OWL Rules: A Proposal and Prototype Implementation

Ian Horrocks, Peter F. Patel-Schneider, Sean Bechhofer, Dmitry Tsarkov


Although the OWL Web Ontology Language adds considerable expressive power to the Semantic Web it does have expressive limitations, particularly with respect to what can be said about properties. We present SWRL (the SemanticWeb Rules Language), a Horn clause rules extension to OWL that overcomes many of these limitations. SWRL extends OWL in a syntactically and semantically coherent manner: the basic syntax for SWRL rules is an extension of the abstract syntax for OWL DL and OWL Lite; SWRL rules are given formal meaning via an extension of the OWL DL model-theoretic semantics; SWRL rules are given an XML syntax based on the OWL XML presentation syntax; and a mapping from SWRL rules to RDF graphs is given based on the OWL RDF/XML exchange syntax. We discuss the expressive power of SWRL, showing that the ontology consistency problem is undecidable, provide several examples of SWRL usage, and discuss a prototype implementation of reasoning support for SWRL.

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Type of Paper: Research Paper
Keywords: OWL rules
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