A General Markup Language R2ML

This project is about the design of integrity and derivation rules on the basis of Rule Markup Language (RuleML) and Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL). We propose a general markup framework for integrity rules, derivation rules, production rules and reaction rules (R2ML). Rule concepts are defined with the help of MOF/UML, a subset of the UML class modeling language proposed by the Object Management Group (OMG) for the purpose of 'meta-modeling', i.e. for defining languages conceptually on the level of an abstract (semi-visual) syntax. From these MOF/UML language models we can obtain concrete markup syntax by applying a mapping procedure for generating corresponding languages from parameterized DTDs.

During the last years the business rules industry had a considerable growth. An important number of customers consider rule systems as a suitable solution for a large number of applications. However, actually there is a lack of interoperability between different rule systems and this creates difficulties to align rule bases to different existent systems and applications. Rule interchange or rule interoperability can use R2ML as an interchange format for rules. Source and target languages will implement translators from/to R2ML.

Visual Rules Modeling (URML)

The modeling language, used in the communication between business/domain analysts and business/domain experts for analyzing and documenting system requirements must not be 'technical', but should allow (semi-)visual and/or natural-language-like rule expressions, which can be understood by business/domain experts without extensive technical training. Both ORM and UML offer a semi-visual (diagrammatic) language for information modelling allowing a limited number of embedded rule types (in particular, integrity constraints and derivation rules, cf.). In order to simplify rules modeling, we are developing a tool for visual rule modeling. The detailed specification of visual notation for rules modeling, its compliance with formal logic representation of rules, technical issues and functionality of the tool will be published here.


A Controlled English (CE) vocabulary and rule language can be used for two purposes:

  • capturing vocabularies and rules, and
  • verbalizing vocabularies and rules.

The second purpose, verbalizing visually and/or formally represented vocabularies and rules, is important to be able to present rules to domain experts for validation. This is an essential building block in any rule-based methodology. Being able to capture rules in English is a desirable, but more advanced, feature of such a methodology. In this report we will only be concerned with developing a CE for the purpose of verbalization. We may consider the issue of rule capture in the future. We want to be able to verbalize various kinds of expressions and statements from visual (UML) and formal (OCL, RDF, OWL) vocabulary and rule languages.

The current research in progress is towards verbalization of OWL vocabularies and rules, expressed in the Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL).

EU-Rent Case Study

For demonstration and testing purposes of our methods and applications, we have developed EU-Rent case study, which was initially proposed at the European Business Rules Conference.

  • The vocabulary definition as UML class diagram and set of rules, expressed in OCL.

An IT governance case-study is currently under development.

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