Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780123859655, 9780123859662

Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist

2nd Edition

Effective Modeling in RDFS and OWL

Authors: Dean Allemang James Hendler
Paperback ISBN: 9780123859655
eBook ISBN: 9780123859662
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 20th May 2011
Page Count: 384
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Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist: Effective Modeling in RDFS and OWL, Second Edition, discusses the capabilities of Semantic Web modeling languages, such as RDFS (Resource Description Framework Schema) and OWL (Web Ontology Language). Organized into 16 chapters, the book provides examples to illustrate the use of Semantic Web technologies in solving common modeling problems. It uses the life and works of William Shakespeare to demonstrate some of the most basic capabilities of the Semantic Web.
The book first provides an overview of the Semantic Web and aspects of the Web. It then discusses semantic modeling and how it can support the development from chaotic information gathering to one characterized by information sharing, cooperation, and collaboration. It also explains the use of RDF to implement the Semantic Web by allowing information to be distributed over the Web, along with the use of SPARQL to access RDF data. Moreover, the reader is introduced to components that make up a Semantic Web deployment and how they fit together, the concept of inferencing in the Semantic Web, and how RDFS differs from other schema languages. Finally, the book considers the use of SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System) to manage vocabularies by taking advantage of the inferencing structure of RDFS-Plus.
This book is intended for the working ontologist who is trying to create a domain model on the Semantic Web.

Key Features

  • Updated with the latest developments and advances in Semantic Web technologies for organizing, querying, and processing information, including SPARQL, RDF and RDFS, OWL 2.0, and SKOS
  • Detailed information on the ontologies used in today's key web applications, including ecommerce, social networking, data mining, using government data, and more
  • Even more illustrative examples and case studies that demonstrate what semantic technologies are and how they work together to solve real-world problems


Programmers, web developers, and application developers; technologists and graduate students in computer science

Table of Contents

  • Preface to the second edition
    • Preface to the first edition
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the authors
  • Chapter 1. What is the Semantic Web?
    • Publisher Summary
    • What is a Web?
    • Smart Web, Dumb Web
    • Semantic Data
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2. Semantic modeling
    • Publisher Summary
    • Modeling for Human Communication
    • Explanation and Prediction
    • Mediating Variability
    • Expressivity in Modeling
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3. RDF—The basis of the Semantic Web
    • Publisher Summary
    • Distributing Data across the Web
    • Merging Data from Multiple Sources
    • Namespaces, URIs, and Identity
    • Identifiers in the RDF Namespace
    • Challenge: RDF and Tabular Data
    • Higher-Order Relationships
    • Alternatives for Serialization
    • RDF/XML
    • Blank Nodes
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4. Semantic Web application architecture
    • Publisher Summary
    • RDF Parser/Serializer
    • RDF Store
    • Application Code
    • Data Federation
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5. Querying the Semantic Web—SPARQL
    • Publisher Summary
    • Tell-and-Ask Systems
    • RDF as a Tell-and-Ask System
    • SPARQL—Query Language for RDF
    • Construct Queries in SPARQL
    • Using Results of Construct Queries
    • SPARQL Rules—Using SPARQL as a Rule Language
    • Advanced Features of SPARQL
    • Aggregates and Grouping (SPARQL 1.1)
    • Subqueries (SPARQL 1.1)
    • Union
    • Assignments (SPARQL 1.1)
    • Federating SPARQL Queries
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6. RDF and inferencing
    • Publisher Summary
    • Inference in the Semantic Web
    • Where are the Smarts?
    • When does Inferencing Happen?
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7. RDF schema
    • Publisher Summary
    • Schema Languages and their Functions
    • The RDF Schema Language
    • RDFS Modeling Combinations and Patterns
    • Set Union
    • Challenges
    • Modeling with Domains and Ranges
    • Nonmodeling Properties in RDFS
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8. RDFS-Plus
    • Publisher Summary
    • Inverse
    • Symmetric Properties
    • Transitivity
    • Equivalence
    • Computing Sameness—Functional Properties
    • A Few More Constructs
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9. Using RDFS-Plus in the wild
    • Publisher Summary
    • Open Government Data
    • Data.Gov Summary
    • FOAF
    • Facebook’s Open Graph Protocol
    • Summary
  • Chapter 10. SKOS—managing vocabularies with RDFS-Plus
    • Publisher Summary
    • Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS)
    • Semantic Relations in SKOS
    • Concept Schemes
    • SKOS Integrity
    • SKOS in Action
    • Summary
  • Chapter 11. Basic OWL
    • Publisher Summary
    • Restrictions
    • Challenge Problems
    • Alternative Descriptions of Restrictions
    • Summary
  • Chapter 12. Counting and sets in OWL
    • Publisher Summary
    • Unions and Intersections
    • Differentiating Multiple Individuals
    • Cardinality
    • Set Complement
    • Disjoint Sets
    • Prerequisites Revisited
    • Contradictions
    • Unsatisfiable Classes
    • Inferring Class Relationships
    • Reasoning with Individuals and with Classes
    • Summary
  • Chapter 13. Ontologies on the Web—putting it all together
    • Publisher Summary
    • The Good Relations Ontology
    • Inferencing in the Good Relations Ontology
    • Composing Files
    • Summary
    • Quantities, Units, and Dimensions
    • Converting Units with QUDT
    • Dimension Checking in QUDT
    • Summary
    • Biological Ontologies
    • CHEBI as Unambiguous Reference
    • CHEBI for Complex Search
    • Summary
  • Chapter 14. Good and bad modeling practices
    • Publisher Summary
    • Getting Started
    • Modeling for Reuse
    • Common Modeling Errors
    • Summary
  • Chapter 15. Expert modeling in OWL
    • Publisher Summary
    • Owl Subsets and Modeling Philosophy
    • OWL 2 Modeling Capabilities
    • Summary
  • Chapter 16. Conclusions
    • Publisher Summary
  • Appendix. Frequently asked questions
  • Further reading
  • Index


