FOIS 2020 @ Bolzano Summer of Knowledge

The 11th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems, FOIS 2020, will be held at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in September 2020, following the 5th Interdisciplinary School on Applied Ontology, ISAO 2020

Both will be part of the Bolzano Summer of Knowledge, which will also host EKAW 2020 and ICBO 2020.



International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA)

Research Centre on Knowledge and Data (KRDB)
Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

2019 IAOA Summer Institute

July 22-25, 2019
Utrecht, Netherlands

The need to support spatial reasoning arises in domains as diverse as geographic information systems
and manufacturing, yet there has been little interaction between the industrial and academic communities
in these domains. The IAOA Summer Institute will bring together researchers from these domains
and explore topics in spatial representation and reasoning
such as notions of dimensionality, boundaries, shape, and location.

* What are the commonalities and differences among the research problems
that motivate the various communities that use spatial reasoning?
* Why is there not more ontology reuse and sharing among these communities?
* What applications drive the design of ontologies for spatial reasoning?
For example, location services are increasingly important for many companies.
Knowledge-based design of electromechanical devices with moving parts remains
a challenge in manufacturing.

Werner Kuhn (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Simon Scheider (University of Utrecht)
Michael Gruninger (University of Toronto)

JOWO 2019 Episode V: The Styrian Autumn of Ontology

The Joint Ontology Workshops will take place at the Medical University of Graz, September 23-25, 2019. This fifth edition will include 12 workshops and 4 tutorials.

In addition to workshops, JOWO will be hosting keynotes and joint panel sessions, as well as meetings of IAOA Special Interest Groups and Technical Committees.


Important Dates:

– January 15, 2019 (passed): Workshop proposal submission deadline – you can find the expired call for workshops here
– January 31, 2019 (passed): Workshop acceptance notification
– February 25, 2019 (passed): 1st call for papers to be distributed by workshop organizers
– May 15, 2019: Suggested latest paper submission deadline
– September 23-25, 2019: JOWO 2019 in Graz

For workshop-specific detailed timelines, see the workshop pages.

Organization team:

JOWO 2019 Chairs:
Adrien Barton, CNRS-IRIT, Toulouse, France & University of Sherbrooke, Canada
Selja Seppälä, University College Cork, Ireland

JOWO 2019 Local Organization:
Catalina Martínez Costa, Medical University of Graz, Austria
Jose Antonio Miñarro Giménez, Medical University of Graz, Austria
Stefan Schulz, Medical University of Graz, Austria

JOWO Steering Committee:
Stefano Borgo, Laboratory of Applied Ontology (LOA), Trento, Italy
Oliver Kutz, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
Frank Loebe, University of Leipzig, Germany
Fabian Neuhaus, Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg, Germany

For further inquiries please contact

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

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 ( 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.