Bridging OWL and XBRL: OWL Information Expressed in XBRL
Sunday, June 16, 2013 at 09:49AM
Charlie in Becoming an XBRL Master Craftsman

Inspired by something David vun Kannon said a few days ago on the XBRL-Dev mailing list and something Eric Cohen said a month ago on the XBRL-Public mailing list; I did something which is, I think, rather interesting.

For probably three or four years at least, I have been fiddling around expressing XBRL related stuff in OWL.  That resulted in the Financial Report Ontology which is still a work in progress.

But what if you flipped that around.  What if you expressed OWL stuff in XBRL?  What if one were to express in XBRL all the raw information one needs to create an OWL ontology?  Well, here is a prototype of exactly that: 

The key piece is this schema which defines a number of arcroles used to define predicates which relate objects and subjects: The objects/subjects are expressed as XBRL concepts in the XBRL taxonomy schema.

I would suspect that a transformation could be created to turn the XBRL into OWL.  I would likewise suspect that a transformation could turn the same information expressed in OWL to XBRL.

This is either clever or insane.  Don't know which yet!  What do you think?

There are less than 300 "things" in the Financial Report Ontology; I think I will represent all of them using this approach and give the transformation a shot.

So, here is the list of "things" (objects and subjects):

The predicates used to relate the objects and subjects have only been set for a few of the relations.  All relations (subClassOf, hasPart, partOf, equivalentClass) will be set.  There are likely other types of predicates.

The more objects, subjects, and predicates defined; the more useful the metadata. The relations for a set of "graphs" or "networks", see Network Theory.

Article originally appeared on Intelligent XBRL-based structured digital financial reporting using US GAAP and IFRS (
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