OWL 1.1


The W3C Web Ontology Language (OWL) is playing an important role in an increasing number and range of applications, and is the focus of research into tools, reasoning techniques, formal foundations and language extensions. This level of experience with OWL means that the community is now in a good position to discuss how OWL be applied, adapted and extended to fulfil current and future application demands. In particular, the initial design of OWL was conservative in several ways: it excluded constructs that did not have considerable support from within the W3C Web Ontology Working Group, or for which effective reasoning methods were not known or expected to be shortly known.

At the First OWL: Experiences and Directions Workshop (held in Galway, Ireland, on November 11-12 2005), the participants identified several restrictions of OWL that are problematic in many applications, and that have been rendered unnecessary by recent theoretical advances in logic-based Knowledge Representation. As a result of the workshop, an extension of OWL-DL was proposed. This extension, called OWL 1.1, is grounded on the above mentioned theoretical advances, has a well defined model-theoretic semantics, and is motivated by application requirements. The builders of the major Semantic Web reasoners, namely. RACER, FaCT++, Pellet and Cerebra expressed a committment to support OWL 1.1 in the near future.

W3C OWL Working Group

OWL 1.1 became a W3C Member Submission. The OWL W3C Working Group is chartered to take the OWL 1.1 specification and produce a new W3C recommendation for an updated OWL. The working group maintains drafts of the documents that it is producing for the new recommendation. Pointers to these documents can be found on the Working Group's home page.

OWL 1.1 Document Index (now outdated)

Structural Specification and Functional-Style Syntax
MOF-Based Metamodel
Model-Theoretic Semantics
XML Syntax
Mapping to RDF Graphs
Tractable Fragments

Comments on the documents are welcome, but it is probably better to comment on the documents that are being updated by the Working Group, Please send comments to public-owl-dev@w3.org, which has a public archive, or as directed in the Working Group versions of the documents.

Other Resources

The Wiki pages at http://code.google.com/p/owl1-1/w/list include information about OWL 1.1 tools, ontologies, alternative syntaxes and discussions related to ongoing standardisation efforts.

The specification of OWL 1.1, as well as other possible extensions of OWL DL, are currently being discussed through the above mentioned public-owl-dev@w3.org mailing list. The usage of the old owl@lists.mindswap.org list has been discontinued; the archive is, however, still available.