Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

OWL: Web Ontology Language

  • Sean BechhoferEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1073


Web ontology language


The Web Ontology Language OWL is a language for defining ontologies on the Web. An OWL Ontology describes a domain in terms of classes, properties and individuals and may include rich descriptions of the characteristics of those objects. OWL ontologies can be used to describe the properties of Web resources. Where earlier representation languages have been used to develop tools and ontologies for specific user-communities in areas such as sciences, health and e-commerce, they were not necessarily designed to be compatible with the World Wide Web, or more specifically the Semantic Web, as is the case with OWL.

Features of OWL are a collection of expressive operators for concept description including boolean operators (intersection, union and complement), plus explicit quantifiers for properties and relationships; the ability to specify characteristics of properties, such as transitivity or domains and ranges; a well defined semantics...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Baader F, Calvanese D, McGuinness DL, Nardi D, Patel-Schneider PF, editors. The description logic handbook: theory, implementation, and applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2003.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Horrocks I, Patel-Schneider PF, van Harmelen F. From SHIQ and RDF to OWL: the making of a web ontology language. J Web Semant. 2003;1(1):7–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    World Wide Web Consortium. Web Ontology Language (OWL). W3C Recommendation. Available at: http://www.w3.org/2004/OWL/.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ManchesterManchesterUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Avigdor Gal
    • 1
  1. 1.Fac. of IE & Mgmt.Technion--Israel Inst. of TechnologyHaifaIsrael