Logics and Ontology Engineering
"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.