W3C W3C Member Submission

Submission request to W3C (W3C Team Comment)

Submission Request to W3C: OWLlink Protocol

We, W3C Members:

  1. Clark & Parsia LLC (AC Rep: Kendall Clark),
  2. Creative Commons (AC Rep: Ben Adida),
  3. Daimler Chrysler Research and Technology (AC Rep: Ingo Melzer),
  4. Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (AC Rep: Enrico Franconi),
  5. German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) GmbH (AC Rep: Massimo Romanelli),
  6. NTT DOCOMO (AC Rep: Masaaki Yamamoto),
  7. Stanford University (AC Rep: Natasha Noy),
  8. University of Aberdeen, Computing Science (AC Rep: Jeff Pan),
  9. University of Manchester (AC Rep: Sean Bechhofer), and
  10. Vrije Universiteit (AC Rep: Frank van Harmelen).

hereby submit to the Consortium the following specification, comprising the following documents attached hereto:

  1. OWLlink: Structural Specification and all embedded graphics
  2. OWLlink: HTTP/XML Binding and the corresponding XML Schema document
  3. OWLlink: HTTP/Functional Binding
  4. OWLlink: HTTP/S-Expression Binding
  5. OWLlink Extension: Retraction and all embedded graphics
  6. OWLlink Extension: Retraction HTTP/XML Binding
  7. OWLlink Extension: Retraction HTTP/Functional Binding
  8. OWLlink Extension: Retraction HTTP/S-Expression Binding

which collectively are referred to as "the submission". We request the submission be known as the OWLlink submission.


The OWLlink protocol provides an implementation-neutral mechanism for accessing OWL reasoner functionality. OWLlink is a refinement of the DIG protocol most notably with respect to query and language expressivity. It relies on OWL 2 for the primitives of the modeling language, and is thus fully compatible with OWL. The OWLlink core cover basic reasoner management, assertion of axioms and elementary ask functionality. An extension mechanism is provided to easily add any required functionality in a controlled way to the core language. A concrete binding is based on the OWL 2 XML-Serialization OWL/XML transported via HTTP. Further defined bindings are the OWLlink HTTP/Functional binding making use of the OWL Functional syntax and the OWLlink HTTP/S-Expression binding.

Change control

The authors expect to continue evolution of OWLlink until such time as a W3C working group is formed. After that time, we would expect future versions to be produced by W3C process.

Intellectual property Rights

The below statements concerning Copyrights, Trade and Service Marks, and Patents, have been made by the following people on behalf of themselves and their affiliated organizations:


Each organization, respectively, hereby grants to the W3C, a perpetual, nonexclusive, royalty-free, world-wide right and license under any of its copyrights in this contribution to copy, publish and distribute the contribution under the W3C document licenses.

Additionally, should the Submission be used as a contribution towards a W3C Activity, each organization grants a right and license of the same scope to any derivative works prepared by the W3C and based on, or incorporating all or part of, the contribution. Each organization further agrees that any derivative works of this contribution prepared by the W3C shall be solely owned by the W3C.

Trade and Service Marks

The Submission request or Submission refers to the trade and service mark: OWLlink.

We agree that the trade and service marks that are associated with and identify this specific submission (OWLlink) will be governed by the W3C Trademark and Servicemark License.


The submitters and individual co-authors agree to offer licenses according to the W3C Royalty-Free licensing requirements described in section 5 of the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy for any portion of the Submission that is subsequently incorporated in a W3C Recommendation.

Additionally, all co-authors claim to have no personal knowledge of any IPR claims held by their respective organizations regarding OWLlink.

Required proprietary technology

No proprietary technology is required to implement the specifications contained in this submission.

Suggested action

We suggest that the Submission be contributed to any future W3C activity involved in the development of the Web Ontology Language (OWL) or consider this as a starting point for work in a new working group.


To help with this work, Submitters and Authors expect, but do not commit, to be able to provide assistance as needed to the Consortium.

In addition, the following member organisations have expressed support for this submission, and expect, but do not commit, to be able to provide assistance:

  1. Alcatel-Lucent (AC Rep: Sigurd Van Broeck),
  2. BT (AC Rep: Paul Downey),
  3. IBM Corporation (AC Rep: Steve Holbrook), and
  4. University of Oxford (AC Rep: Ian Horrocks).


The OWLlink protocol is based on extensive discussions with users of OWL and the DIG protocol, mostly within the informal DIG Working Group. The authors and submitters would like to acknowledge the contribution made to the original DIG protocol and the abondoned DIG 2.0 draft specification by members of the DIG Working Group, from which OWLlink inherits some ideas.


Inquiries from the public or press about this submission should be directed to the authors.


this 1st day of July, 2010,

Kendall Clark, Clark & Parsia LLC
Ben Adida, Creative Commons
Ingo Melzer, Daimler Chrysler Research and Technology
Enrico Franconi, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
Massimo Romanelli, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Masaaki Yamamoto, NTT DOCOMO
Natasha Noy, Stanford University
Jeff Pan, University of Aberdeen
Sean Bechhofer, University of Manchester
Frank van Harmelen, Vrije Universiteit