SWAT Ontology Editor

This site makes available Java code of the SWAT ontology editor, an application that allows you to view and edit ontologies in controlled English. The coverage is roughly that of OWL-DL.

The snapshot illustrates some features of the editor:

OWL Simplified English (OSE)

For documentation on the editing tool and controlled language, consult the following:

  1. Single-page summary of the main sentence patterns. [pdf]
  2. Tutorial on using the editing tool [pdf]
  3. Advice on translating from ordinary texts (e.g., from Wikipedia) to OWL Simplified English [pdf]


You can download a zipped directory of Java code with examples (download ZIP file).

You will find licensing information, and instructions for use, in the file readme.txt.

Briefly, the main directory holds the Java code, for which the master file is OntologyEditor.java. There are two subdirectories. The Document subdirectory holds the three reports listed above (summary, tutorial, course). The Ontology subdirectory holds inputs and outputs, either in OWL Simplified English or OWL/XML format. Many examples are given including familiar ontologies such as pizza.xml and wine.xml. We recommend opening names.txt and sentences.txt for examples showing how names and sentences are formed in OSE.

Note that the application only imports OWL ontologies that are in OWL/XML format. For ontologies in other formats, convert using the Manchester OWL Syntax Converter.


Richard Power (2012) OWL Simplified English: a finite-state language for ontology editing. In T. Kuhn and N.E. Fuchs (eds) Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Controlled Natural Language (CNL 2012, Zurich), pp 44-60. Springer, Heidelberg. [pdf] [slides]

Contact: Richard Power
More information: Open University SWAT project page
Last modified: June 2017