SweetRules v2.1 released

April 25, 2005

First Platform for Semantic Web Rules Now Includes Web Services Support and More: SweetRules V2.1 Released Open Source

Contacts: Chitro Neogy (chitro@mit.edu) and Benjamin Grosof (bgrosof@mit.edu)


SweetRules, a uniquely powerful integrated set of tools for semantic web rules and ontologies, is newly enhanced in V2.1 with several first-of-a-kind capabilities, including support for rule-triggered WSDL Web Services, RuleML presentation syntax for user-friendlier editing, an open-source courteous compiler enabling prioritized conflict handling, and full non-stratified negation-as-failure via Jess production rules, along with a new installation wizard and additional examples of e-business application scenarios. The international SweetRules team today released V2.1 free on SemWebCentral, the semantic web community's largest repository for open source software tools.

Led by Benjamin Grosof, a professor of information technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, the SweetRules project team includes researchers also from University of Maryland Baltimore County, BBN Technologies, Stanford University, and University of Zurich, and has cooperation from researchers at IBM, HP, University of Karlsruhe, National Research Council of Canada and University of New Brunswick, State University of New York at Stonybrook, and Sandia National Labs.

SweetRules revolves around the RuleML emerging standard for semantic web rules, and supports the OWL standard for semantic web ontologies. RuleML and OWL use XML and, optionally, RDF. Available under the liberal LGPL open source license, SweetRules is the first platform for semantic web business rules.

SweetRules supports the powerful Situated Courteous Logic Programs extension of RuleML, which includes prioritized conflict handling and procedural attachments for actions and tests. SweetRules' capabilities include first-of-a-kind semantics-preserving translation and interoperability between a variety of rule and ontology languages (including XSB Prolog, Jess production rules, HP Jena-2, IBM CommonRules, and the SWRL subset of RuleML), highly scaleable backward and forward inferencing, easy merging of heterogeneous distributed rulebases/ontologies, and extensive pluggability.

"Semantic web rules in policy management for e-contracting, finance, and security authorization," said Grosof, "offer potential major advantages for enterprise integration, change management, business process communication, and compliance monitoring -- and thus business value from significantly lowered life cycle costs and increased strategic agility".

"The SweetRules initiative is important," said Mark Musen, head of Medical Informatics at Stanford University and chair of the 2005 International Semantic Web Conference, "because it provides an integrated framework with which developers can represent what an intelligent system actually should *do* with the static knowledge represented in ontologies."

SweetRules' development has been largely funded by DARPA. The SweetRules team is collaborating closely with the RuleML Initiative, and also is collaborating with the Semantic Web Services Initiative and Web Services Mediation Language effort. Through these, it is cooperating with the W3C, Oasis, and OMG standards bodies, as well.

V2.0, the first open source version, was released in Nov. 2004. Hundreds of users have already downloaded SweetRules, after its well-received demonstrations in detailed presentations this winter at the International Semantic Web Conference's tutorial program in Japan and at the DAML Principal Investigators Meeting in San Antonio, where it was highlighted by DARPA.

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