Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Looking back at FOIS and JOWO 2016 - key information and links

The Ninth International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS 2016) [1] was held in Annecy, France, from July 6 to 9, 2016, in co-location with the 22nd International Conference on Conceptual Structures (ICCS 2016).

More than 70 participants attended the conference, which received 81 submissions from 29 countries and all populated continents. The presentations of the 25 accepted papers (ca. 31%) covered a wide range of topics, including foundations, space, time and change, cognition, language and semantics, empiricism and measurement, ontology of engineering, biomedical ontologies and ontology of social reality.

The presentations, together with the talks of the four invited speakers (Gilberto Câmara, Fabien Gandon, Friederike Moltmann, Stephen Mumford) were followed by very lively discussions. The PC Chairs of the ninth edition have been Roberta Ferrario and Werner Kuhn, while the General Chair was Giancarlo Guizzardi.

The proceedings of the conference have been published on open access as volume 283 of the Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications (FAIA) series by IOS Press. They are available at [2], itself linked at [3]. The presentations are also available, at [4].

The conference included three satellite activities: Demonstration Track (3 presentations), Early Career Symposium (5 presentations and posters) and Formal Ontology Competition (3 presentations). The Chairs of these activities were Frank Loebe (Demo Track), Adrien Barton, Stefano Borgo and Jean-Rémi Bourguet (ECS), and Fabian Neuhaus (Competition).

The best paper award was won by Claudio Masolo with the paper “Observations and their Explanations”, while the winners of the Formal Ontology Competition were Niels Grewe, Ludger Jansen and Barry Smith with the work “Permanent Generic Relatedness and Silent Change”.

Annecy, view on the river Thiou.
Moreover, the main conference was preceded by the second edition of the Joint Ontology Workshops (JOWO 2016) [5], which combined four ontology-centered workshops, running in parallel:
  • CAOS (First International Workshop on Cognition and Ontologies)
  • OntoCom (Fourth International Workshop on Ontologies and Conceptual Modeling)
  • NSWO (New Standards for the Working Ontologist)
  • WOMoCOE (International Workshop on Ontology Modularity, Contextuality and Evolution)
Oliver Kutz and Sergio de Cesare were the Workshop Chairs of JOWO 2016, which included very exciting presentations, both of accepted papers and keynotes by Brandon Bennett, Jérôme Euzenat, and Gem Stapleton. The proceedings of the workshops and of the works presented during the satellite activities have been published as CEUR volume 1660 [6].

All information and material can be found at the FOIS 2016 Website [1] and the JOWO 2016 Website [5], respectively.

[1] FOIS 2016 Website

[2] FOIS 2016 Proceedings, open access, at the IOS Press website

[3] Proceedings page at the FOIS 2016 Website

[4] Presentations page at the FOIS 2016 Website

[5] JOWO 2016 Website

[6] JOWO 2016 Proceedings, including FOIS Satellite Events

< Thanks to Roberta Ferrario for preparing this post, Frank Loebe made minor edits >

Thursday, February 25, 2016

IAOA Newsletter 2015/2016

[copy of the newsletter 2015/2016, Feb 1, 2016]
Dear IAOA members,

2015 comprised a special milestone for our community as we marked the 10th anniversary of the Applied Ontology journal [1]. Nicola Guarino, Mark Musen, and the rest of the Editorial Board worked hard on a special issue, which will be published in the coming months.

IAOA was one of the co-organizers for Ontology Summit 2015 [2], which addressed the theme "The Internet of Things: Toward Smart Networked Systems and Societies." and explored Ontology Integration in IoT, Semantic Sensor Network Ontologies, Decision Making in Different Domains, and Related Standards and Synergies for Emerging IoT Ontologies.

The Third IAOA Summer Institute (in cooperation with the Vespucci Institutes 2015) [3] was held during the week of June 22-26 at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA. The topic this year was "Spatial Ontologies for e-Science" with Werner Kuhn, Peter Fox, and Michael Gruninger as facilitators. Amidst the scenery of coastal Maine, participants engaged in a wide range of discussions, primarily considering the notion of location. Topics included the role of location in [4] and PROV-O [5], geoscience without geometry, and a study of the concept of “along” (e.g. as in “samples were taken along the river”). Michael Gruninger was bestowed the honour of Fellow of the
Vespucci Initiative for the Advancement of Geographic Information in Science [6]. Special thanks are extended to Werner Kuhn, whose indomitable energy, inspiration, and organizational prowess made the Summer Institute another success.

Last year marked the first edition of JOWO (Joint Ontology Workshops[7] at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) [8] in Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 25-31. This event co-located the Workshop on Modular Ontologies (WoMO), Formal Ontologies for Artificial Intelligence (FOfAI), the Workshop on Ontologies and Logic Programming for Query Answering, and the Workshop on Belief Change and Non Monotonic Reasoning in Ontologies and Databases.

The 7th Workshop on Formal Ontologies Meet Industry (FOMI) [9] was co-located with the RuleML Conference [10] in Berlin on August 5. Organized by Roberta Cuel and Bob Young, the workshop brought together an interesting mix of perspectives from a wide range of industrial applications.

Concerning internal affairs, the end of the year brought changes to the Executive Council (EC). Marion Haemmerli, Janna Hastings, and Leo Obrst all retired from the EC. Leo has served as an EC member from the creation of IAOA in 2009, and Marion has been instrumental in laying the groundwork for the relocation of IAOA from Italy to Switzerland. A heartfelt thanks to Janna, Marion, and Leo for all of their hard work! Ken Baclawski, Amanda Vizedom, and Zena Wood were elected to the Executive Council, with their term starting this January, 2016.

Under the leadership of Maria Keet and Zena Wood, the IAOA Education Committee has been re-energized, with the visible result of getting a wiki [11] started, where people can find information on ontology courses, material, and textbooks. See there [12] to find out how to contribute to this effort.

This coming year will be quite exciting, with IAOA supporting several major events. The Ninth International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS 2016) [13] will be held in Annecy, France, on July 6-9. Giancarlo Guizzardi (General Chair) together with Roberta Ferrario and Werner Kuhn (Programme Chairs), as well as Patrick Barlatier and Richard Dapoigny (Local Chairs), are crafting an amazing conference that will showcase the latest research in applied ontology. For up-to-date information, visit the website at
[13] .

The Education Committee is leading the planning for the Third Interdisciplinary School on Applied Ontology (ISAO) [14], which will take place in Bolzano, Italy, between June 27 and July 1, 2016, i.e. Monday to Friday in the week before FOIS. Keep your eyes open for public announcements in the near future.

As in previous years, IAOA will again be a co-organizer of the Ontology Summit [15]. Ontology Summit 2016 has selected as theme for this year "Semantic Integration". The Summit will offer a particularly important opportunity for identifying use cases for applying formal ontologies to semantic integration problems in the domains of earth sciences, biology and medicine, cloud computing, engineering, and finance.

The relocation of IAOA from Italy to Switzerland is still on our agenda. Unfortunately, this project could not be finished in 2015 as intended originally, primarily due to delays in the revision of the Statute and the Bylaws for Switzerland. However, we are now approaching the completion of this revision as well as the formal foundation of IAOA in Switzerland, which are planned until March 2016. Please note that this timing has a side effect on membership renewals for 2016. All active memberships of 2015 are "silently" extended until March 31, 2016. After the foundation of IAOA in Switzerland and the setup of a new bank account all members will be informed when we are ready to enroll for this year.

With an active agenda for 2016, we look forward to your continuing support in all the endeavours of IAOA and will hope to see you at any or all of this year's events!

Michael Gruninger and Oliver Kutz
for the IAOA Executive Council


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

1st Virtual Assembly during April 14-21 for 2013 Financial Statement and 2014 Budget Approval

[copy of today's address to the membership by the IAOA President Michael Gruninger]
Dear IAOA members,

our Statute requires the Association's financial statement and annual budget to be formally approved every year by a (virtual) assembly, announced at least 15 days in advance. So this is a formal invitation to participate in the first 2014 virtual assembly, whose main purpose is to discuss and approve the 2013 Financial Statement and the 2014 Budget. Our financial status is safe, not only anticipating this year's FOIS conference and Summer School. Overall, we are actively supporting participation in a wide variety of novel as well as traditional IAOA initiatives.

The relevant documents (Financial Statement plus Budget) will be published on April 02, 2014.

The discussion on the Budget (and possibly on any other issue concerning the Association) will take place between April 02 and April 09, 2014.

Finalized details will be published by April 11, 2014.

The voting period will be April 14-21, 2014. Detailed voting instructions will be distributed in advance and will be available at [1].

