Development of semantic data models to support data interoperability in the rail industry

Tutcher, Jonathan (2016). Development of semantic data models to support data interoperability in the rail industry. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Accepted Version

Download (23MB)


Railways are large, complex systems that comprise many heterogeneous subsystems and parts. As the railway industry continues to enjoy increasing passenger and freight custom, ways of deriving greater value from the knowledge within these subsystems are increasingly sought. Interfaces to and between systems are rare, making data sharing and analysis difficult.
Semantic data modelling provides a method of integrating data from disparate sources by encoding knowledge about a problem domain or world into machine-interpretable logic and using this knowledge to encode and infer data context and meaning. The uptake of this technique in the Semantic Web and Linked Data movements in recent years has provided a mature set of techniques and toolsets for designing and implementing ontologies and linked data applications.
This thesis demonstrates ways in which semantic data models and OWL ontologies can be used to foster data exchange across the railway industry. It sets out a novel methodology for the creation of industrial semantic models, and presents a new set of railway domain ontologies to facilitate integration of infrastructure-centric railway data. Finally, the design and implementation of two prototype systems is described, each of which use the techniques and ontologies in solving a known problem.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > TF Railroad engineering and operation
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year