The Cover PagesThe OASIS Cover Pages: The Online Resource for Markup Language Technologies
Advanced Search
Site Map
CP RSS Channel
Contact Us
Sponsoring CP
About Our Sponsors

Cover Stories
Articles & Papers
Press Releases

XML Query

XML Applications
General Apps
Government Apps
Academic Apps

Technology and Society
Tech Topics
Related Standards
Last modified: October 19, 2005
Semantic Web: Projects, Initiatives, Specifications

Provisional/draft document with references to "Semantic Web" resources, in an alpha list.

  • Data, Information, and Process Integration with Semantic Web Services (DIP). "The Semantic Web is fundamental to enabling the services and applications outlined above by providing a universally accessible platform that allows data to be shared and processed by automated tools, and by providing the machine-understandable semantics of data and information that will enable automatic information processing and exchange. Experts have already developed a range of mark-up frameworks and languages, notably the revised Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL) which mark the emergence of the Semantic Web as a broad-based, commercial-grade platform... DIP's vision is the further development, combination and enhancement of Semantic Web and Web Service technologies to produce a new technology infrastructure — Semantic Web Services. Web Services are the proper means for accessing semantically enriched data, and semantically-enabled Web Services are essential to providing the mature and scalable operating conditions necessary for their successful deployment in stable and secure environments. Significant research work needs to be done before the infrastructure underlying Web Services can make this vision a reality. DIP's mission is to make Semantic Web Services a reality as the new infrastructure for e-Work and e-Commerce."

  • DSpace. The DSpace digital repository system captures, stores, indexes, preserves, and distributes digital research material. Research institutions worldwide use this open source system in a variety of ways — as an institutional repository, a learning object repository, for records management, and more. DSpace is freely available as open source software you can customize and extend."

  • METEOR-S. Semantic Web Services and Processes: Applying Semantics in Annotation, Quality of Service, Discovery, Composition, Execution. "The growth of Web services and service oriented architecture (SOA) offers attractive basis for realizing dynamic architectures, which mirror the dynamic and ever changing business environment. With the help of industry wide acceptance of standards like Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS), Web Service Description Language (WSDL) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services offer the potential of low cost and immediate integration with other applications and partners. The METEOR-S project at the LSDIS Lab, University of Georgia aims to extend these standards with Semantic Web technologies to achieve greater dynamism and scalability. Specifically, [it will] focus on adding semantics to WSDL and UDDI — this work termed WSDL-S is being provided as input for next version of WSDL that will support semantic representation, focus on adding semantics to BPEL4WS, and discuss a semi-automatic approach for annotating Web services described using WSDL."

  • OASIS Semantic Execution Environment (SEE) Technical Committee. In October 2005, OASIS issued a call for participation in a new Semantic Execution Environment (SEE) TC, chartered to continue work initiated by the WSMX project and several other projects in Europe such as DIP, ASG, and other projects in the area of Semantic Web Services which will start in the coming months. The aim of the SEE TC is to provide guidelines, justifications and implementation directions for an execution environment for Semantic Web services. The resulting architecture will incorporate the application of semantics to service-oriented systems and will provide intelligent mechanisms for consuming Semantic Web services. Previously, in June 2005, DERI announced the submission of the Web Service Modeling Ontology (WSMO), Web Service Modeling Language (WSML), and Web Service Execution Environment (WSMX) specifications to W3C; see bibliographic details in "DERI Announces Submission of Web Services Modeling Ontology (WSMO) to W3C."

  • Other: Celestial Emporium Taxonomic System. Aspiring ontologists and taxonomists pay respect to the most excellent model of classification exemplified in the "Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge," according to Jorge Luis Borges, apud Dr. Franz Kuhn, as published in "The Analytical Language of John Wilkins." According to this Chinese encyclopedia, "All animals are divided into:

    1. those that belong to the Emperor
    2. embalmed ones
    3. those that are trained
    4. suckling pigs
    5. mermaids
    6. fabulous ones
    7. stray dogs
    8. those that are included in this classification
    9. those that tremble as if they were mad
    10. innumerable ones
    11. those drawn with a very fine camel's hair brush
    12. others
    13. those that have just broken a flower vase
    14. those that resemble flies from a distance

