelCase
  2. Silent “has” rule: assume a “has” prefix for all noun properties
  3. See “Names” for more naming rules

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