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Name of the tool: ELK
Home page: http://http://elk.semanticweb.org/
Date of latest release:
Programming language(s) that can be used with the tool: Java
Relevant semantic web technologies: OWL
Categories: Reasoner, Programming Environment, OWL Reasoner
See also:
Public mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/elk-reasoner-discussion
Preferred project URI:
DOAP reference:
Company or institution: University of Oxford, University of Ulm

(Tool description last modified on 2012-09-3.)


ELK is a free and open source reasoner for the lightweight ontology language OWL 2 EL. It is based on Java and can be controlled using the OWL API, Protégé, the Snow Owl ontology editor, or a basic command line interface. ELK is available under the Apache License 2.0.

ELK is very fast. It can classify the SNOMED CT ontology with around 300,000 classes in a few seconds on a modern laptop (details can be found in a technical report). This is achieved by highly optimized consequence-based reasoning algorithms that can also take advantage of multi-core CPUs.

ELK 0.3.0 is the third release of ELK. It adds improved support for OWL constructs, including assertions and disjoint classes, implements additional reasoning tasks, and improves Protégé integration. Its main features are:

  • Reasoning tasks: classification, consistency checking, class instance retrieval
  • Supported OWL constructs: property chains, owl:Nothing, class disjointness, class intersection, object property domains, class and property assertions, reflexive properties, and DataHasValue
  • OWL API bindings
  • Protégé plugin (can also be used in Snow Owl)
  • Command line interface
  • Parser for input files in OWL 2 Functional Style Syntax

ELK 0.3.1 is the latest maintenance release incorporating several bug fixes and deployment to the Maven Central Repository.

There is also a full list of changes available online.