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W3C Web Ontology (WebOnt) WG is open

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 13:02:54 -0500
Message-ID: <3B7967CE.BB16E642@w3.org>
To: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Following on our February plans...

  The current international collaboration
  between DAML and OIL groups on a Web ontology layer is
  expected to become a part of this W3C Activity. 

-- Semantic Web Activity Statement

... we have created a new working group:


This Working Group, part of the Semantic Web Activity, will focus
on the development of a language to extend the semantic reach
of current XML and RDF meta-data efforts. In particular, in a
recent talk on the Semantic Web, Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the
W3C, outlined the necessary layers for developing applications
that depend on an understanding of logical content, not just
human-readable presentation. This working group will focus on
building the ontological layer and the formal underpinnings

Such 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 the following component:

     A web ontology language, that builds on current web
     languges 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. 

     The March 2001 DAML+OIL specification, discussed in some
     detail in section 1.1 below serves as an example of an
     ontology langauge - a comparison of DAML+OIL to XML,
     XML-schema, and RDF-Schema is available.

Furthermore, the following general requirements must be met by
the work produced by this Working Group:

     The products of the WebONT group should not presuppose
     any particular approach to either ontology design or
     ontology use. In addition, the language must support the
     development and linking of ontologies together, in a
     web-like manner. 
     The products of this working group must be supported by a
     formal semantics allowing language designers, tool builders,
     and other "experts" to be able to precisely understand the
     meaning and "legal" inferences for expressions in the
     The language will use the XML syntax and datatypes
     whereever possible, and will be designed for maximum
     compatibility with XML and RDF language conventions. 

The Working Group shall start by evaluating the technical
solutions proposed in the DAML+OIL draft. If in this process the
Working Group finds solutions that are agreed to be
improvements over solutions suggested by DAML+OIL, those
improved solutions should be used.

The Working Group will be chaired by Jim Hendler (Univ of
Maryland) .

The remainder of this section describes the requirements and
deliverables in more detail.



--        W3C Web Ontology Working Group Charter
Mon, 13 Aug 2001 22:47:25 GMT

See also the group home page

  W3C Web Ontology (WebOnt) Working Group

for background documents, information about joining, etc.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Tuesday, 14 August 2001 14:02:55 UTC

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