The quorum is satisfied if the number of votes exceeds 50%+1 of the IAOA membership count, determined on April 13. If we are not able to meet the quorum requirement, a second call will be necessary. The outcome of the voting will be announced to the members' mailing list until April 30, 2014.

Please be aware that your vote takes just a few minutes, but is of huge importance to let our Association move forward. Guaranteeing that the IAOA is truly open and democratic is our first priority, and you will certainly understand that it requires a huge investment of voluntary time. We really count on your support!

Let me take this opportunity to express the gratitude of the whole IAOA Executive Council to our acting Treasurer, Laure Vieu. She did an excellent job in keeping our finances under rigorous control as in previous years, making at the same time everything transparent and understandable in any detail. Serving as Treasurer since IAOA's inception, Laure is currently passing on the respective duties to our new designated Treasurer Fabian Neuhaus, under whose direction the 2014 budget has already been prepared, and to the new Membership Officer Claudio Masolo. We are grateful for their readiness and contributions.

Michael Gruninger
President, IAOA

Monday, January 27, 2014

Get together in sunny Rio de Janeiro for the premier IAOA event, FOIS 2014

In September 2014, the international community of ontologists will flock to the Brazilian coastline for the largest IAOA event of the year, the flagship Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS) conference.

Research paper submissions are due on March 3 -- start preparing now, as just as in previous FOIS events, we expect tough competition! This year, in addition to paper submissions there will also be an ontology competition in which a prize will be awarded to the winning ontology evaluated by the criteria outlined in last year's Ontology Summit.

Find out more about this event at

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Here comes the Ontology Summit 2014!

We are so far.
The Ontology Summit 2014 has just started this week.
For the first time ever in the Ontology Summit history, more than 100 members and interested parties from around the world have attended the Launch Event on January 16 via phone and chat!
A great achievement for our Community!

Colleagues are already posting about the event, so don't miss out!
Become a member and join the Summit and the Community discussion! You can only win!
And help us spread the word (G+, Twitter, FB) (official twitter account: @OntologySummit; proposed hashtag: #ontosum).

From Tim Finin's blog, link added above

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 New Year's Address to IAOA Members by the Executive Council

Dear IAOA members,

Happy New Year!

Looking back on 2013, it is evident that our Association is thriving in a number of areas.

2013's Summer Institute was held in cooperation with the Vespucci Institute in Fiesole, Italy in June. The selected topic was: "Ontologies and models for integrated assessments of multiple-scale processes".  Using the notion of "land functions" as a basis, discussions covered a host of highly interdisciplinary approaches, including spatial micro-simulation models for environments and social science, to move towards an ontology of land function and land function dynamics.
Dimitris Ballas (University of Sheffield), Tom Bittner (SUNY-Buffalo), Max Craglia (JRC), Werner Kuhn (University of Münster), Carlo Lavalle (JRC) served as facilitators. And particular thanks go to Werner Kuhn for his energy and assistance in another highly successful Summer Institute!

IAOA was also one of the co-organizers for OntologySummit 2013, which addressed the theme "Ontology Evaluation Across the Ontology Lifecycle" and explored criteria, tools, and techniques for evaluating ontologies.
 In addition, marking a new development for the Association, IAOA sponsored a Prize for the Best Hackathon-Clinic Project at the Ontology Summit.
The winners of the Award in 2013 were:
- Mike Bennett (FIBO; EDM Council; Hypercube)
- María Poveda Villalón (OOPS!; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)
- Astrid Duque Ramos (OQuaRE; University of Murcia)
- Samir Tartir (OntoQA; Philadelphia University, Jordan)
Congratulations to all of the winners.

The new Semantic Web Applied Ontology SIG was created in November, with Leo Obrst leading the effort. Various activities continued in the other Special Interest Groups and Technical Committees, although we are strongly encouraging much higher participation levels from members in the future!  There is much to do. In particular, we are hoping to energize the Education Committee and initiate the development of an ontology textbook. Zena Wood has agreed to be the new Chair of the Education Committee, taking over from Antony Galton and Fabian Neuhaus.

The year also brought changes to the Executive Council, with Giancarlo Guizzardi and Laure Vieu both retiring. Many thanks to Giancarlo and Laure for all of their hard work!  Laure, in particular, has served as our Treasurer since the inception of the Association, an absolutely vital role. The current success of IAOA is in large part due to her untiring efforts, and she will be greatly missed.

Elections were held in 2013, and Janna Hastings and Marion Haemmerli both joined the Executive Council, with their term starting this January, 2014. Re-elected to the Executive Council were Oliver Kutz, Frank Loebe, Fabian Neuhaus, and Leo Obrst.

For the coming year, 2014, we are eagerly anticipating a wide range of major events.  Foremost, we have FOIS occurring this year September 22-25 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  With Laure Vieu as General Chair, Pawel Garbacz and Oliver Kutz as Programme Committee Chairs, and Giancarlo Guizzardi and Renato Rocha Souza as Organization Chairs, FOIS promises to be a spectacular venue for the presentation of the latest ontological research. For the latest information, visit the website at .

The Second Interdisciplinary Summer School on Ontological Analysis will also take place in Vitoria, Brazil, in the week before FOIS. The emphasis here will be on ontological analysis, pursuing the goal of showing how the different disciplines within IAOA interact and communicate to answer a variety of problems. Details on the program/courses of the school, venue and accommodation and registration procedures are available at .

As in previous years, IAOA will again be a co-organizer of the Ontology Summit. Ontology Summit 2014 has selected as theme for this year "Big Data and Semantic Web Meet Applied Ontology".  The Summit will offer a particularly important opportunity for building bridges between the Semantic Web, Linked Data, Big Data, and Applied Ontology communities. The Kickoff session takes place already on January 16, 2014 -- for more details, see .
This coming year therefore holds great promise for new activities within the Association as well as new opportunities for involvement across all the interdisciplinary areas that make up Applied Ontology. We therefore look forward to your continuing support in all the endeavours of IAOA and will hope to see you at any or all of this year's face-to-face events!

Michael Gruninger and John Bateman
for the IAOA Executive Council

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The 7th International Workshop on Modular Ontologies (WoMO-13) - report

The 7th International Workshop on Modular Ontologies (WoMO-13) took place in Coruña (Galicia, Spain) co-located with the 12th International Conference on Logic Programming and Nonmonotonic Reasoning (LPNMR-13). LPNMR-13 has been a good host: they took care of the local organisation of rooms, coffee breaks, registration, and they also handled the finances of the co-located workshops. WoMO-13 registrants have also been invited to the LPNMR-13 reception held at the Universidade da Coruña, in the main hall overlooking the ocean. The view could have not been more stunning thanks to the sunny weather that delighted the attendants the whole day.

WoMO-13 has five accepted papers. The CEUR proceedings ( include two additional contributions: one by Prof. Till Mossakowski (University of Magdeburg), whose invited talk was supported by IAOA; and one by Prof. George Vourous (University of Piraeus), whose invited talk was co-organised with the co-located workshop CLIMA XIV - Computational Logic in Multi-Agent Systems, and funded by SINTELNET.

The WoMO-13 Programme consisted of 2 invited talks, 4 long papers, and 1 short paper. To offer the attendants a richer schedule and to widen the audience, the Organising Committee decided to join the effort with ARCOE-13, a workshop associated with LPNMR-13 on a topic related to WoMO-13, that had 3 accepted papers and one invited speaker.

The workshop programme is detailed in what follows:

10:00-11:00: WoMO invited talk:
- Till Mossakowski: The Distributed Ontology, Modeling and Specification Language
11:00-11:25: WoMO session I
- Soudabeh Ghafourian, Mahmoud Naghibzadeh and Amin Rezaeian: Modularization of Graph-Structured Ontology with Semantic Similarity
11:25-12:00: Coffee break 
12:00-13:30: WoMO session II
- Ralph Schäfermeier and Adrian Paschke: Towards a Unified Approach to Modular Ontology Development Using the Aspect-Oriented Paradigm
- Patrick Koopmann and Renate A. Schmidt: Implementation and Evaluation of Forgetting in ALC-Ontologies
- William Gatens, Boris Konev and Frank Wolter: Module Extraction for Acyclic Ontologies
- Francisco Martin-Recuerda and Dirk Walther: Fast atomic decomposition using axiom dependency hypergraphs
13:30-15:00: Lunch break
15:00-16:35: ARCOE session I 
16:35-17:00: Coffee break 
17:00-17:25: ARCOE session II 
17:25-18:30: WoMO+CLIMA invited talk
- George Vouros: Combining ontologies in settings with multiple agents

The OC has received enthusiastic feedback from the audience for the generous support of IAOA.