Foundations of Semantic Web Technologies

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ISBN 9781420090505
Cat# C9050



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ISBN 9781439890028
Cat# KE14659



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    • Presents the latest developments in Semantic Web standards, covering RDF, RDF Schema, OWL 2, RIF, and SPARQL
    • Provides a thorough treatment of formal semantics, including proof theory
    • Explores OWL querying, the relationship between rules and OWL, and ontology engineering and applications
    • Separates syntax and language from in-depth treatments of the formal foundations
    • Facilitates self-study with appendices on preliminary background knowledge
    • Includes many exercises with solutions in the back of the book
    • Offers updates, errata, slides for teaching, and links to further resources at



    With more substantial funding from research organizations and industry, numerous large-scale applications, and recently developed technologies, the Semantic Web is quickly emerging as a well-recognized and important area of computer science. While Semantic Web technologies are still rapidly evolving, Foundations of Semantic Web Technologies focuses on the established foundations in this area that have become relatively stable over time. It thoroughly covers basic introductions and intuitions, technical details, and formal foundations.

    The book concentrates on Semantic Web technologies standardized by the World Wide Web Consortium: RDF and SPARQL enable data exchange and querying, RDFS and OWL provide expressive ontology modeling, and RIF supports rule-based modeling. The text also describes methods for specifying, querying, and reasoning with ontological information. In addition, it explores topics that are clearly beyond foundations, such as tools, applications, and engineering aspects.

    Written by highly respected researchers with a deep understanding of the material, this text centers on the formal specifications of the subject and supplies many pointers that are useful for employing Semantic Web technologies in practice.

    The book has an accompanying website with supplemental information.

    Table of Contents

    The Quest for Semantics

    Building Models

    Calculating with Knowledge

    Exchanging Information

    Semanic Web Technologies


    Simple Ontologies in RDF and RDF Schema

    Introduction to RDF

    Syntax for RDF

    Advanced Features

    Simple Ontologies in RDF Schema

    Encoding of Special Data Structures

    An Example

    RDF Formal Semantics

    Why Semantics?

    Model-Theoretic Semantics for RDF(S)

    Syntactic Reasoning with Deduction Rules

    The Semantic Limits of RDF(S)


    Ontologies in OWL

    OWL Syntax and Intuitive Semantics

    OWL Species

    The Forthcoming OWL 2 Standard

    OWL Formal Semantics

    Description Logics

    Model-Theoretic Semantics of OWL

    Automated Reasoning with OWL


    Ontologies and Rules

    What Is a Rule?

    Datalog as a First-Order Rule Language

    Combining Rules with OWL DL

    Rule Interchange Format (RIF)

    Query Languages

    SPARQL: Query Language for RDF

    Conjunctive Queries for OWL DL


    Ontology Engineering

    Requirement Analysis

    Ontology Creation: Where Is Your Knowledge?

    Quality Assurance of Ontologies

    Modular Ontologies: Divide and Conquer

    Software Tools


    Web Data Exchange and Syndication

    Semantic Wikis

    Semantic Portals

    Semantic Metadata in Data Formats

    Semantic Web in Life Sciences

    Ontologies for Standardizations

    RIF Applications

    Toward Future Applications


    Extensible Markup Language (XML)

    XML in a Nutshell

    Syntax of XML

    XML Schema

    Set Theory

    Basic Notions

    Set Operations

    Relations and Functions




    Proof Theory and Decidability

    Solutions to the Exercises



    A Summary, Exercises, and Further Reading appear at the end of most chapters.

    Author Bio(s)

    Pascal Hitzler works in the Kno.e.sis Center at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, USA.

    Markus Krötzsch and Sebastian Rudolph work in the institute AIFB at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany.

    Editorial Reviews

    A 2010 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

    … The nine chapters of the book guide the reader through the major foundational languages for the semantic Web and highlight the formal semantics. … the book has very interesting supporting material and exercises, is oriented to W3C standards, and provides the necessary foundations for the semantic Web. It will be easy to follow by the computer scientist who already has a basic background on semantic Web issues; it will also be helpful for both self-study and teaching purposes. I recommend this book primarily as a complementary textbook for a graduate or undergraduate course in a computer science or a Web science academic program.
    Computing Reviews, February 2010

    This book is unique in several respects. It contains an in-depth treatment of all the major foundational languages for the Semantic Web and provides a full treatment of the underlying formal semantics, which is central to the Semantic Web effort. It is also the very first textbook that addresses the forthcoming W3C recommended standards OWL 2 and RIF. Furthermore, the covered topics and underlying concepts are easily accessible for the reader due to a clear separation of syntax and semantics … I am confident this book will be well received and play an important role in training a larger number of students who will seek to become proficient in this growing discipline.
    —From the Foreword, Amit Sheth, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, USA

    Downloads / Updates

    Resource OS Platform Updated Description Instructions
    Cross Platform November 09, 2009 Website with PowerPoint slides for instructors click on