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Semantic Web Languages – Towards an Institutional Perspective

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNTCS,volume 4060)


The Semantic Web (SW) is viewed as the next generation of the Web that enables intelligent software agents to process and aggregate data autonomously. Ontology languages provide basic vocabularies to semantically markup data on the SW. We have witnessed an increase of numbers of SW languages in the last years. These languages, such as RDF, RDF Schema (RDFS), the OWL suite of languages, the OWL− − suite, SWRL, are based on different semantics, such as the RDFS-based, description logic-based, Datalog-based semantics. The relationship among the various semantics poses a challenge for the SW community for making the languages interoperable. Institutions provide a means of reasoning about software specifications regardless of the logical system. This makes it an ideal candidate to represent and reason about the various languages in the Semantic Web. In this paper, we construct institutions for the SW languages and use institution morphisms to relate them. We show that RDF framework together with the RDF serializations of SW languages form an indexed institution. This allows the use of Grothendieck institutions to combine Web ontologies described in various languages.


  • Resource Description Framework
  • Description Logic
  • Model Constraint
  • Institutional Perspective
  • Ontology Language

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This work is partially supported by Singapore MOE project Rigorous Design Methods and Tools for Intelligent Autonomous (R-252-000-201-112) and NUS EERSS Program. The second author would like to thank Singapore Millennium Foundation (SMF) for the financial support.

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Lucanu, D., Li, Y.F., Dong, J.S. (2006). Semantic Web Languages – Towards an Institutional Perspective. In: Futatsugi, K., Jouannaud, JP., Meseguer, J. (eds) Algebra, Meaning, and Computation. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 4060. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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