I've brought up a similar concern before, regarding a query for "people from Japan" also automatically finding "people from places within Japan."  See this discussion.  It might give you some pointers and useful tips, notably taking advantage of MediaWiki's category system to do the kind of recursive search you're looking for.
----- Original Message -----
From: Ehud (Udi) Ben-Reuven
To: semediawiki-user@lists.sourceforge.net
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2007 2:46 PM
Subject: [Semediawiki-user] RFE - recursive search in Special:Ask

I think there should be an option in Special:Ask to search for pages that contain the attributes in the query not just directly but also indirectly through links.

For example: if you run the search [[located in::New York (state)]] in http://ontoworld.org/wiki/Special:Ask

You will get New York but not Brooklyn.

It is true that Brooklyn could have been found with the nested query [[Burrough of::<q>[[located in::New York (state)]]</q>]] but this requires the human user entering the query to know about this possible indirect membership between some cities (Brooklyn) and states.


A more friendlier solution would be to have a check-box in Special:Ask that once turned will allow the  user to enter the simpler query [[New York (state)]] and the result would be all pages that have a relation to  “New York (state)” directly or indirectly through links to other pages.


I’ve reached this idea while working on my project in which I try to use SMW as a repository of accounting information.

See http://benreuven.com/udiwiki/index.php?title=Pyfm:Semantic_MediaWiki


-          Udi


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