A Controlled Natural Language Layer for the Semantic Web

  • Rolf Schwitter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3809)


In this paper, I will show how a controlled natural language can be used to describe knowledge for the Semantic Web and discuss the formal properties of this language. At the first glance, the proposed controlled natural language looks like full English and can therefore be easily written and understood by non-specialists. However, its built-in grammatical and lexical restrictions, which are enforced by an intelligent authoring tool, guarantee that the language can be directly translated into description logic programs, i.e. the intersection of an expressive description logic with function-free logic programs. The controlled natural language can be used to make assertional and terminological statements as well as to specify rules for reasoning with the resulting assertional and terminological knowledge.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abdennadher, S., Bry, F., Eisinger, N., Geisler, T.: The Theorem Prover Satchmo: Strategies, Heuristics, and Applications (System Description). Research Report PMS-FB-1995-3, May, Institute for Informatics, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany (1995)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Antoniou, G., van Harmelen, F.: A Semantic Web Primer. MIT Press, Cambridge (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Berners-Lee, T.: What the Semantic Web isn’t but can represent, (September 17, 1998),
  4. 4.
    Brickley, D., Guha, R.V.: 2004. RDF Vocabulary Description Language 1.0: RDF Schema. W3C Recommendation (February 10, 2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    de Bruijn, J., Polleres, A., Lara, R., Fensel, D.: WSML Deliverable, D20.1 v0.2, OWL. WSML Working Draft (May 25, 2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fuchs, N.E., Schwertel, U., Schwitter, R.: Attempto controlled english – not just another logic specification language. In: Flener, P. (ed.) LOPSTR 1998. LNCS, vol. 1559, p. 1. Springer, Heidelberg (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Grosof, B.N., Horrocks, I., Volz, R., Decker, S.: Description logic programs: Combining logic programs with description logic. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2003), pp. 48–57 (2003)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Horrocks, I., Patel-Schneider, P.F.: Three theses of representation in the semantic web. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2003), pp. 39–47 (2003)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Horrocks, I., Patel-Schneider, P.F.: A proposal for an OWL rules language. In: Proceedings of the Thirteenth International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2004), pp. 723–731 (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Marchiori, M.: Towards a People’s Web: Metalog. In: Proceedings of the IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence (WI 2004), pp. 320–326. IEEE Press, Los Alamitos (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Manola, F., Miller, E.: 2004. RDF Primer. W3C Recommendation (February 10, 2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Manthey, R., Bry, F.: Satchmo: a theorem prover implemented in prolog. In: Lusk, E., Overbeek, R. (eds.) Proceedings of CADE-1988. LNCS, vol. 310, pp. 415–434. Springer, Heidelberg (1988)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Miller, E., Swick, R., Brickley, D., McBride, B., Handler, J., Schreiber, G., Connolly, D.: 2005. Semantic Web. W3C, Technology and Society, Semantic Web Activity (August 19, 2005)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Smith, M.K., Welty, C., Mc Guinness, D.L.: 2004. OWL Web Ontology Language. Guide. W3C Recommendation (February 10, 2004)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Schwitter, R., Ljungberg, A., Hood, D.: ECOLE – A Look-ahead Editor for a Controlled Language. In: Controlled Translation, Proceedings of EAMT-CLAW 2003, Dublin City University, Ireland, May 15-17, pp. 141–150 (2003)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Schwitter, R., Tilbrook, M.: Controlled Natural Language meets the Semantic Web. In: Asudeh, A., Paris, C., Wan, S. (eds.) Proceedings of the Australasian Language Technology Workshop 2004, Macquarie University, pp. 55–62 (2004)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Volz, R.: Web Ontology Reasoning with Logic Databases. PhD thesis, AIFB, Karlsruhe (2004)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolf Schwitter
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Language TechnologyMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations