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[protege-owl] Query Performance

Martin O'Connor martin.oconnor at
Wed Jan 16 13:49:47 PST 2008

SPARQL does not have any understanding of OWL so can be cumbersome if 
your queries are complex. You could try SQWRL [1]. The current 
implementation in the SWRLTab use as Jess back end and does not 
implement a complete OWL reasoner so is relatively quick. It should work 
well for ontologies with tens of thousands of individuals, but you may 
run into performance issues if your ontologies are much bigger. I plan 
on working on query performance over the next few months because we have 
several projects with large ontologies that use SWRL and SQWRL.



Christian Beckel wrote:

>I want to query some data from an ontology in a time-critical application and 
>I wonder what "query language" and ontology type I should use. 
>I've already found out that performing queries through DL Reasoning (creating 
>a class with the desired restrictions) is quite expensive since the ontology 
>needs to be reclassified for each query. That's why I consider querying the 
>ontology with SPARQL on instance level. 
>So far, my ontology is written in OWL DL. Do SPARQL queries perform 
>differently on OWL DL ontologies and on RDFS ontologies or is the performance 
>difference negligible as soon as the ontology is classified?
>Greetings & Thanks for your help,
>protege-owl mailing list
>protege-owl at
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