Enabling knowledge representation on the Web by extending RDF Schema

Jeen Broekstra, Michel Klein*, Stefan Decker, Dieter Fensel, Frank Van Harmelen, Ian Horrocks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recently, a widespread interest has emerged in using ontologies on the Web. Resource Description Framework Schema (RDFS) is a basic tool that enables users to define vocabulary, structure and constraints for expressing meta data about Web resources. However, it includes no provisions for formal semantics, and its expressivity is not sufficient for full-fledged ontological modeling and reasoning. In this paper, we will show how RDFS can be extended to include a more expressive knowledge representation language. That, in turn, would enrich it with the required additional expressivity and the semantics of that language. We do this by describing the ontology language Ontology Inference Layer (OIL) as an extension of RDFS. An important advantage to our approach is that it ensures maximal sharing of meta data on the Web: even partial interpretation of an OIL ontology by less semantically aware processors will yield a correct partial interpretation of the meta data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-634
Number of pages26
JournalComputer Networks (1999)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2002


  • DAML
  • Knowledge representation
  • OIL
  • Ontologies
  • RDF
  • Semantic Web


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