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CS414 Semantic Web (not running 2018/19)

CS414 15 CATS (7.5 ECTS) Term 1


Option - MEng CS, MSc CS, MSc DA



Academic Aims

The aim of this course is to teach the students the main concepts, technologies and techniques underlying and making up the Semantic Web.

There are many predictions on how the future of the web is likely to be. "The Semantic Web", predicted by visionaries such as Tim Berners Lee (creator of the World Wide Web) and supported by the W3C Consortium, is supposed to allow for the rich semantic applications, by using ontologies and metadata standards, common for all stakeholders. This should enable automatic processing of these information by automatic means.

Some aspects of the Semantic Web have been already developed as specifications and implementations; other parts are still highly speculative or too challenging to solve yet, but are the subject of considerable research and experimentation. The module aims at introducing students to these various aspects of the 'future' web, and to discuss how this reflects on the present.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Understand and discuss fundamental concepts, advantages and limits of the semantic web.
  • Understand and apply ontologies in the context of Computer Science and the semantic web
  • Understand and apply reasoning on the semantic web


Brief outline of the pool of topics:

  • Introduction to Knowledge Representation and the Semantic Web
    • Linked Data
    • RDF
    • RDFS
    • SPARQL
  • Introduction to the Web Ontology Language OWL
  • Description logics and classifiers
  • Methods for developing and evaluating ontologies.
  • Application development using the OWL API

Semantic Web, Web 2.0 and User Modelling

Web Security - Semantic Web, Web 2.0 relational frameworks

Current Applications of the Semantic Web


  • Grigoris Antoniou, Paul Groth, Frank Van Harmelen and Rinke Hoekstra. A Semantic Web Primer (Cooperative Information Systems Series) 2012.
  • Tom Heath and Christian Bizer. Linked Data: Evolving the Web into a Global Data Space (Synthesis Lectures on the Semantic Web, Theory and Technology. 2011
  • Toby Segaran, Colin Evans and Jamie Taylor. Programming the Semantic Web. O'Reilly, 2009
  • Dean Allemang, Jim Hendle. Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist: Effective Modeling in RDFS and OWL, 2nd ed. Morgan Kaufmann/Elsevier 2011.
  • Franz Baader et al. The description logic handbook, 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Pascal Hitzler, Markus Krotzsch and Sebastian Rudolph, Foundations of Semantic Web Technologies, CRC Press, 2009.
  • S. Russell and P. Norvig. Artificial Intelligence- A Modern Approach (Third Edition). Prentice Hall. 2009


Two hour examination (70%), laboratories and coursework (30%)


30 one-hour lectures plus 10 one-hour seminars