What's up with COS460H in 2008
In 2008, the subject of the capita selecta module COS460H is Description Logics. It is offered in the
format of a project module. This means that there will be no formal written examination. Instead, you
will be evaluated entirely on assignments that you have to submit. There is also no prescribed book.
You will receive a reading list of articles that you have to work through. Prof. Enrico Franconi from the
University of Bolzano will present a seminar (i.e. a series of lectures or discussion classes) on
description logics during February 2008. Attendance of classes is not compulsory to complete the
module, but will be a great help. Students who attend the seminar will be able to complete all the work
required for the module, including all the assignments, during February 2008.
If you want to attend the seminar, which will be offered over a period of three weeks on the CSIR
premises in Pretoria, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The main effort of the research in knowledge representation is providing theories and systems for
expressing structured knowledge and for accessing and reasoning with it in a principled way. In this
course we will study Description Logics (DL), an important powerful class of logic-based knowledge
representation languages (see http://dl.kr.org). The emphasis will be on a rigourous approach to
knowledge representation and building ontologies. After an original review of the relevant concepts on
computational logics, the course will start with an introduction to Object-Oriented representations in
Information Systems and Artificial Intelligence, which serve as the main motivations for studying DL.
DL will be introduced with its simplest formalisation; the computational properties and algorithms of
the so called structural DL will be analyzed. Then, the course considers propositional DL: we will
study the computational properties and the reasoning with tableaux calculus. In the second part of the
course, we will consider advanced topics such as the representation of knowledge bases and ontologies,
and the connections of DL with Modal Logics and First Order Logic. The last module of the course
will analyze the connections of DL with database theory.
A background in classical logic, for example COS407C, is strongly recommended. You will also need
an undergraduate background in discrete mathematics, such as COS101S or a similar first year module
in computer science or mathematics.