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Foundations of Description Logics

Lecture at the Reasoning Web Summer School, Galway, Ireland, August 2011.

Lecturer: Sebastian Rudolph, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.


Description Logics (DLs) constitute the basis of the Web Ontology Languages OWL 1 and OWL 2. DL research started as early as in the 1970s and by now has led to an impressive amount of theoretical results as well as several highly optimized tools for working with ontological knowledge. The lecture will provide an overview of the state of the art in DLs and draw relations to other logical formalisms. We will introduce syntax and semantics and provide examples for modelling specific situations. We will review the most common approaches to reasoning and finally explain the tight correspondences between DLs and OWL.


Slides: Foundations of Description Logics (PDF)

Lecture Notes: via SpringerLink


  • Franz Baader, Diego Calvanese, Deborah L. McGuinness, Daniele Nardi, Peter F. Patel-Schneider, The Description Logic Handbook. Second Edition, Cambridge University Press, 2007.