Ian Horrocks

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Ian Horrocks

Ian Horrocks mg 7439.jpg
Ian Horrocks
Ian Robert Horrocks

(1958-03-11) 11 March 1958 (age 63)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Manchester (BSc, MSc, PhD)
Known for
AwardsBCS Lovelace Medal (2020).[3] Roger Needham Award (2005)[4]
Scientific career
ThesisOptimising tableaux decision procedures for description logics (1997)

Ian Robert Horrocks FRS[6] is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford in the UK and a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford.[7] His research[5][8] focuses on knowledge representation and reasoning, particularly ontology languages,[9] description logic and optimised tableaux decision procedures.[10][11][12]


Horrocks completed his Bachelor of Science (BSc), Master of Science (MSc)[13] and PhD[14] degrees in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Manchester.

Research and career[edit]

After several years as a lecturer, senior lecturer, reader then Professor in Manchester, Horrocks moved to the University of Oxford in 2008. His work on tableau reasoning for very expressive description logics has formed the basis of most description logic reasoning systems in use today, including Racer, FaCT++,[15] HermiT[16][17][18] and Pellet.[19]

Horrocks was jointly responsible for development of the OIL and DAML+OIL ontology languages, and he played a central role in the development of the Web Ontology Language (OWL). These languages and associated tools have been used by Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO)[20] Consortium, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in America, the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) [21] and a range of major corporations and government agencies.[6]

His research is partly funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).[22]

Horrocks is the current Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Web Semantics[23] and has served as program chair for the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC).[citation needed]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2020 Horrocks was awarded the BCS Lovelace Medal in recognition of his significant contribution to the advancement of reasoning systems.[3]

Horrocks was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2011[6] and won the Roger Needham Award of the British Computer Society (BCS) in 2005.[4]

Oxford Semantic Technologies[edit]

In 2017 Horrocks co-founded the Oxford University tech spin-out Oxford Semantic Technologies Ltd. along with two other Oxford Professors. The purpose being to apply his research in industry and in doing so, created the high-performace knowledge graph and semantic reasoner, RDFox[24]—distinguished by its unique in-memory approach and academic backing.


  1. ^ Anon (2014). "Horrocks, Prof. Ian Robert". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com (online edition via Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U250633. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Grosof, B. N.; Horrocks, I.; Volz, R.; Decker, S. (2003). "Description logic programs". Proceedings of the twelfth international conference on World Wide Web - WWW '03. p. 48. doi:10.1145/775152.775160. ISBN 978-1581136807. S2CID 6381308.
  3. ^ a b "BCS Lovelace Medal 2020: Reasoning Systems | BCS". www.bcs.org. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  4. ^ a b Professor Ian Horrocks, Roger Needham award winners, via the British Computer Society
  5. ^ a b Ian Horrocks publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  6. ^ a b c Anon (2011). "Professor Ian Horrocks". royalsociety.org. Royal Society. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the royalsociety.org website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived 2016-11-11)

  7. ^ http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/people/ian.horrocks/ Ian Horrocks homepage at the University of Oxford
  8. ^ Ian Horrocks at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  9. ^ Horrocks, I.; Patel-Schneider, Peter; van Harmelen, Frank (2003). "From SHIQ and RDF to OWL: The making of a Web Ontology Language" (PDF). Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web. 1: 7–26. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/j.websem.2003.07.001.
  10. ^ Ian Horrocks publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  11. ^ Ian Horrocks author profile page at the ACM Digital Library
  12. ^ Atzenbeck, C. (2009). "Interview with Ian Horrocks". ACM SIGWEB Newsletter: 1–4. doi:10.1145/1592394.1592396. S2CID 7868854.
  13. ^ Horrocks, Ian Robert (1995). A comparison of two terminological knowledge representation systems (MSc thesis). University of Manchester. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012.
  14. ^ Horrocks, Ian Robert (1997). Optimising tableaux decision procedures for description logics (PDF) (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. OCLC 644109415. Copac 36615243.
  15. ^ Tsarkov, D.; Horrocks, I. (2006). "FaCT++ Description Logic Reasoner: System Description" (PDF). Automated Reasoning. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 4130. pp. 292–297. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/11814771_26. ISBN 978-3-540-37187-8.
  16. ^ "HermiT Reasoner: Home". Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  17. ^ B. Motik, R. Shearer and I. Horrocks (2009). "Hypertableau Reasoning for Description Logics" (PDF). Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research. 36: 165–228. doi:10.1613/jair.2811. S2CID 190609.
  18. ^ Motik, B.; Cuenca Grau, B.; Sattler, U. (2008). "Structured objects in owl: representation and reasoning" (PDF). Proceedings of the 17th international conference on World Wide Web - WWW '08. p. 555. doi:10.1145/1367497.1367573. ISBN 9781605580852. S2CID 11221528.
  19. ^ Sirin, E.; Parsia, B.; Grau, B. C.; Kalyanpur, A.; Katz, Y. (2007). "Pellet: A practical OWL-DL reasoner" (PDF). Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web. 5 (2): 51–53. doi:10.1016/j.websem.2007.03.004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 June 2007.
  20. ^ Golbreich, C.; Horridge, M.; Horrocks, I.; Motik, B.; Shearer, R. (2007). "OBO and OWL: Leveraging Semantic Web Technologies for the Life Sciences" (PDF). The Semantic Web. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 4825. pp. 169–182. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-76298-0_13. ISBN 978-3-540-76297-3.
  21. ^ Ian Horrocks introduction on the www-webont-wg mailing list at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
  22. ^ UK Government research grants awarded to Ian Horrocks, via Research Councils UK
  23. ^ Ian Horrocks appointed editor in chief of the Journal of Web Semantics, 1 July 2012
  24. ^ "Product". www.oxfordsemantic.tech. Retrieved 1 October 2021.