BLC 2010

Logics and Ontology Engineering
Ulrike Sattler
"Ontologies" are being developed as logical theories capturing domain knowledge, and used in a variety of applications, most prominently in clinical and life sciences. They are used to design and maintain terminologies, to base information systems on, and to provide flexible access to data. Description Logics, i.e., decidable fragments of first order logic, are used as the basis for ontology languages such as OWL, and the standardisation of these ontology languages has led to an increasing number of applications and tool developments, and to an increased interest in automated reasoning services. I will briefly introduce OWL and describe its relationship with other logics, and then describe some of the recent developments in automated reasoning for ontology engineering. On the one hand, progress was made regarding standard reasoning tasks: e.g., we have seen the development of new reasoning techniques to cope with extremely large, modestly complex theories and to answer queries against databases w.r.t. ontologies. On the other hand, the "serious" usage of ontologies requires ever more and powerful non-standard reasoning services such as the extraction of modules or the explanation of entailments from an ontology. I will assume a basic knowledge of first order or modal logic, and hope to provide an interesting overview of this lively area of logic-based knowledge representation.