Ontologies are vital for the life sciences. The Web Ontology Language (OWL) offers decidability of reasoning, and now with OWL2 and SWRL reasonably high levels of expressivity.
Vangelis Vassilidis and I are writing Thea2, based on his original Thea library. The redesign introduces prolog predicates for every OWL2 axiom, and prolog terms for owl class and property expressions. We use the SWI-Prolog semweb library for reading/writing to RDF. There is also an (optional) JPL bridge wrapping the Manchester OWLAPI.
There are a number of different reasoning strategies, including:
- simple but limited backward chaining reasoning
- using Grosof’s translation to DLP in conjunction with systems such as Yap, XSB or DLV
- using standard OWL reasoners via JPL (DIG interface from Thea1 still needs ported)