IAOA EC Elections 2018

The nomination phase for the 2018 Executive Council election has closed on December 09, 2018. In addition to Ken Baclawski, Michael Gruninger, Roberta Ferrario, Oliver Kutz, Frank Loebe, Fabian Neuhaus, Laure Vieu, and Amanda Vizedom who are candidates for re-election, we have one new candidate: Maria Keet.

We therefore have nine candidates for nine positions. The Election Committee has acknowledged all candidates and confirms that in this situation the election follows the procedure according to Article VII, Section 4, of the 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 2019-2020 consists of:
* Ken Baclawski
* Roberta Ferrario
* Michael Gruninger
* Maria Keet
* Oliver Kutz
* Frank Loebe
* Fabian Neuhaus
* Laure Vieu
* Amanda Vizedom

The new officers will take up their roles on January 1st, 2019, 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.

Please note that this election and its result applies to IAOA as established in Bern, Switzerland since 2016, where the Association was relocated to from Italy. As mentioned previously, IAOA in Italy has not yet been closed for administrative reasons. Accordingly and following its regulations, the Executive Council for IAOA in Italy will also be newly elected in the near future. Everyone concerned about the governance of IAOA in Italy can inquire for more information about the relation between the two associations as legal entities and can request to become also a member of that old association by writing to its new contact address:

iaoa-italy <at> iaoa.org

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has actively participated so far, as well as all those who have meanwhile renewed their membership and thus have joined IAOA (often: again) in Switzerland. Everybody who has not yet taken the opportunity to do so is cordially invited to have a look at IAOA’s recently refurbished website and (re-)register as a member, thereby supporting the ontology community as well as becoming eligible to membership benefits.

Invitations to Membership Registration and 2018 Executive Council Elections

Before 2018 will come to an end, there are still two major “projects” concerning IAOA as an organization: (1) the full opening of membership registration and renewal and (2) the Election of the IAOA Executive Council (EC) for the two-year period of office of 2019-2020.

Membership Renewal and Registration

We are happy to announce that the main steps for relocating IAOA to Switzerland have been taken and the IAOA website, relaunched in September 2018, has matured to a functional level over the last two months. Therefore, we cordially invite former members and everyone else with an interest in IAOA, who have not (re)joined the association during 2018, to register newly as a member of the association.

Joining or renewing now will allow you to (re)gain access to the Member Area of the website and its benefits. Moreover, members have access to the [iaoa-member] mailing list and they can participate in the upcoming elections for the Executive Council, please see below.

The navigation item Join IAOA allows you to join or renew. The membership period is no longer a calendar year, but is now determined individually. Based on the annual fee, membership lasts for one year, which starts from the date at which renewal/joining application is approved by IAOA.

As indicated above, joining IAOA now means to join an international association legally domiciled in Bern, Switzerland, whereas previously IAOA was located in Trento, Italy. Please note: Basically all IAOA activities are now transferred to the new association in Switzerland, while IAOA in Italy will remain for administrative reasons for some more time. Anyone concerned about the governance of IAOA in Italy can request more information about the relation between the two associations as legal entities and can request to become also a member of the old association by writing to its new contact address: iaoa-italy <AT> iaoa.org.

Virtual Assembly for 2018 Executive Council Elections

A Virtual Assembly will soon be open in order to select members for the Executive Council (EC) of IAOA (in Switzerland). All nine positions need to be newly elected within December 2018 for the period of office of 2019-2020. These elections follow the regulations in the IAOA Statute as of Jun 23, 2016. An Election Committee is in charge of supervising the election process, which comprises of Valter Cavecchia, Roberta Ferrario, Michael Gruninger, Nicola Guarino and Leo Obrst. More detailed documentation of the process and its development is available at the wiki page IAOA Executive Council Election 2018.

In order to participate in the EC Election in any form, your IAOA membership must be up-to-date. If you have not renewed your membership during 2018, then your membership has elapsed, cf. above; please (re)join IAOA before making a nomination or otherwise participating in the election.

For the next few weeks, we foresee three main phases: Candidature, Campaigning, and Elections. Key points are summarized below, whereas more details can be found at the election wiki page.

A – Candidature Phase (Nov 26 to Dec 9, 2018)

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.

The list of candidates and their position statements will be made available through the election wiki page.

B – Campaigning Phase (Dec 10 to Dec 16, 2018)

Nominations can be freely discussed on the [iaoa-member] mailing list from the nomination time on. Likewise, campaigning itself can start with the first candidate nomination. Once that the candidature phase is closed, there is still one week available for (further) active campaigning and discussion on the members’ mailing list.

C – 2018 IAOA Virtual Assembly eBallot (Dec 17 to Dec 20, 2018)

In this period all members will be asked to vote for candidates for nine Executive Council positions. We kindly ask all members to participate in the vote (even in the case of abstention) – the more participants, the stronger the result of the election will be!

Results will be announced to the [iaoa-member] mailing list and at the wiki page.

All members should feel free to contact  iaoa-election <AT> ovgu.de  for any concerns regarding the 2018 EC election.


with your own membership (re)registration as well as
with nominations for the 2018 EC Election.

We will be very grateful for any efforts and contributions.

Michael Gruninger
President, IAOA
for the IAOA Executive Council

FOIS 2018 report from Cape Town

The 10th FOIS conference took place in Cape Town (South Africa) on Sept. 19-21 after the ISAO Summer school (Sept. 10-14) and two days of meetings of the JOWO workshops (Sept. 17-18). The conference ran nicely and, as usual in the past, sessions were consistently well attended with lively discussions at the end of the presentations.

