>> ICBO | ODLS 2020 <<   1st Call for Papers


Main research track submissions due:  April 20, 2020


11th International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies (ICBO)

10th Workshop on Ontologies and Data in Life Sciences (ODLS)

held jointly as part of the Bolzano Summer of Knowledge (BOSK 2020)

September 16-19, 2020       Bolzano, Italy

== Scope and Topics ==

The International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies (ICBO) [1] 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 held jointly with Ontologies and Data for the Life Sciences (ODLS), an annual workshop series that focuses on ontologies, data management and data processing in the life sciences and in health care. It covers 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”, although submissions on any topic related to bio-ontologies are welcome. The theme includes, for example:

* Ontologies and associated methods and tools at the practical
interfaces between different yet interrelated disciplines and
communities of practice (e.g. biology–chemistry,
immunology–epidemiology etc.)
* Ontologies and associated methods and tools overcoming boundaries
between basic research and translation
* 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 and associated methods and tools in practice across
national boundaries (e.g. medical ontologies needing to serve
international contexts)
* Ontologies and the socioeconomic boundaries that can lead to
differences in health outcomes in different population groups
* Ontology in translation: ontologies supporting knowledge, data and
applications in multiple languages
* Ontologies in relation: interrelating ontologies (e.g. at different
levels of granularity or specificity) and linking ontologies to
terminologies, models and data standards
* Overcoming the practical boundaries of ontologies in integrated
applications including data annotation, data integration, data
science, machine learning and other artificial intelligence

ICBO|ODLS 2020 is part of the Bolzano Summer of Knowledge (BOSK) [2], therefore co-located with the 22nd International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (EKAW) [3] and the 11th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS) [4], as well as several additional events.

== Important Dates ==
[all dates in 2020]
Main research paper track:
* Submission deadline                  April 20  (Mon)
* Notification                          June 04  (Thu)
* Camera-ready versions                 July 15  (Wed)

All other tracks                TBA  (submission not before June)
Conference dates                September 16-19  (Wed-Sat)

All submission deadlines refer to 23:59:59 anywhere on earth (UTC-12).

== Types of Papers ==

ICBO|ODLS 2020 is soliciting submissions of novel (not previously published nor concurrently submitted) research papers in the areas of the application of ontologies to biomedical problems, ontology-based methods, ontology design and ontology interoperability, at any stage in the process from data creation to use in applications or scientific analyses. Submissions will be welcome from a broad range of approaches to ontology building and use.

In addition, we would like to invite contributions showcasing methods for ontology-based research, including statistical methods, and papers addressing the challenges associated with working with multiple ontologies at the same time, including ontology development, visualization, annotation of data, analysis, and applications.

Accordingly, there are several categories of submissions, corresponding to distinct tracks of the conference:

* full-length research papers (8-10 pages)
* full-length tools and applications papers (8-10 pages)
* poster abstracts (2 pages)
* early career researcher symposium abstracts (5 pages)

A selection of successful poster abstracts will be invited to give flash presentations during the conference.

Contributions must be delivered non-anonymously and as a single PDF file. They must be formatted using the IOS Press template [5] (one-column format, available for Microsoft Word and LaTeX) according to the guidelines for book authors. The same template is required for submissions to FOIS [4] as well as to ICBO and other workshops held in the context of BOSK [2].

== Submission and Proceedings ==

Contributions will need to be submitted via EasyChair. A corresponding link will soon be available at the ICBO|ODLS website [1].

A Best Paper Award, Best Poster Award, Best Tool and Application Award, and Best Early Career Contribution Award will be awarded at the conference.

All accepted papers and abstracts will be published open access in an issue of the IAOA series of CEUR-WS [6]. Moreover, accepted papers will be invited to submit an expanded version to a special issue collection in an open access journal (further details to be announced at the conference website [1]).

== Contact ==

For more information please email us at icbo2020@unibz.it [7].

