Fact Sheet: Ressource Description Framework (RDF)

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Short Description/ Transmitted Information - Neutral language/data model for any kind of knowledge, not restricted to mechatronics or software systems
- W3C Semantic Web standards
Application Scope - Collaboration
- Validation
Maturity Productive Usage
Goals - General knowledge representation with automated processing
- Provision of logically consistent models for any domain
Penetration Widespread Domains
Visibility Approx. 50%
Promoting Bodies  
IT Standard Classification  
Data Format  
Relations to other standards XML, OWL
Overlap with other standards UML, SysML, AutomationML, OPC UA, ReqIF, etc. (unrestricted)


Software Vendors, Industry Users, Management


Positioning of RDF in V-Model


Reasons from Industry (example):

  • Increase consistency, clarity and efficiency of multi-disciplinary model engineering by providing an underlying general-purpose, machine-readable semantic model and language that allows for automated interlinking and integration of different models
  • Enable standardized automated processing and linking of knowledge from multiple domains
  • Improve efficiency of communication, collaboration, exchange and management of knowledge across domains, business segments and organizations (interoperability)
  • Increase efficiency in both systems engineering and software engineering
  • Support automation in data/model exchange and processing
  • W3C domain-independent standard enabler for logically consistent semantic models

Relevance and Benefit for MBSE

RDF is a standard model for representing information in the Web. It enables modeling of a semantic net.

Risks and Impediments

What happens if we do nothing:

  • Slow pocedere , Company specific incompatible semantic models
  • Models remain processable only with specific tools despite high standardization efforts while still being restricted to single (sets) of use cases
  • High efforts for individual software development regarding model engineering and management
  • Industry 4.0 etc. promote semantic models for interoperability, with RDF/OWL as an important building block, thus separated development streams could lead to fundamental inconsistencies and hinder continuous model exchange


  • Too few experts available for required enablement of today's SW applications
  • Insufficient coordination of activities result in incompatible methodologies and approaches
  • Intended engineering efficiencies in cross-enterprise collaboration can’t be achieved