Semantic Web (CSC688 P), Fall 2011
Course schedule

Ubbo Visser (Instructor)   Saminda Abeyruwan (Research Assistant)

Updated on November 29, 2011

slides1, slides2, slides3, slides4, slides5, slides6, and slides7 final versions are on-line. If there are typos in these slides please let us know.

1  Course

This sections provides the topics that will be covered during the semester. We have divided the topics into three sections: Part 1 (Introduction), Part 2 (Understanding) and Part 3 (Design). In Part 1, we will introduce Semantic Web and technologies. We will also provide a quick overview of the underlying technologies so that students get early hands on experiences with ontology construction and implementation using tools and APIs. In Part 2, we will provide theoretical and practical aspects of knowledge representation. In Part 3, we will talk about designing and debugging of ontologies. At the end of the course, participants are expected to present a project related to Semantic Web technologies.

1.1  Part 1 (Introduction)

  1. Introduction to Semantic Web/ontologies/applications/research
  2. Basic introduction to logic
  3. Fast overview of DL/IRI/XML/RDF/RDFS/Ontologies/Reasoning (To get started with implementation using Protege1, Jena API2 and OWL API3)

1.2  Part 2 (Understanding)

  1. Description logic basics
  3. Ontologies SROIQD
  4. Basic reasoning

1.3  Part 3 (Design)

  1. Ontology engineering/justification/entailment tools
  2. Project week

2  Schedule

Lec.Week(s)TopicRequired readingAssignmentDue
1 slides11 (1)Introduction to SW; ontologies/app./research[BLHL01]; Ch. 1, and 9 (optional but strongly suggested); {1} Download-
2 slides2, slides32 (1)Basic introduction to logicAppendix C, and B (optional but strongly suggested)-{1} Sep 16th
3 slides4,3-4 (2)Overview of IRI, XML, RDF, RDFS, ont., and reasoning[Pol10]; Appendix A; Ch. 2, 4; family.pdf, family.owl {2} Download-
4 slides55-6 (2)DL [BHS03]; Ch. 5Project proposal 11/10/2011 -
5 slides59 (1)Ont. SROIQD [HKS06];-{2} Oct 4th
6 slides510 (1)Basic reasoningCh. 5 {3} Download-
7 slides67-8 (2)SPARQL/OWL DL[PS08]; Ch. 7.1; Src SrcMvn-{3} Nov 15th
8 slides711 (1)Ont. engineering, justification, and entailment toolsOwlSight; [KPHS08]   Ch. 8--
912 (1)Project week-Project presentations-

3  Required book

We use the Foundations of Semantic Web Technologies, Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2009 [HKR09] as the official text book of the course.

4  Assignments

There will be four mandatory assignments. These assignments are mostly based on the papers, chapters and sections available in the required reading section. Problems will be either theoretical or implementation-based (using ontology tools or API’s). In addition to this, there will be an optional extra credit problem for the determine students. Assignments have variable due dates, and the due dates are available in course web site.

5  Grading

Final exam (open book) 30%, project 40% and assignments 30% plus optional extra credit sections.

6  Potential final projects

Every participants is expected to present a final project at the end of the semester. We strongly recommend that the project is chosen related to your research interests. Following is a list of several of our suggestions:

  1. An authoring of an ontology and a discussion about potential applications.
  2. Question-Answering system based on Semantic Web technologies (theoretical, or an application).
  3. Modularizing ontologies; how to integrate big ontologies to obtain better services (theoretical, or an application).
  4. Probabilistic ontology; how can an ontology be useful in noisy situations.
  5. Learning from data; Formal Concept Analysis, Bayesian and Markov networks.
  6. Statistical relational learning.
  7. Distributed semantics; when there are billions of triples, potential ways to do better inferencing and querying.
  8. Different performance comparisons on reasoners, triple stores, etc. and surveys.
  9. Can we adapt Apache Cassandra/Hadoop projects for Semantic Web?
  10. Ontology visualization or justification visualization.
  11. Survey on algorithms etc. related to reasoning, justification etc.
  12. Any other project that is relevant to Semantic Web (please come and talk to us).

In order to keep track on the progress of the project, students are asked to present the current state of the project in two successive intervals. This includes the proposal, and the mid-term progress. More details will be provided during the lectures, and on blackboard.

7  Other sources

  1. Knowledge Representation for the Semantic Web, Pascal Hitzler, Markus Krötzsch, Sebastian Rudolph, 2011.
  2. The Semantic Web: Ontologies and OWL, Ian Horrocks, 2008.
  3. Automated Reasoning, Geoff Sutcliffe, 2009.

8  Project Proposal (Due Data: 11/10/2011)

9  Project proposal supplemental

10  Project presentations schedule

  1. 29th Nov (Room 411: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm)
  2. 1st Dec (Room 411: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm)
  3. 2nd Dec (Room 311: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm)

Required reading

Franz Baader, Ian Horrocks, and Ulrike Sattler. Description logics as ontology languages for the semantic web. In Festschrift in honor of Jörg Siekmann, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, pages 228–248. Springer-Verlag, 2003.
Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler, and Ora Lassila. The Semantic Web. Scientific American, 284(5):34–43, May 2001.
Pascal Hitzler, Markus Krötzsch, and Sebastian Rudolph. Foundations of Semantic Web Technologies. Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2009.
Ian Horrocks, Oliver Kutz, and Ulrike Sattler. The even more irresistible SROIQ. In In KR, pages 57–67. AAAI Press, 2006.
Aditya Kalyanpur, Bijan Parsia, Matthew Horridge, and Evren Sirin. Finding all justifications of OWL DL entailments. pages 267–280. 2008.
Axel Polleres. Semantic web technologies: From theory to standards. In 21st National Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science (AICS2010), Galway, Ireland, August 2010. Review paper (appeared in the informal conference proceedings).
Eric Prud’hommeaux and Andy Seaborne. Sparql query language for rdf., 2008.


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