Combining RDF and Part of OWL with Rules: Semantics, Decidability, Complexity

  • Herman J. ter Horst
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3729)


This paper extends the model theory of RDF with rules, placing an emphasis on integration with OWL and decidability of entailment. We start from an abstract syntax that views a rule as a pair of rule graphs which generalize RDF graphs by also allowing rule variables in subject, predicate and object positions. We include RDFS as well as a decidable part of OWL that weakens D-entailment and OWL Full. Classes can be used as instances. Almost all examples in the DAML set of test rules are covered by our approach.

For a set of rules R, we define a general notion of R-entailment. Extending earlier results on RDFS and OWL, we prove a general completeness result for R-entailment. This result shows that a restricted form of application of rules that introduce blank nodes is sufficient to determine R-entailment. For rules that do not introduce blank nodes, we prove that R-entailment and R-consistency are decidable and in PSPACE. For rules that do not introduce blank nodes and that satisfy a bound on the size of rule bodies, we prove that R-consistency is in P, that R-entailment is in NP, and that R-entailment is in P if the target RDF graph is ground.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herman J. ter Horst
    • 1
  1. 1.Philips ResearchEindhovenThe Netherlands

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