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© Morgan Kaufmann 2011
Morgan Kaufmann
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About the Author

Dean Allemang

Dean Allemang is the chief scientist at TopQuadrant, Inc.—the first company in the United States devoted to consulting, training, and products for the Semantic Web. He co-developed (with Professor Hendler) TopQuadrant’s successful Semantic Web training series, which he has been delivering on a regular basis since 2003. He has served as an invited expert on numerous international review boards, including a review of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute—the world’s largest Semantic Web research institute — and the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a collaboration between 10 pharmaceutical companies and the European Commission to set the roadmap for the pharmaceutical industry for the near future.

Affiliations and Expertise

TopQuadrant, Inc.

James Hendler

Jim Hendler is the Tetherless World Senior Constellation Chair at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and has authored over 200 technical papers in the areas of artificial intelligence, Semantic Web, agent-based computing, and web science. One of the early developers of the Semantic Web, he is the Editor-in-Chief emeritus of IEEE Intelligent Systems and is the first computer scientist to serve on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science. In 2010, he was chosen as one of the 20 most innovative professors in America by Playboy magazine, Hendler currently serves as an "Internet Web Expert" for the U.S. government, providing guidance to the project.

Affiliations and Expertise

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


"Overall, this book provides a thorough and cogent introduction to the semantic Web. Giving just enough philosophical background, the authors focus on the practical aspects of constructing data stores and applications. This blend of philosophy and practical descriptions leads the reader to anticipate how the standards of the semantic Web should work before the standards are described. As a result, the reader is likely to feel that the semantic Web works just as it should."--Computing Reviews

"Allemang, a scientist at a company that consults, trains, and provides products for the Semantic Web, and Hendler (computer and cognitive science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) explain how web developers who are practitioners in another field, such as health care, finance, engineering, national intelligence, and enterprise architecture, can model data to fit the requirements of the Semantic Web. They detail how to construct semantic models, with a focus on the use of RDF (Resource Description Framework), RDFS (RDF schema), and OWL (Web Ontology Language) to accomplish specific tasks and model data and domains. This edition has been updated to incorporate new technologies such as SPARQL (SPARQL Protocol And RDF Query Language), OWL 2.0, and SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System). They include examples of Quantities, Units, Dimensions, and Types (QUDT) and The Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO), as well as examples of how to use the Semantic Web to solve common modeling problems and a FAQ section on challenges."--SciTech Book News

"Overall, this is an easy-to-follow guide to the basic concepts related to building semantic Web ontologies. The book flows well from chapter to chapter, and the many examples illustrate the different topics. For beginners, it’s an excellent introduction to the subject, which is exactly what the authors intended…"--Computing