Arachne is a rule engine for RDF. It implements the Rete/UL algorithm as described in Production Matching for Large Learning Systems by Robert B. Doorenbos, an extension of Forgy's original Rete algorithm.


Arachne was developed initially to support reasoning within the Noctua/Minerva system. This use case calls for:

  • Scalable handling of very large ontologies (millions of axioms/rules).
  • Adequate performance, with large rule sets, for smallish datasets of hundreds to thousands of triples (materialize all inferences in <1 second).
  • Simultaneous reuse of reasoner, once all rules have been loaded, for any number of datasets, without re-incurring initialization time.



 arachne [options] : Command-line operations for Arachne RDF rule engine


   --data           : file or folder of RDF data files
   --export         : export RDF triples to Turtle file
   --indirect-types : mark indirect types with additional triple
   --inferred-only  : export inferred triples only
   --ontology       : OWL ontology to import into reasoning rules
   --rules          : Jena-syntax rules file to import

To compute Abox inferences for an instance dataset data.ttl which uses classes and properties from some ontology ont.owl, a typical command line would be:

arachne --ontology=ont.owl --data=data.ttl --export=output.ttl


Install sbt (Scala Build Tool) on your system. For Mac OS X, it is easily done using Homebrew: brew install sbt. sbt requires a working Java installation, but you do not need to otherwise install Scala.

sbt compile