Foto: Anna Logue

Semantic Web Technologies (HWS 2020)

Corona information: the lectures of this course will be streamed live via Zoom. We will try to make recordings available if possible. For the exercises, there will be live Q&A sessions via Zoom. The exam, however, is planned to be held on campus.

Note that the first date of this lecture is Friday, October 2nd.

Course Description

The term „Semantic Web“ was coined in 2001 when Tim Berners Lee (the inventor of the World Wide Web) and others presented their vision of an intelligent web in the „Scientific American“. The Semantic Web aims at the development of methods that help to automate the interpretation, aggregation, evaluation and comparison of information on the Web. Ten years later, Google announced their knowledge graph, which has been the most well known application of semantic web technologies and ideas to date.

This course gives an introduction to the technical foundations of Semantic Web Technologies, including knowledge representation and query languages, as well as logical inference. More specifically, it covers the following contents:

  • Vision and Principles of the Semantic Web
  • Representation Languages (XML, RDF, RDF Schema, OWL)
  • Knowledge Modeling: Ontologies, Linked Data, and Knowledge Graphs
  • Logical Reasoning in RDF and OWL
  • Commercial and Open Source Tools and Systems


  • Java or Python programming skills are required to pass this course!
  • Preferably, some experience with software development
  • To pass the course you have to fulfill the following requirements:
    • Pass the final exam (you have to get a 4.0 or better in the exam to pass this course)
    • Successfully work in a group on a project idea (programming!), present the results and write a report
  • The final grade is the grade achieved in the final exam, however, the project is a mandatory requirement to pass the course.



  • Lecture: Monday, 13.45 - 15.15, room WIM-ZOOM-03
  • Exercise: Friday, 12.00 - 13.30, room WIM-ZOOM-03


Since the autumn term 2020 starts later due to the Corona pandemic, we'll have a slightly condensed lecture period.

Important note: the lecture starts in Friday in the first lecture week.

28.09.2020--Lecture: Introduction
05.10.2020Lecture: RDFExercise: RDF
12.10.2020Lecture: RDFSExercise: RDFS
19.10.2020Lecture: Linked Data, Semantic Web ProgrammingExercise: Linked Data, Semantic Web Programming
26.10.2020Lecture: SPARQL, Kick off group projectsExercise: SPARQL
02.11.2020Lecture: Knowledge GraphsExercise: Knowledge Graphs
09.11.2020Lecture: OWL Part 1Exercise: OWL Part 1
16.11.2020Lecture: OWL Part 2Exercise: OWL Part 2
23.11.2020Lecture: Ontology EngineeringExercise: Ontology Engineering
30.11.2020Lecture: Data Quality and InterlinkingExercise: Data Quality and Interlinking
07.12.2020Group project Presentations--

Important dates for the group projects:

  • Sunday, November 1st, 23:59: Submission of project proposals
  • Wednesday, December 9th, 23:59: Submission of final reports
  • Adminstrative Details

    For attending the course, please register for the lecture in Portal 2 (link to lecture and exercise). The course is limited to 30 participants. Course allocation is done in Portal2. There will be no „first come - first serve“. Students in higher semesters will be preferred, equally ranked students will be drawn randomly.

  • Materials and Exercise Sheets




    Exercise solutions and additional materials will be made available in the corresponding ILIAS group.

    Literature (suggested reading list):

    • Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler and Ora Lassila. The Semantic Web. Scientific American, 284 (5), pp. 34-43, 2001
    • Pascal Hitzler, Markus Krötzsch and Sebastian Rudolph. Foundations of Semantic Web Technologies. Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2009
    • Pascal Hitzler, Markus Krötzsch, Sebastian Rudolph and York Sure. Semantic Web: Grundlagen. Springer, 2007 (German)
    • Allemang and Hendler (2008): Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist. Verlag Morgan Kaufmann.
    • Antoniou and van Harmelen (2004): A Semantic Web Primer. MIT Press.
    • Heath and Bizer (2011): Linked Data: Evolving the Web into a Global Data Space. Free online version.
  • Video Recordings

    Video recordings from a previous lecture are available here (accessible within the university network or via VPN).

  • Course Evaluations

    Course evaluations from previous semesters: