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School of Computer Science

Description Logics, Ontologies, and Automated Reasoning

Ontologies are essential components of knowledge management systems, distributed computing environments such as Web Services, and applications such as e-Commerce and e-Science. Description Logics provide the formal foundation for modern ontology languages (such as the W3C's OWL Web Ontology Language), and Description Logic reasoners implement powerful inference algorithms for these logics. The group has an international reputation for its work on designing ontology languages, Description Logics, and reasoning systems; it plays a leading role in the development and standardisation of ontology languages, in the design of decision procedures for the underlying Description Logics, in the investigation of the computational complexity of these logics, and in the development of highly optimised reasoning systems based on these procedures. The FaCT and FaCT++ systems developed by the group are widely recognised as having revolutionised the design of description and modal logic reasoners, making the use of languages such as OWL feasible in large scale applications. The design of these systems has been imitated in almost all modern Description Logic reasoners, and has been commercialised in the Cerebra system. The group continues to investigate, design, and build the infrastructure needed for the development and deployment of ontologies in advanced information systems in medical informatics, bioinformatics and hypermedia.