[DL] CFP: Reference Ontology and Applications Ontology: Workshop in Hamburg, 15-18 September 2003

Pierre Grenon pierre.grenon at ifomis.uni-leipzig.de
Mon Apr 28 12:55:49 CEST 2003


Workshop on Reference Ontology and Applications Ontology
26th German Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Hamburg, Germany, 15-18 Septemrber 2003


A workshop devoted to the task of clarifying the range of current
approaches to ontology and of demonstrating their relative merits and
demerits will be held under the auspices of the 26th German Conference
on  Artificial  Intelligence, Hamburg, 15-18 September 2003.  Further
details are available  here:

Deadline for submission of 3-page abstracts: June 15, 2003 
Notification of Acceptance: July 1, 2003 
Deadline for camera-ready (up to 10 pages) papers: August 1, 2003



Two schools of thought are gradually beginning to crystallize in the
domain of information systems ontology. On the one hand is the school
which focuses primarily on the representational adequacy of an
underlying ontological theory, leaving for others the task of
transforming this theory into working applications. On the other hand is
the (much larger) school which focuses primarily on the construction of
ontologies as working applications at the expense of representational
adequacy, and which is associated with current developments under the
heading of the Semantic Web. The goal of the workshop is to bring
together representatives of these two schools of thought for a
structured debate, which is designed as a contribution to the
clarification of the foundations of information systems ontology in the

The terms ‘reference ontology’ and ‘applications ontology’ were
introduced by Nicola Guarino, who draws the basic distinction as

‘‘... what kinds of ontologies do we need? This is still an open issue.
Some people believe that very general ontologies involving rich
axiomatic characterizations are important, others think they are a waste
of time, and prefer to concentrate on lightweight ontologies, focusing
on the minimal terminological structure (often just a taxonomy) which
fits the needs of a specific community.’’

Guarino uses ‘reference ontology’ (which he now calls ‘foundational
ontology’) to refer to ontological theories whose focus is to clarify
the intended meanings of terms used in specific domains. Smith has
proposed a more radical definition within the framework of philosophical
realism: a reference ontology is a theory of some independently existing
domain of entities which  seeks to maximize descriptive or
representational adequacy to the maximal degree compatible with the
constraints of formal rigour and computational usefulness. 



One goal of this workshop would be to prepare the ground for more
coherent debate by fixing on one correct usage of terms such as
‘reference ontology’, ‘foundational ontology, ‘application ontology’,
‘lightweight ontology’ and indeed of ‘ontology’ itself.

Additional goals will be:

1. To clarify the range of current approaches to ontology and to
demonstrate their relative merits and demerits.

2. To set forth the basics of the reference ontology approach and of its
underlying rationale. To survey the institutions involved in developing
reference ontologies. To address the role of realism, and of intended
meanings, and intended models, in information systems ontology.

3. To set forth the basics of the application ontology approach and of
its relation to the use of the specific machinery of Description Logics.

4. To present reports on case studies of the use of ontology in
applications with special reference to domains such as medical
informatics and spatial reasoning.

The benefits of the reference ontology approach are that it can bring a
rich framework for resolving terminological incompatibilities and
classificatory underdetermination. The benefits of the applications
ontology approach are that it can yield ontologies which run in real


The workshop will be a half-day event, featuring a maximum of 6 speakers
in all and leaving a large amount of time for open discussion. We will
seek a balance of speakers from both sides of the reference/applications
ontology spectrum. 

Contributions will be selected on the basis of short (3-page) abstracts,
which will be subject to a process of refereeing by the Scientific
Committee. Send abstract to the chair of the Scientific Committee: Chris
Menzel (cmezel at tamu.edu). The maximal length of final papers is 10
pages. Guideline for formatting camera-ready papers will be announced on
the workshop webpage (http://ontology.buffalo.edu/ki2003). The
proceedings of the workshop are to be published at CEUR-WS
(http://www.CEUR-WS.org). Papers not accepted for presentation during
the workshop may be included in the workshop notes to be published in
the IFOMIS Technical Report Series. 

Chris Menzel and Barry Smith will present opening statements. 

Smith will describe the work of IFOMIS (http://ifomis.de) and will
sketch the details of its partnership with Language and Computing
(http://www.landc.be) in constructing a reference ontology in the domain
of healthcare phenomena which will be tested by evaluating its success
in bringing about improvements in efficiency and reliability in the
field of medical text processing. 


Workshop Organizer
Prof. Barry Smith
Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science University
of Leipzig 
Härtelstraße 16-18 
04107 Leipzig,
phismith at buffalo.edu

Scientific Committee:

Prof. Christopher Menzel (Chair)
Department of Philosophy 
Texas A&M University 
College Station, TX 77840-4237, USA 
cmenzel at tamu.edu 

Dr Brandon Bennett
Division of Artificial Intelligence   School of Computing  
University of Leeds                   
Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom
brandon at comp.leeds.ac.uk

Dr. Thomas Bittner
Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science University
of Leipzig 
Härtelstraße 16-18 
04107 Leipzig, Germany 
thomas.bittner at ifomis.uni-leipzig.de

Language & Computing nv                 
Hazenakkerstraat 20a                   
9520-Zonnegem, Belgium
werner at landc.be

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Frank
Institut für Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungsinformatik
Universität Koblenz-Landau
Universitätsstr. 1
56070 Koblenz, Germany
ulrich.frank at uni-koblenz.de

Nicola Guarino
Laboratory for Applied Ontology, 
Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, National Research
Via Solteri, 38                      
38100 Trento, Italy
Nicola.Guarino at ladseb.pd.cnr.it

Prof. Achille C. Varzi
Department of Philosophy
Columbia University
New York, NY 10027, USA
achille.varzi at columbia.edu

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