== Organizing Committee ==

Conference Chairs:
* Janna Hastings (University College London, UK)
* Frank Loebe    (Univ. of Leipzig, Germany)

Tools and Applications Chairs:
* Phillip Lord (Newcastle Univ., UK)
* James Overton (Knocean, inc. & OBO Foundry)

Workshop and Tutorial Chairs:
* Robert Hoehndorf (KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi-Arabia)
* Randi Vita (LJI, La Jolla, USA & OBO Foundry)

Early Career Chairs:
* Adrien Barton (IRIT, Toulouse, France & Univ. of Sherbrooke, Canada)
* Nicole Vasilevsky (Oregon Health & Science Univ., Portland, USA)

Publicity Chair:
* Jennifer Warrender (Newcastle Univ., UK)

Local Organizing Committee at Free Univ. of Bolzano, Italy:
* Oliver Kutz [Local Chair]
* Pietro Galliani
* Guendalina Righetti
* Nicolas Troquard

== Links ==

[1] ICBO|ODLS 2020 website


[2] BOSK 2020 website


[3] Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (EKAW) 2020 website


[4] Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS) 2020 website


[5] IOS Press templates for book authors


[6] CEUR Workshop Proceedings: IAOA Series


[7] ICBO|ODLS 2020 contact email


JOWO 2019 – Report from Graz

The IAOA event JOWO 2019 – Episode V: The Styrian Autumn of Ontology took place at the Medical University of Graz, Austria, on 23-25 September. The event included twelve workshops, five tutorials, three keynote presentations, and three IAOA meetings, which makes it the largest JOWO event so far. It was a success both in terms of submissions and participants: the call for papers attracted a total of 101 article submissions for all workshops, of which 83 were accepted, and the event counted a little over 100 participants.

The 2019 edition of JOWO hosted workshops that cover a broad spectrum of contemporary applied ontology research, including its foundational aspects (FOUST III), its methodology and quality evaluation (BOG, WOMoCoE), the link between ontologies and data science (DAO-SI), the application of ontologies in specific domains, in particular, cognitive science (CAOS IV), contextual representations of information (CREOL), industry (FOMI), life sciences (ODLS), the concepts of shape, form and structure (SHAPES 5.0), social, legal and economic domains (SoLEEE), digital humanities (WODHSA), and knowledge sharing (WINKS-2).

The tutorials also covered a wide variety of topics ranging from foundational ontologies (FOUNT, TLO), ontology engineering (DOnEReCA), and machine learning with ontologies (MLwO), to biomedicine (SNOMED).

We were very happy to include in our program three keynote speeches by Antony Galton, Yongsheng Gao, and Valentina Presutti, who focused on several aspects of fundamental and applied ontology research.

Finally, the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA) held three meetings: a General IAOA Meeting, a meeting by the IAOA Education Committee, and the kickoff meeting of the new IAOA Special Interest Group on Applied Ontology in Industry and Standards.

There were many opportunities to interact in a more relaxed atmosphere during the social events, including a reception by the Austrian Federal State of Styria at the beautiful Orangerie. JOWO closed with the traditional Pub Quiz organised by the IAOA Education Committee, which was also a success, with 28 participants, and great fun.

We would like to thank all workshop and tutorial organizers, authors and speakers for their contributions; the programme committee members and additional reviewers for their timely reviewing; the local organization team, led by Pablo Lopez-Garcia and Stefan Schulz, for the smooth organization; and the JOWO Steering Committee for its insightful advice. Moreover, we would like to thank SNOMED International and Das Land Steiermark for providing generous financial support and facilities. More information will follow soon about the edition of the proceedings.

The JOWO 2019 Chairs,
Adrien Barton and Selja Seppälä

ONTOBRAS 2019 – Report from Porto Alegre

Ontobras was held this year in Porto Alegre, from September 2 to 5 and it was a great success. The seminar had 70 participants:  16 from industry, 28 students and 26 academic researchers (lecturers, mainly). Given its highly specialized nature, this can be considered a very good result.

33 papers were received, of which 11 full papers were accepted, plus 6 short papers to be presented as a poster. The Workshop onThesis and Dissertations has received 6 submissions from Ph.D. students and 2 from master students who are developing their thesis with main focus on ontology. Moreover, organizing the seminar has raised the attention of many other Brazilian organizations and researchers that have never participated to Ontobras in the past, thanks to the publicity on Linkedin and social media.  During and after the seminar, several new contacts of interest in the subject have been received. Therefore, the main aims of the seminar were fully achieved:  that of bringing together the community, offering a forum for PostGraduate students and stimulating them to do research in the area, and attracting new players from industry.

The Ontobras organization deeply thanks IAOA for the financial support, which has helped to start the organization earlier than usual and helped to set the subscription fee for students to 200 reals, (44 euros), providing material and food for all of them.  This fee has guaranteed to several non-author students the participation in the conference.


The General Organization

Mara Abel

Joel Luis Carbonera

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 jowo2019@gmail.com.

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.

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