The papers, which were subdivided in three areas: (i) foundations, (ii) properties and agents, (iii) methods and tools, gave a snapshot of the interests and the challenges faced in the community. As usual in the recent FOIS editions, papers addressing modeling concerns did not attempt to introduce new foundational ontologies.
Instead, they focused on comparison studies (e.g. time across ontologies) or frameworks for modeling specific notions that have not yet received much ontological attention (e.g. special types, metaphors, competition, spiritual beliefs, measure) or are still considered problematic (e.g. structural universals and states of affairs, dispositions, localities, nominal and actual qualities).

This year particular attention has raised the contribution of papers with a focus on applications and integration: the discussion of localities was based on actual problems faced by historians; the modeling of agency was based on the merging of cognitive and ontological formal systems; the use of ontology-mediated data management was applied to the integration of Research & Innovation ecosystems; the use of data mining routines was exploited for understanding the structure of data in a Semantic Web perspective; and so on.
Scientifically, the conference achieved its goals by fostering the interaction and by engaging live discussions across disciplines like computer science, philosophy, language and knowledge representation. The emphasis on application concerns that is a new turn in FOIS is shown by the participation of Pascal Hitzler as co-chair, the invited talk by Alessandro Oltramari and the assignment of the FOIS Best Paper Award to the paper “SAREF4health: IoT standard-based ontology-driven healthcare systems” (by J. Moreira, L. Ferreira Pires, M. van Sinderen and L. M. Daniele). It is the very first time that an application paper wins this award.

Two other keynotes were given by Peter Simons, which addressed the notion of representation and the aboutness relation, and by Riichiro Mizoguchi, which presented a new ontological theory of causation.
Finally, the Early Career Symposium allowed the students to discuss their PhD’s plans and goals with the FOIS participants with the advantage of collecting and comparing a variety of views as arising in the different disciplines present at FOIS.

The keynote presentations are accessible (for a limited time) from the FOIS 2018 website.

and the FOIS 2018 proceedings in the IOS Press online access page in the member’s area.

Please also see the reports on FOIS 2018 and on ISAO 2018 (with pictures!) from the Local Chair Maria Keet:
FOIS’18 conference report
ISAO 2018, Cape Town, ‘trip’ report

The Program Chairs, Stefano Borgo and Pascal Hitzler.

FOIS 2018 and ISAO 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa

The 10th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS 2018) will take place on September 17-21, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The 4th Interdisciplinary School on Applied Ontology will take place the preceding week.


The first Call for Papers has been issued and can be found at theconference website.

This edition of FOIS is being organized by the following:
General Chair:
Oliver Kutz (KRDB, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)
Program Chairs:
Stefano Borgo (Laboratory for Applied Ontology (LOA), ISTC CNR Trento IT)
Pascal Hitzler (Data Semantics (DaSe) Laboratory, Wright State University, USA)

Local Organization:
Maria Keet (University of Cape Town, South Africa)

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 Camara, 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-Rmi 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, Jrme 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

Jun-Jul 2016: ISAO and FOIS, including Assembly

IAOA’s3rd Interdisciplinary School on Applied Ontology,ISAO 2016, is held in Bozen-Bolzano, Italy onJune 27-July 1. Its exquisite program covers the course topics ofMereology (A. Varzi),Time and Processes (A. Galton), Geospatial Ontology (G. Camara), Language and Ontology (L. Vieu), and Reasoning over Ontologies and Conceptual Models (A. Artale).

In the week right after ISAO, IAOA’s flagship conference Formal Ontology in Information Systems, FOIS 2016takesplace in Annecy, France during July 6-9, co-located with the International Conference on Conceptual Structures, ICCS 2016, July 5-7. FOIS 2016

  • comes with a novel Demonstrations Track,
  • hosts an Early Career Symposium andfois-2016-logo-1
  • a Formal Ontology Competition as well as
  • the Joint Ontology WOrkshops, JOWO 2016.

The 2nd Assembly of IAOA is held on July 8, 2016 as a physical and virtual meeting in the context of FOIS 2016. Among its main topics, the current status of therelocation to Switzerland will be discussed.

TheOntology Summit 2016was concerned with the theme “Framing the Conversation: Ontologies within Semantic Interoperability Ecosystems“. It ended theSummit Symposiumin Arlington, Virgina, USAon May 9-10. Analogously to previous years, results are captured in the Ontology Summit Communique 2016.

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 http://fois2014.inf.ufes.br/p/home.html.

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 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)

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

The 7th International Workshop on Modular Ontologies (WoMO-13) took place in Corua (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 Corua, 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 (http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1081/) 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 Schfermeier 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.

SIG for Semantic Web Applied Ontology? Let us know what you think!

There is an informal proposal before the EC to form a Semantic Web Applied Ontology SIG aiming to fill the gap between the Semantic Web community and the IAOA community. Some people have shown interest in this initiative. As part of investigating this issue, wed like to get feedback from IAOA members.


Often the two communities seem to think they have nothing in common, whereas some of us believe they share many common goals, common technologies, and a common interest in well-engineered applied ontologies. Many of us in IAOA promote and use Semantic Web technologies and reasoning methods; similarly, many in the Semantic Web community advocate more rigorous and principled ontologies based on ontological analysis. Therefore, we have proposed a Semantic Web Applied Ontology SIG to bridge the gap between our two communities before it gets wider. This SIG would support communication and collaboration with our colleagues in the Semantic Web (and Linked Data) community.


Are you interested in this SIG? What do you think the SIG should do? How might the SIG work to bridge the gap? Would you participate in this SIG?


Please let us know your thoughts about such a SIG.