Juniorprof. Dr. Birte Glimm

Since July 2011 I work as a juniorprofessor at the University of Ulm within the Institute of Artificial Intelligence. Before that, I was a research assistant in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, where I worked in the Information Systems Group, mainly on developing algorithms for automated reasoning in expressive Description Logics and on the implementation of the HermiT reasoner.

I did my PhD in Manchester in the Information Management Group under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ian Horrocks and Prof. Dr. Uli Sattler and I was honoured with the Best Thesis Award from the School of Computer Science at Manchester University in 2008. From September 2001 until July 2004 I studied Computer Science in the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and I received my bachelor degree with an award for the best degree.

Before studying Computer Science, I worked for 3.5 years in Industry and did another degree in Communication Design.

Research Interests

My main research interests are knowledge representation and reasoning. In particular, I enjoy developing and implementing algorithms and optimisations for reasoning in expressive description logics. I implement the developed techniques in the HermiT reasoner.

Together with my doctoral student Andreas Steigmiller I develop optimisations for tableau algorithms and novel procedures that combine tableau and saturation-based algorithms. The latter improve the reasoning performance for ontologies that only use a few constructors from more expressive Description Logics. Together with my doctoral student Trung-Kien Tran I develop a novel abstraction and refinement procedure for reasoning with ontologies that contain a large amount of data. With my doctoral student Klaus Ulmschneider I work on applying Semantic Web technologies in the context of innovation management. 

I am an editor of the SPARQL 1.1 Entailment Regimes specification, developed within the SPARQL Working Group of the W3C. Entailment regimes extend SPARQL to work with semantics other than simple entailment, e.g., RDF and RDFS semantics and OWL Direct and RDF-Based Semantics. I am also an editor of the OWL 2 Web Ontology Language Conformance specification, which describes the conditions that OWL 2 tools must satisfy in order to be conformant with the language specification.


  • Member of the W3C SPARQL Working Group
  • Editor of SPARQL 1.1 Entailment Regimes
  • Editor of OWL 2 Web Ontology Language Conformance
  • Development of the HermiT OWL reasoner


Doctoral Students

Organisational Activities


email: Birte.Glimm(at)uni-ulm.de
phone: +49 (0)731/50-24125
fax:     +49 (0)731/50-24119

Postal Address

Birte Glimm
University of Ulm
Institute of Artificial Intelligence
D-89069 Ulm


building O27, level 4
room 448



All :: G


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Glimm, Birte and Stuckenschmidt, Heiner
15 Years of Semantic Web: An Incomplete Survey
KI - Künstliche Intelligenz, 30(2):117--130
ISSN: 0933-1875

Keywords: Reasoning, Description Logics, Semantic Web

Tags: AutomatedReasoning

Glimm, Birte
Interview with Prof. Dr. Ian Horrocks, Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Oxford
KI - Künstliche Intelligenz, 30(2):201--203
ISSN: 0933-1875

Keywords: Reasoning, Description Logics, Semantic Web

Tags: AutomatedReasoning

Glimm, Birte and Stuckenschmidt, Heiner
Special Issue on Semantic Web
KI - Künstliche Intelligenz, 30(2):113--115
ISSN: 1610-1987

Keywords: Reasoning, Description Logics, Semantic Web

Tags: AutomatedReasoning

Zhou, Zhangquan; Qi, Guilin and Glimm, Birte
Exploring Parallel Tractability of Ontology Materialization
Proceedings of the 22nd European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 2016)
Publisher: IOS Press,

Keywords: Reasoning, Description Logics, Optimisations, Optimizations,Materialization, Materialisation, Paralellisation, Paralellization

Tags: AutomatedReasoning

Glimm, Birte; Kazakov, Yevgeny and Tran, Trung-Kien
Ontology Materialization by Abstraction Refinement in Horn SHOIF
Proceedings of the 29th International Workshop on Description Logics (DL 2016) Volume 1577 of CEUR Workshop Proceedings
Publisher: CEUR-WS.org,

Tags: AutomatedReasoning

Brenner, Markus and Glimm, Birte
Breaking the Black Box - Using Background Knowledge for Efficient Stream Reasoning
Proceedings of the International Symposium on Companion Technology (ISCT 2015)
September 2015

Keywords: SFB-TRR-62,AutomatedReasoning

Tags: SFB-TRR-62,AutomatedReasoning

Abstract: Current approaches to stream reasoning neglect knowledge about the system as a whole. We present first steps towards self-describing streams by outlining a possible definition of the data produced by differ- ent streams. We give an outlook on future paths and how such descrip- tions can be used to improve reasoning about the streamed data.

Ulmschneider, Klaus; Michelberger, Bernd; Glimm, Birte; Mutschler, Bela and Reichert, Manfred
On Maintaining Semantic Networks: Challenges, Algorithms, Use Cases
International Journal of Web Information Systems, 11(3):291-326

Tags: AutomatedReasoning

Steigmiller, Andreas and Glimm, Birte
Pay-As-You-Go Description Logic Reasoning by Coupling Tableau and Saturation Procedures
Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 54:535--592

Keywords: Reasoning, Description Logics, Optimisations, Optimizations

Tags: SFB-TRR-62,AutomatedReasoning

Behnke, Gregor; Ponomaryov, Denis; Schiller, Marvin; Bercher, Pascal; Nothdurft, Florian; Glimm, Birte and Biundo, Susanne
Coherence Across Components in Cognitive Systems – One Ontology to Rule Them All
Proceedings of the 25th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2015) , page 1442-1449.
Publisher: AAAI Press,

Tags: SFB-TRR-62,Planning,AutomatedReasoning

Abstract: The integration of the various specialized components of cognitive systems poses a challenge, in particular for those architectures that combine planning, inference, and human-computer interaction (HCI). An approach is presented that exploits a single source of common knowledge contained in an ontology. Based upon the knowledge contained in it, specialized domain models for the cognitive systems’ components can be generated automatically. Our integration targets planning in the form of hierarchical planning, being well-suited for HCI as it mimics planning done by humans. We show how the hierarchical structures of such planning domains can be (partially) inferred from declarative background knowledge. The same ontology furnishes the structure of the interaction between the cognitive system and the user. First, explanations of plans presented to users are enhanced by ontology explanations. Second, a dialog domain is created from the ontology coherent with the planning domain. We demonstrate the application of our technique in a fitness training scenario.

Behnke, Gregor; Bercher, Pascal; Biundo, Susanne; Glimm, Birte; Ponomaryov, Denis and Schiller, Marvin
Integrating Ontologies and Planning for Cognitive Systems
Proceedings of the 28th International Workshop on Description Logics (DL 2015)
Publisher: CEUR Workshop Proceedings,

Tags: AutomatedReasoning, Planning, SFB-TRR-62

Abstract: We present an approach for integrating ontological reasoning and planning within cognitive systems. Patterns and mechanisms that suitably link planning domains and interrelated knowledge in an ontology are devised. In particular, this enables the use of (standard) ontology reasoning for extending a (hierarchical) planning domain. Furthermore, explanations of plans generated by a cognitive system benefit from additional explanations relying on background knowledge in the ontology and inference. An application of this approach in the domain of fitness training is presented.

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