  • OWL. The OWL Web Ontology Language "is intended to be used when the information contained in documents needs to be processed by applications, as opposed to situations where the content only needs to be presented to humans. OWL can be used to explicitly represent the meaning of terms in vocabularies and the relationships between those terms. This representation of terms and their interrelationships is called an ontology. OWL has more facilities for expressing meaning and semantics than XML, RDF, and RDF-S, and thus OWL goes beyond these languages in its ability to represent machine interpretable content on the Web. OWL is a revision of the DAML+OIL web ontology language incorporating lessons learned from the design and application of DAML+OIL... The first level above RDF required for the Semantic Web is an ontology language what can formally describe the meaning of terminology used in Web documents. If machines are expected to perform useful reasoning tasks on these documents, the language must go beyond the basic semantics of RDF Schema. The OWL Use Cases and Requirements Document provides more details on ontologies, motivates the need for a Web Ontology Language in terms of six use cases, and formulates design goals, requirements and objectives for OWL. Using RDF and RDF Schema, OWL adds more vocabulary for describing properties and classes: among others, relations between classes (e.g., disjointness), cardinality (e.g., 'exactly one'), equality, richer typing of properties, characteristics of properties (e.g., symmetry), and enumerated classes."

  • OWL-S. In November 2004, W3C acknowledged receipt of an OWL-S submission from France Telecom, Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab at the University of Maryland, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Network Inference, Nokia, SRI International, Stanford University, Toshiba Corporation, and University of Southampton. OWL-S is "an OWL-based Web service ontology, which supplies a core set of markup language constructs for describing the properties and capabilities of Web services in unambiguous, computer-intepretable form. OWL-S markup of Web services will facilitate fuller automation of Web service tasks, such as Web service discovery, execution, composition and interoperation." The OWL-S submission includes, in addition to the eight ontologies in .owl format, two expository documents. OWL-S: Semantic Markup for Web Services describes "the overall structure of the ontology and its three main parts: the service profile for advertising and discovering services; the process model, which gives a detailed description of a service's operation; and the grounding, which provides details on how to interoperate with a service, via messages." The second document, OWL-S' Relationship to Selected Other Technologies, characterizes the relationship of OWL-S to selected Web service and Semantic Web technologies, commenting briefly so as "to clarify the possible uses of OWL-S, and perhaps give some guidance as to its potential place in the realm of activities at W3C." Technologies discussed include WSDL, SOAP, UDDI, BPEL4WS, CDL, ebXML, Grid services, OWL and SWRL, and Web Services Modeling Ontology (WSMO). OWL-S provides a framework of ontologies written in OWL (not a new ontology language, nor a version of OWL), comprised of three main OWL ontologies (Profile, Process, Grounding), a Service Ontology, and four additional ontologies serving supplementary roles (Logical Expression Constructs, List Constructs, Profile Additional Parameters, Actor Ontology)."

  • Protégé. "Protégé is a free, open source ontology editor and knowledge-base framework. It is based on Java, is extensible, and provides a foundation for customized knowledge-based applications. Protégé supports Frames, XML Schema, RDF(S) and OWL."

  • RDF (Resource Description Framework). "The Resource Description Framework (RDF) integrates a variety of applications from library catalogs and world-wide directories to syndication and aggregation of news, software, and content to personal collections of music, photos, and events using XML as an interchange syntax. The RDF specifications provide a lightweight ontology system to support the exchange of knowledge on the Web." According to the RDF Primer, RDF can "be used to represent information about things that can be identified on the Web, even when they cannot be directly retrieved on the Web. Examples include information about items available from on-line shopping facilities (e.g., information about specifications, prices, and availability), or the description of a Web user's preferences for information delivery. RDF is intended for situations in which this information needs to be processed by applications, rather than being only displayed to people. RDF provides a common framework for expressing this information so it can be exchanged between applications without loss of meaning. Since it is a common framework, application designers can leverage the availability of common RDF parsers and processing tools. The ability to exchange information between different applications means that the information may be made available to applications other than those for which it was originally created. RDF is based on the idea of identifying things using Web identifiers (called Uniform Resource Identifiers, or URIs), and describing resources in terms of simple properties and property values. This enables RDF to represent simple statements about resources as a graph of nodes and arcs representing the resources, and their properties and values."

