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Boris Motik

Personal photo - Boris Motik

Professor Boris Motik

Professor of Computer Science

Senior Research Fellow, Somerville College

T: +44 (0)1865 283544
F: +44 (0)1865 273839 (fax)

Room 308, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QD


I am interested in developing algorithms and techniques necessary for realizing advanced applications in the Semantic Web. In particular, my research is focused around the ontology language OWL — an ontology language with firm theoretical roots in the description logic (DL) family of knowledge representation formalisms. I developed theoretical foundations for various extensions of DLs and OWL, such as an integrity constraint language, integration with various rule-based formalisms, and constructs for the representation of arbitrarily connected structures. I have also been working on proof-theoretic aspects of DLs and OWL, and have so far implemented two reasoners for OWL.

  • In my PhD, I developed algorithms for reasoning in OWL by reusing database technologies. I implemented these techniques in the KAON2 reasoner. The German company ontoprise GmbH is currently using KAON2 in a commercial setting.
  • Recently, I have been working on a new reasoner HermiT. This reasoner is based on a novel reasoning algorithm based on hypertableau, which allows HermiT to process certain ontologies that have traditionally been quite "hard".


complete list with downloadable papers


Before coming to Oxford, I worked in the Information Management Group, School of Computer Science, University of Manchester. I got my PhD from the University of Karlsruhe under supervision of Prof. Rudi Studer. While in Karlsruhe, Germany, I was employed at the Research Center for Information Technologies (FZI). I speak English, German, and Croatian, so feel free to send me e-mails in any of these languages.


Technology Transfer Projects with Industry Partners

  • For ExperienceOn, a start-up in Barcelona, Spain, I am developing an ontology-based data store that is powering their multilingual Fogg search engine: Fogg UK and Fogg ES.
  • For Samsung, I am developing a lightweight ontology-based data store that can support intelligent applications on mobile devices.
  • With BAE Systems I am working on issues related to ontology-based data integration.
  • With EDF Energy I am working on an ontology-based recommender system helping customers save energy.

See also

Selected Publications

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Completed Projects

Current Students

Current Postdocs