Explanation in Web Ontologies

Primary supervisor

Additional supervisors

  • Uli Sattler

Additional information

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Other projects with the same supervisor


  • Competition Funded Project (Students Worldwide)
This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. Applications for this project are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Project description

Ontologies are used in bio-health, e-science, and Semantic Web applications to capture the meaning of terms. With the advent of the W3C's description-logic-based Web Ontology Language OWL, more ontologies are being created and used than ever before. Designing ontologies is a non-trivial task that requires sophisticated tool and service support. One of the most important services for logic based ontologies is the explanation of entailments (or non-entailments). That is, a user needs to understand why a reasoner claims that some fact follows from the ontology. Explanation has a been a rich area of research (the 2012 BCS Distinguish Dissertation award went to a Manchester PhD student studying explanation) and of practical application.

The aim of this PhD project is to advance our knowledge and use of explanation for ontology engineering. Specific topics including: optimising the computation of explanations, the investigation or invention of new forms of explanation, novel applications of explanations, and understanding the cognitive complexity of explanations.

Requirements: knowledge of (or willingness to learn about) first order and description logic, logic-based knowledge representation, ontologies; standard software development skills.

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