  • RDF Data Access Working Group. "The principal task of the RDF Data Access Working Group is to gather requirements and to define an HTTP and/or SOAP-based protocol for selecting instances of subgraphs from an RDF graph. The group's attention is drawn to the RDF Net API submission. This will involve a language for the query and the use of RDF in some serialization for the returned results. The query langauge may have aspects of a path language similar to XPath (used for XML in XSLT and XQuery) and various RDF experimental path syntaxes."

  • SchemaWeb. SchemaWeb "is a directory of RDF schemas expressed in the RDFS, OWL and DAML+OIL schema languages. SchemaWeb is a place for developers and designers working with RDF. It provides a comprehensive directory of RDF schemas to be browsed and searched by human agents and also an extensive set of web services to be used by software agents that wish to obtain real-time schema information whilst processing RDF data. RDF Schemas are the critical layer of the Semantic Web. They provide the semantic linkage that 'intelligent' software needs to extract value giving information from the raw data defined by RDF triples. SchemaWeb merges the RDF statements from all the schemas registered in the directory into an RDF triples store."

  • Semantic Web. "The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. It is a collaborative effort led by W3C with participation from a large number of researchers and industrial partners. It is based on the Resource Description Framework (RDF), which integrates a variety of applications using XML for syntax and URIs for naming."

  • Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group. "The aim of the Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment (SWBPD) Working Group is to provide hands-on support for developers of Semantic Web applications. With the publication of the revised RDF and the new OWL specification we expect a large number of new application developers. Some evidence of this could be seen at the last International Semantic Web Conference in Florida, which featured a wide range of applications, including 10 submissions to the Semantic Web Challenge. This working group will help application developers by providing them with "best practices" in various forms, ranging from engineering guidelines, ontology / vocabulary repositories to educational material and demo applications. The group maintains a list of Semantic Web applications and demos for promoting the Semantic Web and for use by developers."

  • Semantic Web Interest Group. "W3C's Semantic Web Interest Group (SWIG), previously known as the RDF Interest Group, provides a public forum to discuss the use and development of the Semantic Web." See the Charter for details.

  • Semantic Web Services Framework (SWSF). SWSF includes the Semantic Web Services Language (SWSL) and the Semantic Web Services Ontology (SWSO). "The Semantic Web Services Language (SWSL) is used to specify formal characterizations of Web service concepts and descriptions of individual services. It includes two sublanguages. SWSL-FOL is based on first-order logic (FOL) and is used primarily to express the formal characterization (ontology) of Web service concepts. SWSL-Rules is based on the logic-programming (or 'rules') paradigm and is used to support the use of the service ontology in reasoning and execution environments based on that paradigm. SWSL is a general-purpose language (that is, its features are not service-specific), but it has been designed to address the needs of Semantic Web Services. Also associated with SWSL is a simplified presentation syntax, which reduces to SWSL-FOL. The Semantic Web Services Ontology (SWSO) presents a conceptual model by which Web services can be described, and an axiomatization, or formal characterization, of that model. The complete axiomatization is given in first-order logic, using SWSL-FOL, with a model-theoretic semantics that specifies the precise meaning of the concepts. We call this FOL form of the ontology FLOWS... More specifically, SWSL is a general-purpose logical language, with certain features to make it usable with the basic languages and infrastructure of the Web. These features include URIs, integration of XML built-in types, and XML-compatible namespace and import mechanisms. SWSL includes two layers of expressiveness: SWSL-FOL and SWSL-Rules. SWSL-FOL is a first-order logic, extended with features from HiLog and the frame syntax of F-logic. SWSL-Rules is a full-featured logic programming (LP) language, which includes a novel combination of features from Courteous logic programs, HiLog, and F-logic."

  • Semantic Web Services Initiative (SWSI). "The Semantic Web Services Initiative (SWSI) is an ad hoc initiative of academic and industrial researchers, many of which are involved in DARPA and EU funded research projects. The SWSI mission is threefold:(1) to create infrastructure that combines Semantic Web and Web Services technologies to enable maximal automation and dynamism in all aspects of Web service provision and use, including (but not limited to) discovery, selection, composition, negotiation, invocation, monitoring and recovery; (2) to coordinate ongoing research initiatives in the Semantic Web Services area; (3) to promote the results of SWSI work to academia and industry."

