Statistical Workshop Series

A Brief Introduction to Description Logics and OWL


William Duncan, PhD

Assistant Professor

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

146 Diefendorf Hall

South Campus

University at Buffalo

A key component of ontology development is the use of logical axioms to infer implicit information from explicitly stated information. For example, amongst anatomical entities we typically specify that parthood relations are transitive. So, if a tooth is part of a jaw and a jaw is part of a person, the tooth is part of the person. This eliminates the need to explicitly state that the tooth is part of the person because the relation between the tooth and the person is entailed in the semantics of parthood. 

Within ontologies, description logics are often used to specify axioms of this sort. The reason for this is that specialized computer programs can compute inferences entailed by description logic axioms, and these programs are guaranteed to give you an answer (although it may take a really long time!). This is not always true of other logics, such as first-order logic. In this workshop, I will give a brief introduction to description logics and provide examples of how they can be used in developing ontologies.


ACCREDITATION: The University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

CERTIFICATION: The University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CREDIT: This program is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number UL1TR001412.