[DL] Guidance on applying DL

Enrico Franconi franconi at inf.unibz.it
Sun Jan 19 13:18:47 CET 2003

On January 17, K. V. Viswanathan writes:
> I have a problem requiring KR and inference in the field of
> planning. I have read some of the introductory chapters from the
> forthcoming DL handbook.
> I need to represent facts and many causal links such as "A affects
> B" or "an increase in A will cause a decrease in B" and the
> like. Armed with such a knowledge base, I then need to study the
> impact of adding new facts into the KB.
> Would the upcoming OWL (Web Ontology Language) be a suitable
> candidate for this representation and reasoning problem? Or should I
> be considering other languages? Pointers to and links to useful
> readings that will enable me to come up to speed will also be much
> welcome.

Most likely you need a logic which is able to talk not only about
static information (like a plain DL), but also about causes/effects,
state changes, actions and plans. Plain OWL (or plain DLs) are able
only to talk about states (i.e., non dynamic information). To have a
fairly complete (but not completely up-to-date, since it is 3 years
old) overview of the field of modelling dynamic information with
description logics (with approaches that span from temporal extensions
to Strips-like extensions) check:

Alessandro Artale and Enrico Franconi (2001). A Survey of Temporal
Extensions of Description Logics. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial
Intelligence (AMAI), Vol. 30 No. 1-4, 2001, Kluwer Academic
Publishers. Available at:

For practical purposes, you may resort to simpler logic based
approaches that do not require the full expressivity of a description
logic to represent state information. In fact, the problem gets quite
complex when states are characterised by means of complex logics.

-- e.

Enrico Franconi                     - franconi at inf.unibz.it
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano    - http://www.inf.unibz.it/~franconi/
Faculty of Computer Science         - Phone: (+39) 0471-315-642
I-39100 Bozen-Bolzano BZ, Italy     - Fax:   (+39) 0471-315-649

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