Semantic Web stack

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Semantic Web Stack

The Semantic Web Stack (also commmonly referred to as the Semantic Web Layer Cake) describes the concept of a set of layers of complexity in implementing and realizing the Semantic Web as a technology and trustworthy network.

The stack includes 7 main elements/layers (listed from the bottom up):

  1. URI (Unique Addresses & Foundation)
  2. XML (Namespaces & Data Exchange)
  3. RDF (Model & Syntax)
  4. OWL (Ontology)
  5. Logic (Rules & Descriptions)
  6. Proof (Decidability & Computability)
  7. Trust (Reliability)

Rules/Query Languages may also be included in various positions, typically centered around Logic and Proofs.


It is criticized by many as being too complex to take the time to implement, or deemed unnecessary in an IT world that moves incredibly fast; where we can simply put HTML up on the web and already it is immediately accessible by billions of internet users.


The view of the Semantic Web is increasingly supported by a larger and larger number of important thought-leaders in the areas of IT, E-Commerce, Government, Life and Social Sciences, etc...

The supporters will often counter the common criticisms of time to implement due to complexity and simplicity of using regular old HTML in web pages, websites and web applications by stating that once the complexities are overcome, a new level of efficiency never before possible will be automatically realized, and that by not taking the steps to go beyond basic HTML, companies will lose out to those that do.

See Also

Semantic Web | Trust | Proof | Logic | Ontology | OWL | RDF | XML | URI