Methods and Tools for Developing Ontology-Based Data Access Solutions

by Giuseppe De Giacomo, Domenico Lembo, Antonella Poggi, Valerio Santarelli, Domenico Fabio Savo


The tutorial illustrates methodologies for developing ontology-based data access (OBDA) applications, which aim at coupling conceptual views of information, expressed as Description Logic ontologies, with actual and possibly pre-existing data stores. In the tutorial we will present the basics of OBDA, introduce a graphical model for quick development of OWL 2 ontologies, survey typical mechanisms to link ontologies with data, and discuss some special reusable patterns for modelling recurrent representation needs. We will conduct an hands-on-session in which participants will develop (small) OBDA applications and will experiment OBDA functionalities, such as answering SPARQL queries, by exploiting state-of-the-art OBDA tools.

Objectives of the tutorial

OBDA is a major novelty in dealing with diverse data sources in a semantically rich way. It requires multidisciplinary competences, crossing different AI subareas and themes. The tutorial will mainly serve the following objectives:

  1. Introduce novices to major topics of Artificial Intelligence, introduce OBDA principles and techniques, building upon topics that are typically familiar to novices attending IJCAI, such as UML and standard data access techniques, using a graphical model, Graphol, which corresponds to full OWL 2.

  2. Introduce expert non-specialists to an AI subarea; it will delve into advanced aspects, such as modeling patterns and mapping development, which will be of interest for experts already familiar with semantic technologies, eager to experience OBDA benefits;

  3. Provide instruction in established but specialized AI methodologies; it will provide guidance into how to develop an OBDA solution, by proposing methodologies that were used and developed in real use cases.

Brief Outline

  1. Short intro to OBDA, ontology verification, and query answering

  2. From grpahical models such as ER/UML to Graphol and then to OWL 2 and OWL 2 QL

  3. Modeling patterns

  4. Methodologies for source analysis and ontology and mappings development

  5. Hands-on session (bring your laptop!)