Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New DroolsTab geo-information tool release

DroolsTab is a tab plug-in to the open source ontology editor Protege ( Version18.08.2008 has just been released. It uses the open source geo-information system Java library OpenMap ( and the open source Java RETE rule engine Drools ( It can be used for visual authoring of the complex spatial process simulation scenarios and general rule base authoring. It includes several demo examples of spatial simulation in the sea, air and ground environments.

New features:
  • parallel-consecutive "tasks" instead of only consecutive "phases",
  • "signal transmission" between scenarios and/or rule sets,
  • using Protege server for remote signal transmission,
  • better documentation,- scenario development support.
New examples:
  • "Terrorist Location Distribution",
  • "Road Traffic",
  • "Remote Police Work" (using Protege server),
  • spatial scenario simulation server.


  1. It's cool that someone ported JessTab to Drools. Between 2001-2004 there was interest in JessTab on the Jess mailing list, but now it's pretty much dead. Very few researchers care about JessTab anymore.

    The biggest issue I see with with JessTab and DroolsTab is OWL. There was hope OWL would standardize ontology, but as it turns out, OWL sucks. Many of the OWL projects went no where. Designing, building and deploying ontologies is very complex, so OWL fails to solve the real problem.

    one major issue with how protege handles ontologies is that often the relationship should be defined as a rule with KB techniques. Instead, OWL came out of DAML, which was an extension of RDF. Since RDF is flawed, OWL inherits the same flaws.

    someone needs to go back to established knowledge base techniques and create a new ontology standard that is practical.

  2. Full OWL blows, but OWL-DL is based on good old fashioned Description Logic which works pretty well, if you can deal with the RFD triples.

  3. the whole RDF triplet is crap though. lots of people tried to persuade W3C to change their mind, but they suffer from NIH. Having seen some of the politics, RDF is complete crap. Even if one extends Triplets to quadruplets, it still doesn't solve the problem. RDF is crap, pure and simple.

  4. In DroolsTab OWL does not used. We are using only good old Frames to represent knowledge in GIS, Scenarios and Rules domain areas.

  5. So DroolsTab isn't a full port of JessTab then. How does DroolsTab handle relationship beyond classes and instances? One of the challenging aspects of creating a knowledgebase is describing the relationship between instances and classes, which are not captured through normal class hierarchy.

    Protege frames are roughly equivalent to Object oriented modeling + instance data. This is just my opinion, but what frames don't do well is capture relational models and complex relationships.

    thanks for pointing out droolstab doesn't use OWL. I'll have to take a look when I have time.

  6. Now we are not going beyond OO modeling. We are waiting while semantic web comunity come to some fruitful results :)

  7. I'm totally bias against W3C. I really doubt W3C will come up with a solution for describing relationships. The way RDF does it, is flawed and they (W3C) have no interest in learning from KBR and CBR prior art.

  8. You mean Case Based Reasoning?
    And what is a KBR?