RDF and the DARPA DAML effort

Colleagues in the RDF community-
  For a while now I know some of you have been hearing about "DAML" 
and wondering what it was about, and those following the semantic-web 
discussions know a lot is shaking there as well.  At Dan B's request, 
let me try to make it clear where things stand.
  DAML, which stands for the "DARPA Agent Markup Language" is an 
initiative by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency which 
focuses on helping to create web languages to make more content 
readable by machines so that "agents" (very loosely defined) and 
other web programs/users will have much more content to process.  The 
extreme, of course, is where web-based resources have all their 
content in some machine-readable logic - and we see the emergence of 
the "semantic web."
  DAML (see the home page at http://www.daml.org/) grows out of 
various research traditions including the SHOE (Simple HTML Ontology 
Extensions) and various European projects such as Ontobroker and OIL 
(Ontology Integration Langauge). In fact, the EC is considering an 
initiative in semantic web issues themselves, and we hope they will 
work with the US DAML initiative.
  The reason I bring this up to this mailing list is simple - in 
working on the language, and particularly interacting with the MIT 
researchers who are also involved in the W3C , we have realized that 
RDF (RDF-Schema to be precise) is a very good language to base our 
work in.  To this end, we are now working with Dan Brickley and 
others to make sure we coordinate efforts in RDF-logics and DAML 
(and, we hope, with the eventual EC effort and any other 
international groups interested in working with us).
  Here is a quick summary of current DAML plans:

1) There appears to be significant overlap between RDF-S, SHOE, OIL 
and a couple of other languages we've looked at.  This overlap looks 
to provide a relatively stable base on which an "ontology" language 
could be created.  This would allow web resources to be marked up to 
point at ontology pages using the various name space and URI 
mechanism for naming.  Thus, on my web page I might have the 
information that I am the facilitator of some meeting, and on some 
ontology page there would be the definition as to what a facilitator 
is (a person, a member of the group, the holder of some 
responsibility, etc.)
  Within the DAML project we are calling this core "DAML-O" (for 
Daml-ontology) and wer will be releasing a draft in the next few 
weeks.  DAML-O will be defined in RDF-S.

2) The more interesting, and far more complex, task comes in when we 
want to base these ontologies on a formal model, as well as to allow 
inference rules and "logic" on the web.  This is the longer term goal 
of the DAML project, and we hope to develop DAML-L (for DAML-Logic) 
as we go along - hopefully in concert with other RDF-based logic 
development.  Again, we are working with Dan and others to be sure we 
try to coordinate these efforts.  A working language for the use of 
DAML participants is our goal for about 6 months from now, and we 
will also release this draft when it is ready.

3) As we go along, we hope to both develop new tools for DAML and to 
try to take public domain RDF tools and use them for DAML.  We hope 
to release many such tools and the like through the DAML web site. We 
welcome others to suggest RDF tools that DAML users might be 
interested in, and for all to use the tools we make available (when 
we can).

  I hope this helps explain what we are doing in this DARPA effort and 
look forward to interaction with the RDF community as we go this new 
and exciting route.

  -Jim Hendler, DARPA
p.s. DAML is a group effort with many participants.  See our web page 
for a complete list.  Of special note, Tim Berners-Lee, Ralph Swick, 
Dan Connolly and Lynn Stein have been working hard on developing the 
language, Deborah McGuinness and Stefan Decker on helping us keep it 
compatible with the OIL effort, and Ora Lassila for convincing us to 
use RDF in the first place...

Prof. James Hendler		Chief Scientist
DARPA/ISO			703-696-2238 (phone)
3701 N. Fairfax Dr.		703-696-2201 (Fax)
Arlington, VA 22203		jhendler@darpa.mil

Received on Monday, 11 September 2000 14:42:05 UTC