Description Logics

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Abstract

Description Logics (DLs) are a well-investigated family of logic-based knowledge representation formalisms, which can be used to represent the conceptual knowledge of an application domain in a structured and formally well-understood way. They are employed in various application domains, such as natural language processing, configuration, and databases, but their most notable success so far is the adoption of the DL-based language OWL as standard ontology language for the semantic web.

This article concentrates on the problem of designing reasoning procedures for DLs. After a short introduction and a brief overview of the research in this area of the last 20 years, it will on the one hand present approaches for reasoning in expressive DLs, which are the foundation for reasoning in the Web ontology language OWL DL. On the other hand, it will consider tractable reasoning in the more light-weight DL \(\mathcal{EL}\) , which is employed in bio-medical ontologies, and which is the foundation for the OWL 2 profile OWL 2 EL.