The Semantic Web Applied Ontology (SWAO) Special Interest Group is actively involved in the Ontology Summit 2021: Ontology Generation and Harmonization. Harmonization is especially relevant to SWAO because the purpose of SWAO is to help bridge between communities. Ontologies are now routinely being extracted and generated from a large variety of sources, but without articulating the intended purpose or type of the ontologies. Track A of the summit will survey the landscape of ontology types and purposes. Track B will survey the notion of a definition for bridging between different ontologies and between ontologies and people via natural language. Track C is concerned with bridging between the machine learning and ontology communities. Track D considers the organizational aspects of ontologies, especially sustainability of ontologies and their ecosystems.
Dear IAOA Members and Followers,
The nomination phase for the 2020 Executive Council election has closed on November 10, 2020. In addition to Ken Baclawski, Oliver Kutz, Frank Loebe, Fabian Neuhaus, Laure Vieu, and Amanda Vizedom who are candidates for re-election, we have three new candidates: Torsten Hahmann, Megan Katsumi and Emilio Sanfilippo.
We thus have nine candidates for nine positions. The current Executive Council, during its meeting on November 16, has acknowledged all candidates and confirmed that in this situation the election follows the procedure according to Article VII, Section 4, of our earlier Bylaws (IAOA with its new Swiss statutes is still in the process of elaborating new bylaws):
“If the number of candidates is not larger than the number of
vacancies, no ballot is required and the nominated candidates
are deemed to have been elected.”
In conclusion of the election, the new Executive Council for the period of 2021-2022 consists of:
- Ken Baclawski, Northeastern University, USA
- Torsten Hahmann, University of Maine, USA
- Megan Katsumi, University of Toronto, Canada
- Oliver Kutz, Free University of Bolzano, Italy
- Frank Loebe, University of Leipzig, Germany
- Fabian Neuhaus, Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany
- Emilio Sanfilippo, LOA, ISTC-CNR, Trento, Italy
- Laure Vieu, IRIT-CNRS, University of Toulouse, France
- Amanda Vizedom, Credit Suisse, USA
The new officers will take up their roles on January 1st, 2021, when the current period of office comes to an end. At its first meeting, the new EC will also newly elect the holders of the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.
Finally, we would like to thank the three outgoing Executive Council members, Roberta Ferrario, Michael Gruninger and Maria Keet, for their outstanding service to the community.
The Semantic Web Applied Ontology (SWAO) Special Interest Group is embarking on a project to develop ontology articulation guidelines. There are different kinds of ontology for different purpose, such as concrete solutions to specific engineering problems and models for conceptualization. We will articulate the distinctions among various purposes, with different guidelines for different purposes. The intent of this project is to create a guide that will be easy enough to use, but still provide a greater measure of ontological analysis. The guidelines will be expressed as a collection of wiki pages on wiki.iaoa.org and will build on the terminology on this wiki.
Dear IAOA members,
The second 2020 IAOA Virtual Assembly will soon be open, and we will be selecting members for the Executive Council. These elections follow the regulations in the IAOA Statute as of Jun 23, 2016 [1,2].
All members of the Executive Council come to the end of their terms at the end of 2020. The current Executive Council has decided to keep the present number of people, so nine (9) persons need to be elected.
PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOUR MEMBERSHIP IS UP-TO-DATE.
If you have not renewed your membership in the last 12 months, then your membership has most probably elapsed; please apply for renewal  before making a nomination or otherwise participating in the election. (Memberships are valid individually for one year, starting from the date of approval of the membership/renewal request. In few cases, more than 1 year membership may apply.)
For the next few weeks, we foresee three main phases:
Candidature, Campaigning, and Elections, as follows.
A – Candidature phase (from October 28 to November 9)
At least two members (a proposer and at least one seconder, none of whom should be the nominee) are required in order to make a nomination. The members making the nomination shall ensure that they, as well as the nominee, are current members of the association, and that the nominee shall accept the nomination.
PLEASE START NOW IN MAKING YOUR NOMINATIONS, by means of a message posted to  firstname.lastname@example.org and specifying the proposer, the seconder(s), the nominee, and optionally some motivations and/or a candidate’s position statement (which can be circulated afterwards). We have also set up a wiki page to discuss these elections at
Please feel free to send any editing comments to  email@example.com .
Nominations can be freely discussed on the members’ mailing list [4,7] from the nomination time to the end of the campaigning phase.
B – Campaigning phase (from November 10 to November 16)
Campaigning can start with the first candidate nomination, i.e., during the candidature phase. Once that phase is closed, there is still a week available for active campaigning and discussion on the members’ mailing list [4,7].
C – 2020 IAOA virtual assembly eBallot (from November 17 to November 22)
In this period you will be asked to vote for nine Executive Council candidates. Please be so kind as to participate in the vote even if you decide to abstain, so we can count you among the participants. The more participants, the stronger the result of the election will be!
The list of candidates and their position statements will be made available through the IAOA Election wiki page .
Results will be announced to the mailing list  and the wiki page .
We will be grateful for any efforts and contributions to the 2020 EC election.
