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Knowledge & Content Technologies

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TOWL - Time-determined Ontology Web Language

TOWL is a research project co-financed by the European Union, funded under the Sixth Framework Programme. The TOWL (Time-determined Ontology Web Language) project will set the benchmark for the next generation content analyses to institutional equities services, investors and corporates. Faster automatic analyses of corporate-, market and global news will become crucial in order to deliver equity trading performance. The TOWL project's goal was to deliver a dynamic content environment for the stock broker markets.

The objective of the project was to expand the current state of the art ontology languages (OWL, RDF-S, RDF) and their support for automated reasoning by adding the time dimension to enable real time context aware information analysis. This technology was meant to provide ontology based (semantic) information systems to venture beyond a static world and add the concepts of time and change.


The potential general impact of an effective time determined ontology language and reasoner technology is fundamental for all aspects of the IST objectives. It affects knowledge acquisition, organisation, personalisation, share and use of all types of ontology based knowledge. Implementation of the time dimension in formal knowledge representation is a prerequisite for effective semantic interoperability between information sources of any nature, content type or language. And additionally, combined with time aware reasoners and feature extraction tools, this promotes self describing content and responsive behaviour to user needs.

Main innovation

The key technology innovation of the TOWL project was adding a time dimension to enable (semi-)real time context aware information analysis. This technology allowed ontology based (semantic) information systems to venture beyond a static world and add the concepts of time and change.


Using TOWL results in your business application:
TOWL offers leading edge semantic-based project results for your business applications . Especially for high yield knowledge based business processes, TOWL-Exploitation offers two solutions: 1) Semantic equity market analysis components and 2) Competitive intelligence analysis components.

ViewerPro implements TOWL technology:
Semlab's ViewerPro application implements the TOWL temporal modeling solution for accurate news analysis. With ViewerPro the electronic trading market can uncover concept relationships, discover unforeseen patterns and identify the impact of news on their trading portfolio, directly into machine readable format. “Because trading rules differ in time and trading insights rapidly evolve, it is crucial to modify your news analytics on the fly” says Bram Stalknecht, executive officer at SemLab, ”hedge funds, algorithmic- and equities traders can now change their news impact rules based on up-to-date rules for news flow algorithmic capabilities”.

More details
Administrative details


  • TOWL (IST-26896) is a Specific Targeted Research Project of the European Union's 6th Framework Programme – call 4.
  • The project started on 1 April 2006 and finished on 30 October 2008.
  • There have been 7 partners from 5 European countries involved in the project, and the overall funding was of 1.4 million euro.


List of participants


  • Project Coordinator: Technical University of Crete (TUC) GREECE
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) THE NETHERLANDS
  • University of Bari (BAR) ITALY
  • Poznan University of Economics (PUE) POLAND
  • Semantic Internet Innovation (SII) ITALY


Contact Person
Project Coordinator: Euripides Petrakis
Technical University of Crete, Greece
Email: (email removed)
Events in connection with TOWL