Rule Interchange Format: Logic Programming’s Second Wind?

  • Michael Kifer
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6489)


Recent years have witnessed a strong upswing in the interest in rule systems technologies—both in their own right and in combination with existing Web standards. In particular, the Semantic Web is now seen as a vast playing field for rules within the academia as well as the industry. This renewed interest motivated the development of the Rule Interchange Format (RIF), a recent W3C Web standard for exchanging rules among different and dissimilar systems [1-5]. Despite its name, RIF is not merely a format: it is a collection of concrete rule languages, called RIF dialects, and a framework for defining new ones in harmony with each other. This includes formal specifications of the syntax, semantics, and XML serialization.

In this talk we argue that RIF is a major opportunity to re-introduce rule based technologies into the mainstream of knowledge representation and information processing, and to rekindle the interest in logic programming. First, we will introduce the main principles behind RIF and then discuss the application landscape that could emerge if this standard is embraced by the relevant communities: Logic Programming, Semantic Web, and Knowledge Representation. We will also reflect on the past of logic programming and speculate on how it could benefit from and contribute to RIF in the future.


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    Polleres, A., Boley, H., Kifer, M.: RIF Datatypes and built-ins 1.0 (July 2009),

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Kifer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceState University of New York at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

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