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The Web Ontology working group (for short WebOnt) is one of the two working groups (along with RDF Core) that form the «Semantic Web Activity» of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Jérôme Euzenat and Jean-François Baget (from the EXMO team) are the INRIA representatives among 53 other members of WebOnt.
WebOnt's goal is to design an ontology language designed for the World Wide Web. The language proposed (named OWL - a somewhat disordered acronym of Web Ontology Language) is a description logics based language (in the continuity of DAML+OIL), build on top of the other language designed in W3C semantic web activity: RDF.
Using an XML syntax, this language allows the specification of classes and subclasses, properties and subproperties (as in RDFS), but 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. As RDF/RDFS, OWL is grounded on formal set theoretic semantics.
The normative definition of the OWL Web Ontology Language 1.0 includes 6 documents:
The elaboration of these documents is a collective work where members communicate along three different media:
For Exmo, the reason for joining WebOnt are:
INRIA benefits for a core competence on the OWL and RDF languages and can hope to better transfer results of its research activity to the public semantic web infrastructure.
INRIA is pleased to see the publication of OWL and RDF as W3C
Recommendations. They will provide standard and stable grounds for
our developments on searching Web resources - through the CORESE
search engine - and on adapting knowledge sources - through the
Transmorpher transformation engine and alignment tools. INRIA
already takes advantage of available API for OWL and RDF, and
expects these developments to boost the Semantic Web deployment.
-- Gérard Giraudon, Director for Development and Industrial Relations, INRIA (from the RDF/OWL release testimonials)
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