Rules and Ontologies for the Semantic Web

  • Thomas Eiter
  • Giovambattista Ianni
  • Thomas Krennwallner
  • Axel Polleres
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5224)


Rules and ontologies play a key role in the layered architecture of the Semantic Web, as they are used to ascribe meaning to, and to reason about, data on the Web. While the Ontology Layer of the Semantic Web is quite developed, and the Web Ontology Language (OWL) is a W3C recommendation since a couple of years already, the rules layer is far less developed and an active area of research; a number of initiatives and proposals have been made so far, but no standard as been released yet. Many implementations of rule engines are around which deal with Semantic Web data in one or another way. This article gives a comprehensive, although not exhaustive, overview of such systems, describes their supported languages, and sets them in relation with theoretical approaches for combining rules and ontologies as foreseen in the Semantic Web architecture. In the course of this, we identify desired properties and common features of rule languages and evaluate existing systems against their support. Furthermore, we review technical problems underlying the integration of rules and ontologies, and classify representative proposals for theoretical integration approaches into different categories.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Eiter
    • 1
  • Giovambattista Ianni
    • 2
  • Thomas Krennwallner
    • 1
  • Axel Polleres
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut für InformationssystemeTechnische Universität WienViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversitá della CalabriaRendeItaly
  3. 3.Digital Enterprise Research InstituteNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

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