OWL 2 Profiles

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Markus Krötzsch

OWL 2 Profiles: An Introduction to Lightweight Ontology Languages

Abstract. This chapter gives an extended introduction to the lightweight profiles OWL EL, OWL QL, and OWL RL of the Web Ontology Language OWL. The three ontology language standards are sublanguages of OWL DL that are restricted in ways that significantly simplify ontological reasoning. Compared to OWL DL as a whole, reasoning algorithms for the OWL profiles show higher performance, are easier to implement, and can scale to larger amounts of data. Since ontological reasoning is of great importance for designing and deploying OWL ontologies, the profiles are highly attractive for many applications. These advantages come at a price: various modelling features of OWL are not available in all or some of the OWL profiles. Moreover, the profiles are mutually incomparable in the sense that each of them offers a combination of features that is available in none of the others. This chapter provides an overview of these differences and explains why some of them are essential to retain the desired properties. To this end, we recall the relationship between OWL and description logics (DLs), and show how each of the profiles is typically treated in reasoning algorithms.

Published at Reasoning Web 2012 (Book chapter)

Download PDF (last update: Jun 13 2012)

Citation details

  • Markus Krötzsch. OWL 2 Profiles: An Introduction to Lightweight Ontology Languages. In Reasoning Web Summer School 2012 (to appear). Springer 2012.


These are the lecture notes for a course at the 8th Reasoning Web Summer School in Vienna, Austria, September 3–8 2012, which is part of the Vienna Logic Weeks 2012.

See also the slides for this lecture (feel free to re-use, but please link to this page).

The above manuscript is preliminary and may still be updated until the event.


Semantic Web, Description logics

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