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Model Driven Semantic Web Engineering

Time: Thursday, May 10 (half-day, afternoon, 1:30pm to 5:00pm)

Location: Beatty


Model Driven Engineering (MDE) and the Semantic Web represent two key technologies with a far-reaching vision for the future of software engineering and Web engineering. The main promise of MDE is to raise the level of abstraction from technology-platform-specific concepts to the higher levels of platform-independent and computation-independent modeling. The Semantic Web vision starts from another perspective: sharing data, resources and knowledge between parties that belong to different organizations, different cultures, and/or different communities. Ontologies and rules play the main role in the Semantic Web for publishing community vocabularies and policies, for annotating resources and for turning Web applications into inference-enabled collaboration platforms.

Although these two technology visions have been developed by two different communities, they share a number of principles and goals, and there are important synergies that can be achieved by combining them with each other. The Ontology Definition Metamodel (ODM) standard by the OMG can be viewed as a first step towards bridging MDE and the Semantic Web. Another important building block is domain-specific modeling languages suitable for describing specific domains. MDE provides a set of principles and techniques how to create domain-specific modeling languages by using metamodeling, how to transform from one type of modeling language to another, and how to change levels of abstractions (e.g., from platform-specific to platform-independent and back). The most well-known initiatives in this area are the Model Driven Architecture (MDA) by the OMG and the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF).

The main goal of this tutorial is to give an introduction into state-of-the-art Web engineering methods based on the principles, models, and technologies of both MDE and the Semantic Web. The tutorial starts from the basics of the Semantic Web and MDE (e.g., ontology languages, modeling languages, model transformations), and then explores how they can be employed in various stages of Web engineering by addressing the following questions:

  • How can we develop ontologies and rules with MDE-based approaches and standards?
  • How can we develop Semantic Web services that follow MDE recommendations?
  • How we can build next-generation Web applications that are taking advantage of both Semantic Web and MDE?

Prerequisite Knowledge:

Familiar with the basic concepts of UML, Semantic Web, ontologies, and XML.


  • Dragan Gašević (Simon Fraser University)
  • Gerd Wagner (Brandenburg University of Technology at Cottbus, Germany)

Dragan Gašević received the Dipl.Ing., M.Sc. and PhD degrees in computer science and computer engineering from the Department of Computer Science, University of Belgrade, Serbia, in 2000, 2002, and 2004, respectively. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the Laboratory for Ontological Research, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University Surrey, Canada. His current research interests are in the area of the Semantic Web, Model Driven Engineering (MDE), integration between software engineering and knowledge engineering techniques, technology enhanced learning, and Petri nets. So far, he has authored/co-authored around 140 research papers, book chapters, and 2 books. He is the lead author of the book Model Driven Architecture and Ontology Development published by Springer in 2006. He has been serving on the editorial board of the International Journal of Learning Technology and he has been a reviewer or guest editor of several international journals. He has also been an organizer/program committee member/reviewer of several international conferences/workshops.

Gerd Wagner received a PhD degree in philosophy in 1993 from the Free University of Berlin and a Habilitation degree in Informatics in 1998 from the University of Leipzig. He is currently a Professor of Internet Technology at the Brandenburg University of Technology at Cottbus, Germany. His research interests include agent-oriented modeling and agent-based simulation, foundational ontologies, (business) rule technologies and the Semantic Web. He has published a book on "Foundations of Knowledge Systems" with Kluwer Academic Publishers in 1998. He is the coordinator of a work package on rule modeling and markup in the European research network REWERSE. He has initiated the international workshop series Agent-Oriented Information Systems (AOIS) and Rules and Rule Markup Languages for the Semantic Web (RuleML). He is also participating in the rule standardization activities of the Object Management Group and the World-Wide Web Consortium.