Module Semantic Technologies, Computer Science (Master) (ER 7)
Module summary

Semantic Technologies


Prof. Dr. Peter Henning

6 ECTS points / 4 Contact hours

1st Semester



The succesful handling of the large data volume available in a globalized information infrastructure necessitates its semantic annotation, i.e. data has to be accompanied by meta data that denotes its meaning. XML techniques, in particular the transformation of data according to XSLT style sheets are at the core of these modern concepts.

Students acquire abstract and concrete knowledge about XML basics (XML concepts, DTD, Namespaces and DOM) as well as about XSLT basics (XPath, simple transformations, principles of functional programming with XSLT).

Students know advanced XML topics (XML Schema, XLink/XPointer), and have dealt with various XSLT applications.

Students have abstract and concrete knowledge about the Resource Description Framework RDF, its extension into RDFS and OWL; they know how to write and visualize simple ontologies.

Students know machine based reasoning tools and principles of knowledge description, they have performed several reasoning tasks.

Students know paradigms of learning and have been introduced to models of thinking and reasoning.

The course therefore contributes to the two dimensions technical knowledge and leadership skills. Since it is held in English, participants also improve their key skills.

Individual exams
Course Semantic Technologies



Prof. Dr. Peter Henning



Written Exam 90 Min. (graded)

  • XML Basics: Documents and document types, their definition and structure (DTD, Namespaces and Schema)
  • XSLT Basics: XPath, simple transformations, principles of functional programming with XSLT
  • XML Schema definitions, XLink, XPointer

The Resource Description Framework RDF. Application to simple semantic views on data, extension into RDFS and description of simple ontologies.

Modeling of knowledge using OWL.

Machine based reasoning.

Science theory, formal logic and models of thinking.

Prerequisites: Participants should have basic knowledge of descriptive languages (XML applications), at least should have practical knowledge of Web programming.

Participants should have sufficient knowledge of technical English Format Participation necessary in two classroom hours per week, electronic tests and essay writing on selected topics, theoretical self-study on semantic technologies.

Counseling Questions during course hours, electronic learning management system ILIAS, weekly online chat in ILIAS, 24 x 7 offline discussion in ILIAS Forum, eMail

Powerpoint transparencies, electronic whiteboard notes as PDF, eLearning courses on XML, XSLT, SMIL, additional electronic material for reading and self-assessment.


Geroimenko, V., Chen, C.: Visualizing Information Using SVG and X3D. XML Based Technologies for the XML Based Web (Springer 2004) ISBN 978-1852337902 Geroimenko, V., Chen, C.: Visualizing the Semantic Web. XML-Based Internet and Information Visualization (Springer 2005) ISBN 978-1852339760 Antoniou, G., van Harmelen, F.: A Semantic Web Primer. Cooperative Information Systems (The MIT Press 2004), ISBN 0262012103 Eisenberg, J.: SVG Essentials (O'Reilly 2002) ISBN 978-0596002237 Bulterman,D., Rutledge, L.: Smil 2.0: Interactive Multimedia for Web and Mobile Devices (Springer 2004) ISBN 354020234 Henning, P.A.: Taschenbuch Multimedia (Hanser 2007), ISBN 978-3446409712

Course Semantic Technologies Laboratory



Prof. Dr. Peter Henning



Exercise 1 Semester (not graded)

Topics covered by practical lab problems include:

  • XML Basics: Document Type Definition and XML Schema definitions.
  • Advanced XML techniques: Document Object Model and XPath addressing in documents. The transformation of documents using XSLT. Functional programming in XSLT.
  • Visualization using XML: SVG and GraphML applied to semantically rich XML documents
  • Resource Description Framework RDF: Creation of RDF documents, transformation of RDF into XML Schema definition
  • RDFS, OWL: Basics of ontologies and their application
  • Machine based reasoning and logical problem solution

Prerequisites: Students should be participants of the "SemanticWeb Technologies" course, at least should have theoretical knowledge of the topics covered.

Format: Participation in 2 lab hours per week in small groups of 2-3 students, practical self-study and XML programming.

Deliverables: Successful completion (upload to ILIAS in time) of 80% of the lab problems.

Counseling: Personal counseling during lab hours, electronic learning managment system ILIAS, weekly online chat in ILIAS, 24 x 7 offline discussion in ILIAS forum, eMail


eLearning content and Books mentioned as course material for browsing, XML Editor oXygen in media::lab, Internet research during lab hours