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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

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


I am interested in developing algorithms and techniques necessary for realizing advanced applications in the Semantic Web. In the past, my research is focused around the ontology language OWL. More recently, I became interested in applying ontology techniques to data management problems in databases and big data. Specifically, I am investigating ways in using variants of datalog — a language at the intersection of logic programming and databases — to represent and access data, and I am studying the related theoretical and practical problems, such as efficient evaluation of datalog programs and efficient maintenance of datalog materialisations. My research involves the development of tools that demonstrates the techniques I am working on.

  • 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.
  • In my postdoc research I have developed the HermiT reasoner. 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".
  • Recently, I have been working on a new reasoner for datalog and RDF called RDFox. Based on the outcome of this research, Ian Horrocks, Bernardo Cuenca Grau, Adam Parr, and me founded Oxford Semantic Technologies — a startup company whose objective is to productise RDFox and apply it to a variety of advanced use cases.


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

  • I am collaborating with Oracle on developing methods for efficient management of large-scale graph data.
  • With EDF I am working on an ontology-based recommender system helping customers save energy.
  • With Armasuisse I was working on using ontologies to detect events from Twitter streams.
  • For Samsung, I developed a lightweight ontology-based data store that can support intelligent applications on mobile devices.
  • For ExperienceOn, a start-up in Barcelona, Spain, I developed an ontology-based data store that is powering their multilingual Fogg search engine.

See also

Selected Publications

View AllManage publications


Past Students

Temitope Ajileye
Fredah Banda
Andrew Bate
Despoina Magka
Anthony Potter
Rob Shearer

Past Researchers

Birte Glimm
Research Assistant
Pan Hu
Clemens Kupke
Robert Piro
Giorgos Stoilos
Zhe Wang