The main objectives of the project are:
- The development of a family of ontology languages that extend existing Web standards while maintaining maximum backwards compatibility. The resulting layered architecture will provide the necessary flexibility (standardising on a single language is unrealistic in the Web environment) while maximising interoperability. This work has already begun with the development of OIL, a Web based ontology language that extends and enriches RDFS.
- The development of a framework of techniques and methodologies that provide an engineering approach to the building and use of ontologies. In particular, techniques will be developed for the semantic integration, migration, reconciliation and sharing of ontologies, issues that will be particularly important in the development of the semantic web.
- The development of a set of foundational ontologies covering a wide range of application domains. Each of these ontologies will provide a carefully crafted taxonomic backbone with a sound high level structure that can be used as the basis for the development of more detailed domain ontologies. The integration of existing ontologies with foundational ontologies will also provide a principled mechanism for the semantic integration of ontologies.
- The development of the comprehensive technical infrastructure and tool support that will be required by real world applications in the Semantic Web. In particular, an ontology server architecture will be developed in order to link new and existing components in an integrated and extensible tool suite. This will include tools for editing, integrating and extracting ontologies as well as services such as persistent storage and reasoning support.