OIL: An Ontology Infrastructure for the Semantic Web


have investigated them. More recently, the notion of an ontology is becoming widespread in fields such as intelligent information integration, cooperative information systems, information retrieval, electronic commerce, and knowledge management. Ontologies are becoming popular largely because of what they promise: a shared and common understanding that reaches across people and application systems. Currently, ontologies applied to the World Wide Web are creating the Semantic Web.1 Originally, the Web grew mainly around HTML, which provides a standard for structuring documents that browsers can translate in a canonical way to render those documents. On the one hand, HTML’s simplicity helped spur the Web’s fast growth; on the other, its simplicity seriously hampered more advanced Web applications in many domains and for many tasks. This led to XML (see Figure 1), which lets developers define arbitrary domainand task-specific extensions (even HTML appears as an XML application— XHTML). XML is basically a defined way to provide a serialized syntax for tree structures—it is an important first step toward building a Semantic Web, where application programs have direct access to data semantics. The resource description framework2 has taken an important additional step by defining a syntactical convention and a simple data model for representing machine-processable data semantics. RDF is a standard for the Web metadata the World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3c.org/rdf) develops, and it defines a data model based on triples: object, property, and value. The RDF Schema3 takes a step further into a richer representation formalism and introduces basic ontological modeling primitives into the Web. With RDFS, we can talk about classes, subclasses, subproperties, domain and range restrictions of properties, and so forth in a Web-based context. We took RDFS as a starting point and enriched it into a full-fledged Web-based ontology language called OIL.4 We included these aspects:

DOI: 10.1109/5254.920598

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@article{Fensel2001OILAO, title={OIL: An Ontology Infrastructure for the Semantic Web}, author={Dieter Fensel and Frank van Harmelen and Ian Horrocks and Deborah L. McGuinness and Peter F. Patel-Schneider}, journal={IEEE Intelligent Systems}, year={2001}, volume={16}, pages={38-45} }