  • SIMILE (Semantic Interoperability of Metadata and Information in unLike Environments). "SIMILE is a joint project conducted by the W3C, MIT Libraries, and MIT CSAIL. SIMILE seeks to enhance inter-operability among digital assets, schemata/vocabularies/ontologies, metadata, and services. A key challenge is that the collections which must inter-operate are often distributed across individual, community, and institutional stores. We seek to be able to provide end-user services by drawing upon the assets, schemata/vocabularies/ontologies, and metadata held in such stores."

  • Simple Knowledge Organisation System (SKOS). "SKOS is an area of work developing specifications and standards to support the use of knowledge organisation systems (KOS) such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies, terminologies, glossaries and other types of controlled vocabulary within the framework of the semantic web. The SKOS Core Vocabulary is an application of the Resource Description Framework (RDF), that can be used to express a concept scheme as an RDF graph. This document is a guide using the SKOS Core Vocabulary, for readers who already have a basic understanding of RDF concepts."

  • SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language. The SPARQL Query Language for RDF document describes the query language part of the SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language for easy access to RDF stores. It is designed to meet the requirements and design objectives described in RDF Data Access Use Cases and Requirements. RDF is a flexible and extensible way to represent information about World Wide Web resources. It is used to represent, among other things, personal information, social networks, metadata about digital artifacts, as well as provide a means of integration over disparate sources of information. A standardized query language for RDF data with multiple implementations offers developers and end users a way to write and to consume the results of queries across this wide range of information. Used with a common protocol, applications can access and combine information from across the Web."

  • SUPER (Semantics Utilised for Process management within and between EnteRprises). "Founded on ontologies, Semantic Web technology provides scalable methods and tools for the machine-readable representation of knowledge. Semantic Web Services (SWS) make use of Semantic Web technology to support the automated discovery, substitution, composition, and execution of software components (Web Services). BPM is a natural application for Semantic Web and SWS technology, because the latter provide large-scale, standardized knowledge representation techniques for executable artefacts. Business Process Management focuses on managing the execution of IT-supported business operations from a business expert's process view rather than from a technical perspective. The underlying motivation for BPM is that organizations need to continuously align their running business processes, as executed within multiple heterogeneous systems, with the required processes as derived from business needs... The ambitous goal of the SUPER project is to combine Semantic Web services and Business Process Management, and develop one consolidated technology. Specifically, we will create horizontal ontologies which describe business processes; vertical telecommunications oriented ontologies to support domain-specific annotation for our chosen economic sector; and a suite of tools based on the results of the SEKT and DIP IPs.

  • SweetRules. 'Semantic Web Business Rules'. SweetRules is described as the first open source platform for semantic web business rules. SweetRules is designed around the Rule Markup Language (RuleML), an emerging XML/RDF standard for semantic web rules, and supports the OWL standard for semantic web ontologies. SweetRules also supports the closely related Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL), essentially an expressive subset of RuleML rules. The RuleML Initiative is working on an XML-based markup language "that permits Web-based rule storage, interchange, retrieval, and firing/application. RuleML covers the entire rule spectrum, from derivation rules to transformation rules to reaction rules. RuleML can thus specify queries and inferences in Web ontologies, mappings between Web ontologies, and dynamic Web behaviors of workflows, services, and agents. RuleML is about rule interoperation between industry standards (such as JSR 94, SQL'99, OCL, BPMI, WSFL, XLang, XQuery, RQL, OWL, DAML-S, and ISO Prolog) as well as established systems (CLIPS, Jess, ILOG JRules, Blaze Advisor, Versata, MQWorkFlow, BizTalk, Savvion, etc.)."

