Peter F. Patel-Schneider

    [At the speed of colourless green ideas sleeping furiously]

[My Old Office]

I was a Member of Technical Staff in the Computing and Software Principles Research Department of the Enabling Computing Technologies Domain at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ, working on enabling the vast verdant virtual video network as a viral service. In 1996 and 1997 I was a Member of Technical Staff and a Technology Associate in AT&T Labs - Research. From 1988 to 1996 I was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Labs.


I have a number of environmental allergies. My most severe allergy, however, is my allergy to hype. The severity of this allergy has dimished somewhat over the last few years due to continual exposure to the allergen. As well, I perform certain satirical activities, which serve to diminish the effects of hype on me.

[Description Logics] Description Logics

My research interests center around description logics. I'm currently interested in using description logics for interactively gathering information from a user and using description logics in database integration. In general, I am interested in making description logics useful in applications, as well as the theory of description logics.

I spend much of my time determining what is easy, what is hard, and what is impossible in my parts of knowledge representation and reasoning. I then quickly handle the easy, try hard to make the hard less hard, and spend considerable time evading the impossible. The divisions between easy, hard, and impossible are difficult to determine, and this is made even harder because every new group that I interact with has to learn that some things are just impossible even though they are very seductive at first glance.

[OWL] Web Ontology Languages

Most recently my efforts in description logics have involved the creation of languages suitable for representing ontology information. I have been on the project advisory board of the DARPA DAML project. I have created and edited several portions of the DAML+OIL ontology language. I participated in the W3C Web Ontology Working Group, designing the W3C OWL Web Ontology Language. I was the main editor for the semantic definition of OWL. (See below for several talks on OWL.) A good paper on the practical use of OWL is OWL Pizzas: Practical Experience of Teaching OWL-DL, even though it is a paper about teaching OWL-DL, not a paper meant to teach OWL-DL.

I participated in the design of an extension to OWL, called OWL 1.1. I have written drafts of an overview of OWL 1.1 and a syntax for OWL 1.1. OWL 1.1 was a member submission to W3C and formed the basis of OWL 2, which is now a W3C candidate recommendation produced by the W3C OWL WG, of which I am a member.

I have implemented OWLP, an OWL species validator, using the Galax XQuery implementation. OWLP is written in OCAML.

I have written a paper, From SHIQ and RDF to OWL: The Making of a Web Ontology Language, with Ian Horrocks and Frank van Harmelen, on the development of OWL. Ian Horrocks and I have written a paper, Reducing OWL Entailment to Description Logic Satisfiability, on the relationship between entailment in OWL and satisfiability in Description Logics. Ian Horrocks and I have written a paper, Three Theses of Representation in the Semantic Web, on the foundations of the Semantic Web.

Jérôme Siméon and I have created a way to more-closely integrate XML and RDF. This work has resulted in two papers, The Yin/Yang Web: XML Syntax and RDF Semantics, which was one of four finalists for the best paper award at the Eleventh International World Wide Web Conference, and Building the Semantic Web on XML, which won the best paper award at the First International Semantic Web Conference. A combination of these papers, The Yin/Yang Web: A Unified Model for XML Syntax and RDF Semantics, was published in the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering.

DL Workshops

I have been an organizer of several of the Description Logics Workshops.


I have developed an experimental description logic system called DLP. This system is designed to allow various optimisations for description logic reasoning to be easily investigated. A paper on comparing these optimizations has appeared in the Journal of Logic and Computation. DLP is available on-line for non-commercial use. DLP is written in Standard ML of New Jersey, which is available from Bell Labs.

[Classic] Classic

I have been the leader of the Classic group. The Classic knowledge representation systems are each full-featured knowledge representation systems based on a description logic that trades off expressive power for quick inference. Two Classic systems, one written in LISP and one written in C++, are available from Bell Labs. Non-commercial use requires only the signing of a simple license.

Other Research

Talks on OWL and the Semantic Web

For more talks see my talks directory.

Selected Recent Papers

For more papers see my publications directory.

Personal Stuff

See my personal home page.

Updated August 2010 by Peter F. Patel-Schneider, pfps@research.bell-labs.com