Owlcpp: A C++ library for working with OWL ontologies

Mikhail K. Levin, Lindsay G. Cowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The increasing use of ontologies highlights the need for a library for working with ontologies that is efficient, accessible from various programming languages, and compatible with common computational platforms. Results: We developed owlcpp, a library for storing and searching RDF triples, parsing RDF/XML documents, converting triples into OWL axioms, and reasoning. The library is written in ISO-compliant C++ to facilitate efficiency, portability, and accessibility from other programming languages. Internally, owlcpp uses the Raptor RDF Syntax library for parsing RDF/XML and the FaCT++ library for reasoning. The current version of owlcpp is supported under Linux, OSX, and Windows platforms and provides an API for Python. Conclusions: The results of our evaluation show that, compared to other commonly used libraries, owlcpp is significantly more efficient in terms of memory usage and searching RDF triple stores. owlcpp performs strict parsing and detects errors ignored by other libraries, thus reducing the possibility of incorrect semantic interpretation of ontologies. owlcpp is available at http://owl-cpp.sf.net/under the Boost Software License, Version 1.0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number35
JournalJournal of Biomedical Semantics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 16 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'Owlcpp: A C++ library for working with OWL ontologies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this