Active involvement in IAOA through Executive Council membership is a highly valuable service to the whole community. Please do consider nominating candidates!
The Research Centre for Knowledge and Data of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano is happy to announce the Bolzano Summer of Knowledge which takes place online in September of 2020.
Participation is free. Register here.
The following events are part of the Summer of Knowledge in September 2020 (in alphabetical order):
CARLA 2020: Concepts in Action: Representation, Learning, and Application
EEWC 2020: 10th Enterprise Engineering Working Conference
EKAW 2020: The 22nd International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management
EROSS 2020: ER Online Summer Seminar Series
ICBO 2020: The 11th International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies
ICCS 2020: 25th International Conference on Conceptual Structures
JOWO 2020: The 6th Joint Ontology Workshops
OVERLAY 2020: 2nd workshop on Artificial Intelligence and fOrmal VERification, Logic, Automata, and sYnthesis
SUM 2020: The 14th International Conference on Scalable Uncertainty Management
TIME 2020: 27th International Symposium on Temporal Representation and Reasoning
For event details, see https://summerofknowledge.inf.unibz.it/.
To register, go to https://summerofknowledge.inf.unibz.it/registration/.
*** UPDATE: Registration for the virtual ICBO 2020 is now open: https://summerofknowledge.inf.unibz.it/registration/ ***
*** Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, some parts of ICBO 2020 will take place virtually, but the major part of the conference will be *postponed* to September 2021. Proceedings will still be published in 2020 as usual.***
The International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies (ICBO) is a premier annual conference series that brings together researchers, students and professionals involved in the development and application of ontologies in all areas of biology, medicine, diseases, human health, genome biology, environment, biomes, nutrition, food, plants, agriculture and others.
This year, ICBO will be run jointly with Ontologies and Data for the Life Sciences (ODLS), an annual workshop series that focuses on data management and data processing in the life sciences and in health care, covering the overall spectrum of biomedical information management, from experimental data acquisition and preprocessing across analysis, structuring and interpretation of data, up to developing structured representations of knowledge, in particular in the form of ontologies, with their various applications.
The theme for ICBO|ODLS 2020 is Ontology across Boundaries. This includes the topics of:
- Ontologies at the practical interfaces between different yet interrelated disciplines and communities of practice (e.g. biology–chemistry, immunology–epidemiology etc.)
- Ontologies overcoming boundaries between basic research and translation
- Ontologies and the socioeconomic boundaries that can lead to differences in health outcomes across different population groups
- Ontology as a tool for open science to reduce segregation of research results and improve access to the full body of knowledge across scientific disciplines, especially as applied to urgent topics such as the climate crisis
- Ontologies in practice across national boundaries, e.g. medical ontologies needing to serve international contexts
- Ontology in translation: ontologies supporting knowledge, data and applications in multiple languages
- Overcoming the practical boundaries of ontologies in integrated applications including data annotation, data integration, data science, machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies
ICBO|ODLS 2020 is co-chaired by Frank Loebe and Janna Hastings. The full organising committee is detailed here.
We are delighted to announce that our keynote speakers for ICBO 2020 will be:
Professor Susan Michie, head of the Centre for Behaviour Change, University College London.
Dr Chris Mungall, Department Head, Molecular Ecosystems Biology, Berkeley Lab.
EKAW 2020 will happen 16-20 September 2020 as a virtual event.
Further update for deadline and organisation of EKAW:
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the revised submission deadline for abstracts is May 25, full papers are due June 1.
Please note further:
- The organisation team of EKAW 2020 is committed to publishing the EKAW proceedings with Springer in 2020.
- EKAW will happen as a virtual conference, physical attendance of authors of accepted papers at EKAW will therefore not be required.
- Keynote Speakers are confirmed as virtual events.
- The call for (virtual) Posters & Demos is forthcoming.
- Participation/Publishing at EKAW will be at a heavily discounted fee (announced soon).
More on the 30+ year history of the EKAW Conference Series can be found here.
The 22nd International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management is concerned with all aspects about eliciting, acquiring, modeling and managing knowledge, and the construction of knowledge-intensive systems and services for the semantic web, knowledge management, e-business, natural language processing, intelligent information integration, and so on.
EKAW 2020 welcomes papers dealing with theoretical, methodological, experimental, and application-oriented aspects of knowledge engineering and knowledge management. In particular, but not exclusively, we are expecting papers about methods, tools and methodologies relevant to the following topics: knowledge and AI, knowledge discovery, knowledge management, knowledge engineering and acquisition, social and cognitive aspects of knowledge representation, and applications in specific domains.
Unfortunately, because of the Corona situation we had to postpone FOIS XI by one year. Thus, the conference will occur in September 13-16, 2021 in Bozen.
Here is what this means in practical terms:
– FOIS technical papers (main track): The paper submission for the FOIS XI main technical track is now closed and papers are in review. The accepted papers will be published and made available in open access in 2020. Authors of these papers may present their publications in September 2021, but this is optional.
– Early Career Symposium, Demo and Industry Track, Ontology Show and Tell: The submission to these tracks is closed for now and will be re-opened in Spring 2021.
