Jena is a moderately complicated system, with several
different kinds of
Model and ways of constructing them. This note
describes the Jena
ModelFactory, a one-stop shop for
creating Jena models.
ModelFactory lives in Java package
This note is an introduction, not an exhaustive description. As usual consult the Javadoc for details of the methods and classes to use.
The simplest way to create a model (if not the shortest) is to call
ModelFactory.createDefaultModel(). This [by default] delivers a
plain RDF model, stored in-memory, that does no inference and has
no special ontology interface.
An important feature of Jena is support for different kinds of inference over RDF-based models (used for RDFS and OWL). Inference models are constructed by applying reasoners to base models and optionally schema. The statements deduced by the reasoner from the base model then appear in the inferred model alongside the statements from the base model itself. RDFS reasoning is directly available:
createRDFSModel(Model base) creates an inference model over the
base model using the built-in RDFS inference rules and any RDFS
statements in the base model.
createRDFSModel(Model schema, Model base) creates an RDFS
inference model from the base model and the supplied schema model.
The advantage of supplying the schema separately is that the
reasoner may be able to compute useful information in advance on
the assumption that the schema won’t change, or at least not change
as often as the base model.
It’s possible to use other reasoning systems than RDFS. For these a Reasoner is required:
createInfModel(Reasoner reasoner, Model base) creates an
inference model using the rules of
reasoner over the model
createInfModel(Reasoner reasoner, Model schema, Model base) Just
as for the RDFS case, the schema may be supplied separately to
allow the reasoner to digest them before working on the model.
From where do you fetch your reasoners? From the reasoner registry, the class ReasonerRegistry. This allows reasoners to be looked up by name, but also provides some predefined access methods for well-know reasoners:
getOWLReasoner(): the reasoner used for OWL inference
getRDFSReasoner(): the reasoner used for RDFS inference
getTransitiveReasoner(): a reasoner for doing subclass and
An ontology model is one that presents RDF as an ontology - classes, individuals, different kinds of properties, and so forth. Jena supports RDFS and OWL ontologies through profiles. There is extensive documentation on Jena’s ontology support, so all we’ll do here is summarise the creation methods.
createOntologyModel() Creates an ontology model which is
in-memory and presents OWL ontologies.
createOntologyModel(OntModelSpec spec, Model base) Creates an
ontology model according the
spec which presents the ontology of
createOntologyModel(OntModelSpec spec, ModelMaker maker, Model base)
Creates an OWL ontology model according to the
spec over the
base model. If the ontology model needs to construct additional
models (for OWL imports), use the
ModelMaker to create them. [The
previous method will construct a
MemModelMaker for this.]
OntModelSpecs come from? There’s a cluster of
constants in the class which provide for common uses; to name but
OntModelSpec.OWL_MEM_RDFS_INF OWL ontologies, model stored in
memory, using RDFS entailment only
OntModelSpec.RDFS_MEM RDFS ontologies, in memory, but doing no
OntModelSpec.OWL_DL_MEM_RULE_INF OWL ontologies, in memory, with
the full OWL Lite inference
A model can be built from a description of the required model. This is documented in the assembler howto. Access to the assembler system for model creation is provided by three ModelFactory methods:
assembleModelFrom( Model singleRoot ): assemble a Model from the
single Model description in
singleRoot. If there is no such
description, or more than one, an exception is thrown. If a
description has to be selected from more than one available
candidates, consider using the methods below.
findAssemblerRoots( Model m ): answer a Set of all the Resources
m which are of type
ja:Model, ie descriptions of models to
assemble. (Note that this will include sub-descriptions of embedded
models if they are present.)
assembleModelFrom( Resource root ): answer a Model assembled
according to the description hanging from
Assemblers can construct other things as well as models, and the
Assembler system is user-extensible: see the howto for details.
ModelFactory.createFileModelMaker(String) returns a
ModelMaker which attaches models to filing-system files. The
String argument is the fileBase. When a file-ModelMaker opens a
file, it reads it from a file in the directory named by the
fileBase; when the model is closed (and only then, in the current
implementation), the contents of the model are written back to the
Because the names of models in a modelMaker can be arbitrary character strings, in particular URIs, they are translated slightly to avoid confusion with significant characters of common filing systems. In the current implementation,
Plain models can be given names which allows them to be “saved” and
looked up by name later. This is handled by implementations of the
ModelMaker produces Models of the
same kind. The simplest kind of
ModelMaker is a memory model
maker, which you get by calling
ModelFactory.createMemModelMaker(). The methods you’d want to use
to start with on a ModelMaker are:
createModel(String): create a model with the given name in the
ModelMaker. If a model with that name already exists, then that
model is used instead.
openModel(String): open an existing model with the given name. If
no such model exists, create a new empty one and give it that name.
[createModel(String) and openModel(String) behave in the same way,
but each has a two-argument form for which the behaviour is
different. Use whichever one best fits your intention.]
createModel(): create a fresh anonymous model.
ModelMaker has a default model; this method
returns that model.
There are other methods, for removing models, additional control over create vs open, closing the maker, and looking names up; for those consult the ModelMaker JavaDoc.
ModelFactory contains a collection of methods for some
special cases not conveniently dealt with elsewhere.
createModelForGraph(Graph g) is used when an advanced user with
access to the Jena SPI has constructed or obtained a
wishes to present it as a model. This method wraps the graph up as
a plain model. Alterations to the graph are visible in the model,
and vice versa.