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Semantic Web Modelling Languages

a tutorial at IJCAI-09, Pasadena, California, July 2009.

Speakers: Pascal Hitzler, Markus Krötzsch, Sebastian Rudolph


Ontology languages for the Semantic Web are based on paradigms from knowledge representation and reasoning. The Resource Description Framework RDF and its more expressive counterpart RDF Schema are closely related to semantic networks. The Web Ontology Language OWL is based on description logics. Both languages are a recommended standard by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for modelling ontologies on and for the Semantic Web.

This tutorial introduces RDF, RDF Schema, and OWL in detail. It covers web-enabled syntax based on XML, their formal semantics, logical counterparts, and established inference techniques including description logic tableaux calculi. The tutorial discusses these issues in the context of the broad Semantic Web vision, including many examples, recent applications, and available tools.



  • Franz Baader, Diego Calvanese, Deborah L. McGuinness, Daniele Nardi, Peter F. Patel-Schneider, The Description Logic Handbook: Theory, Implementation, and Applications. Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition, 2007.

Speaker Biographies

PD Dr. Pascal Hitzler is assistant professor at the University of Karlsruhe (TH), Germany. His research interests comprise Semantic Web, neural-symbolic integration, knowledge representation and reasoning, and mathematical foundations of artificial intelligence. For further information please see

M.Sc. Markus Krötzsch is a researcher at the University of Karlsruhe (TH), Germany, where he is currently working on his PhD thesis. His research interests involve knowledge representation on the Semantic Web, the logical foundations thereof, and the efficient processing of such knowledge. He is also the lead developer of Semantic MediaWiki and maintainer of the website Fur further information, please see

Dr. Sebastian Rudolph is assistant professor at the University of Karlsruhe (TH), Germany. His research interests include knowledge specification and reasoning, logic, algebra, complexity theory as well as semantic search and NLP aspects of knowledge acquisition. He is program chair of the International Conference on Conceptual Structures 2009 and of the International Conference on Formal Concept Analysis 2009. For further information, please see