Given the delay of FOIS XI, it was suggested to organise a second round of submissions for technical papers with a deadline in spring 2021. One challenge is that the proceedings of the first round of submissions will already have been published at that time. We are currently looking for a solution for that issue that will enable a high-quality publication of the second round of submissions.
Nicola Guarino, ISTC-CNR, Trento
Stefan Schulz, Medical University of Graz———————————–
The advent of complex information systems that rely on robust, coherent and formal representations of their subject matter, has led to the exploitation of ontological analysis and ontology-based representation. The systematic study of such analysis and representation is at the center of the modern discipline of formal ontology, which is a general theory of the types of entities and relations making up domains of interest.Researchers in many domains engage with formal ontology to provide a solid foundation for their work. Common application areas include conceptual modeling, database design, knowledge engineering and management, software engineering, organizational modeling, artificial intelligence, robotics, computational linguistics, the life sciences, bioinformatics and scientific research in general, geographic information science, information retrieval, library and information science, and the Semantic Web.The FOIS conference is a meeting point for all researchers with an interest in formal ontology. The conference encourages new high quality submissions on both theoretical issues and concrete applications. As in previous years, FOIS 2020 aims to be a nexus of interdisciplinary research and communication.FOIS is the flagship conference of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA: http://iaoa.org/), which is a non-profit organization promoting interdisciplinary research and international collaboration in formal ontology.
FOIS 2020 includes a number of activities:
* FOIS conference (single track program)
* a young researchers symposium
* a demo and industry track
* an ontology show and tell
TOPICS OF INTEREST
Areas of particular interest to FOIS include the following:
* Kinds of entities: particulars/universals, continuants/occurrents, abstracta/concreta, dependent entities/independent entities, natural objects/artifacts
* Formal relations: parthood, identity, connection, dependence, constitution, causality, subsumption, instantiation
* Vagueness and granularity
* Space, time, and changeMethodological issues
* Top-level vs. domain-specific ontologies
* Role of reference ontologies
* Ontology similarity, integration and alignment
* Ontology modularity, contextuality, and evolution
* Formal comparison among ontologies
* Relationship with cognition, language, semantics, context
* Ontologies and Knowledge GraphsDomain-specific ontologies
* Ontology of physical reality (matter, space, time, motion etc.)
* Ontology of biological reality (organisms, genes, proteins, cells etc.)
* Ontology of mental reality and agency (beliefs, intentions, emotions, perceptions, cognition, etc.)
* Ontology of artifacts, functions, capacities and roles
* Ontology of social reality (institutions, organizations, norms, social relationships, artistic expressions etc.)Applications
* Ontology-driven information systems design
* Ontological foundations for conceptual modeling
* Knowledge management
* Qualitative modeling
* Computational linguistics
* Information retrieval
* Semantic Web
* Business modeling
* Ontologies and Machine Learning
* Ontologies and Explainable AI
* Ontologies for particular scientific disciplines (biology, chemistry, geography, physics, geoscience, cognitive sciences, linguistics etc.)
* Ontologies for engineering: shape, form and function, artifacts, manufacturing, design, architecture etc.
* Ontologies for the humanities: arts, cultural studies, history, literature, philosophy, etc.
* Ontologies for the social sciences: economics, law, political science, anthropology, archeology, etc.
* Roberta Ferrario (ISTC CNR, Trento, Italy)
* Boyan Brodaric (Geological Survey of Canada, Canada)
* Fabian Neuhaus (Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany)
* Oliver Kutz (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)
* Nicolas Troquard (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)
* Guendalina Righetti (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)
* Maria Hedblom (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)
* Megan Katsumi (University of Toronto)
Workshop / Tutorial Chairs
* Torsten Hahmann (University of Maine)
* Claudio Masolo (ISTC CNR, Trento, Italy)
Ontology Show and Tell
* Michael Gruninger (University of Toronto)
* Frank Loebe (University of Leipzig)
Early Career Symposium
* Pawel Garbacz (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin)
* Selja Seppala (University College Cork)
Demo and Industrial Track Chairs
* Robert Hoehndorf (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology)
* Amanda Vizedom (Credit Suisse)
The Semantic Web Applied Ontology (SWAO) Special Interest Group will be embarking on a new project to develop a guide for ontology development. Though there are existing guides to ontology development we feel there are gaps in the level of detail of ontological analysis. The intent of this project is to create a guide that will be easy enough to use, but still provide a greater measure of analysis. The goal is to provide more robust ontologies.
Many communities are now designing and employing semantic technologies, including the knowledge graphs, big data, linked data, and semantic web communities. These communities actually share many common goals, but the level of collaboration between these communities and the Applied Ontology community has been much less than expected. SWAO was established to bring all perspectives to the table, thus creating a forum for the multiple communities to work collaboratively in tackling common problems. All are welcome to participate regardless of membership or affiliation.
SWAO is currently engaged in two major activities:
- “Ontology Articulation Guidelines”
- Special Issue “Toward Meaningful Explanations” in the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences