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:
- The editing pane on the left presents the axioms of the ontology in
a controlled language called OWL Simplified English.
- Axioms are represented by sentences, each starting on a new line and
ending in a full stop.
- Sentences are colour-coded to indicate how the editor interprets them
in OWL. Following Protege, individuals are shown in purple, classes in
orange, properties in blue. Literals are shown in green. Any portion of
the sentence that cannot be interpreted, owing to a syntax error, is shown
- Lines beginning with a percentage sign are interpreted as comments;
lines beginning with a hash sign contain metadata such
as the IRI of the ontology.
- When the user clicks at the start of a new line, a list of sentence
patterns is shown in the options pane on the right. The options
are updated as editing of the sentence proceeds.
- The File menu at the top allows you to save the ontology currently
shown in the editing pane, either as a text, or in OWL/XML format. This
can be converted to any other format using the
- You can also read in a text created or saved earlier, or obtain an
text generated from an ontology in OWL/XML format (again, use the Manchester
converter if you need to transcode). The
program does its best to infer English names for individuals, classes,
etc., from the names/labels in the OWL code.
OWL Simplified English (OSE)
For documentation on the editing tool and controlled language, consult
- Single-page summary of the main sentence patterns.
- Tutorial on using the editing tool
- Advice on translating from ordinary texts (e.g., from Wikipedia)
to OWL Simplified English
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
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
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