  • SWRL: A Semantic Web Rule Language Combining OWL and RuleML. In May 2004, W3C acknowledged receipt of a Member Submission from the National Research Council of Canada, Network Inference, and Stanford University for SWRL: A Semantic Web Rule Language Combining OWL and RuleML. The submission has been made in association with the Joint US/EU ad hoc Agent Markup Language Committee. The SWRL submission package contains three components in addition to the principal prose document: (1) an RDF Schema partially describing the RDF Concrete Syntax of SWRL; (2) an OWL ontology partially describing the RDF Concrete Syntax of SWRL; (3) an XML Schema for the SWRL XML Concrete Syntax. The document "contains a proposal for a Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL) based on a combination of the OWL DL and OWL Lite sublanguages of the OWL Web Ontology Language with the Unary/Binary Datalog RuleML sublanguages of the Rule Markup Language. SWRL includes a high-level abstract syntax for Horn-like rules in both the OWL DL and OWL Lite sublanguages of OWL. A model-theoretic semantics is given to provide the formal meaning for OWL ontologies including rules written in this abstract syntax. An XML syntax based on RuleML and the OWL XML Presentation Syntax as well as an RDF concrete syntax based on the OWL RDF/XML exchange syntax are also given, along with several examples."

  • W3C Rule Interchange Format Working Group. This WG was chartered "to produce a core rule language plus extensions which together allow rules to be translated between rule languages and thus transferred between rule systems. The Working Group will have to balance the needs of a diverse community — including Business Rules and Semantic Web users — specifying extensions for which it can articulate a consensus design and which are sufficiently motivated by use cases. Because of the great variety in rule languages and rule engine technologies, this common format will take the form of a core language to be used along with a set of standard and non-standard extensions. The Working Group is chartered to first establish the extensible core and possibly a set of extensions, and then (in Phase 2) to begin to specify additional extensions based on user requirements. This format (or language) will function as an interlingua into which established and new rule languages can be mapped, allowing rules written for one application to be published, shared, and re-used in other applications and other rule engines.... The WG's mission is part of W3C's larger goal of enabling the sharing of information in forms suited to machine processing, as seen in several application areas presented at the 2005 W3C Workshop on Rule Languages for Interoperability... Rules provide a powerful business logic representation, as business rules, in many modern information systems. Rules are often the technology of choice for creating maintainable adapters between information systems. As part of the Semantic Web architecture, rules can extend or complement the OWL Web Ontology Language to more thoroughly cover a broader set of applications, with knowledge being encoded in OWL or rules or both."

  • W3C Web-Ontology (WebOnt) Working Group. This WG was chartered as part of the W3C Semantic Web Activity to "focus on the development of a language to extend the semantic reach of [the then-] current XML and RDF meta-data efforts. working group will focus on building the ontological layer and the formal underpinnings thereof. [Referenced] language layers are crucial to the emerging Semantic Web, as they allow the explicit representation of term vocabularies and the relationships between entities in these vocabularies. In this way, they go beyond XML, RDF and RDF-S in allowing greater machine readable content on the web. A further necessity is for such languages to be based on a clear semantics (denotational and/or axiomatic) to allow tool developers and language designers to unambiguously specify the expected meaning of the semantic content when rendered in the Web Ontology syntax. Specifically, the Web Ontology Working Group is chartered to design a Web ontology language that builds on current Web languages that allow the specification of classes and subclasses, properties and subproperties (such as RDFS), but which extends these constructs to allow more complex relationships between entities including: means to limit the properties of classes with respect to number and type, means to infer that items with various properties are members of a particular class, a well-defined model of property inheritance, and similar semantic extensions to the base languages."

  • Web Service Modeling Ontology (WSMO). "SDK is a cluster of three major European research projects in the area of Semantic Web and Semantic Web Service known as: SEKT, DIP, and Knowledge Web. Through close cooperation these projects aim to strengthen European research and industry through world-wide standardisation. Each project targets certain aspects of the Semantic Web, such as building the infrastructure, developing and exploiting Semantic web-based knowledge technologies and supporting the transition process of Ontology technology from Academia to Industry. The SDK WSMO working group, through alignment between key European research projects in the Semantic Web Service area, furthers the development of Semantic Web Services and works toward further standardization in the area of Semantic Web Service languages and to work toward a common architecture and platform for Semantic Web Services."

Hosted By
OASIS - Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards

Sponsored By

IBM Corporation
ISIS Papyrus
Microsoft Corporation
Oracle Corporation


XML Daily Newslink
Receive daily news updates from Managing Editor, Robin Cover.

 Newsletter Subscription
 Newsletter Archives
Globe Image

Document URI:  —  Legal stuff
Robin Cover, Editor: