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Ontology Summit 2018     (1)

The OntologySummit is an annual series of events that involves the ontology community and communities related to each year's theme chosen for the summit. The Ontology Summit was started by Ontolog and NIST, and the program has been co-organized by Ontolog, NIST, NCOR, NCBO, IAOA, NCO_NITRD along with the co-sponsorship of other organizations that are supportive of the Summit goals and objectives.     (1A)

Description     (2)

The Summit theme this year is Contexts in Context.     (2A)

In general, a context is defined to be the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be better understood and assessed. Thus for utterance statements we often talk of the linguistic context of what is being expressed. In addition there may be a physical context, circulstance or state of affairs in the real world that provides context for uttered statements. Some examples of synonyms or alternate terms that have the flavor of context then include circumstances, conditions, factors, state of affairs, situation, background, scene, setting, and frame(s) of reference. We may speak of physical situations as the context for events and ontologies do model the concept of "situation" as participating objects and processes as located in time and space See Ontology Engineering with Ontology Design Patterns: Foundations and Applications, 2016 Eds P. Hitzler, A. Gangemi, K. Janowicz. Clearly there are many understandings of "context" in general, and also how it relates to ontologies and its aspects in particular. On the face of it context may apply to ontologies and its stated axioms. One may think of the meaning of an axiom in isolation like a sentence or more broadly as part of a related dialog in which sentences are embedded. An ontology attempts to specify a meaning. But ontologies have a framed scope with entities and relations within its scope. This provides an internal contextual meaning within a scope or a framed scope. Depending on the depth of the ontology engineering not all relevant terms and associated concepts may be included and there may be relations not expressed. As long ago as 1998 Nicola Guarino made observed this in his Formal Ontology and Information Systems. Sometimes targeted concepts cannot be easily expressed in axioms or encoded in a target language. Indeed some of conceptual understanding may only be expressed in associated documentation. In addition the knowledge inside a domain mind cannot be publicly observed, so as Hayes observes in Contexts In Context "there are many ideas about what its structure might be." Thus some concepts not included may provide some background for the ideas in a particular ontology. The summit this year will survey various manifestations of the context idea and particularly how an understanding of these and their uses affects ontology development, use and maintenance. A goal is to identify some of the major research problems, such as the precision with which context should be specified, that must be solved so that an ontological approach to contexts is understood. Based on this understanding we hope that contexts can be incorporated into ontological engineering practices to achieve richer ontologies. A preliminary view of contexts provides several perspectives to investigate.     (2B)

As part of Ontolog’s general advocacy to bring ontology science and engineering into the mainstream, we endeavor to abstract a conversational toolkit from the sessions that may facilitate discussion and knowledge sharing amongst stakeholders relevant to the topic. Our findings will be supported with examples from the various domains of interest. The results will be captured in the form of a 2018 Summit Communiqué, with expanded supporting material provided on the web.     (2F)

Process and Deliverables     (3)

Similar to our last twelve summits, this Ontology Summit will consist of three months of virtual discourse (over our archived mailing lists) and virtual panel sessions (over augmented conference calls), and may culminate in a 2-day face-to-face workshop/symposium, during which we, among other things, present our distilled thoughts in a collaboratively developed Communiqué.     (3A)

Structure and Discourse     (4)

Meeting Days and Times     (4A)

  • All meetings will by default be on Wednesdays and start at Noon Eastern Time.     (4A1)
  • Meetings will last for approximately 1.5 hours.     (4A2)

Meeting Schedule     (4B)

Resource Pages     (5)

Meeting Call and Connection Info     (5A)

  • If you have not used BlueJeans before, then connect to the URL above before the meeting time so that the required plug-in can be installed.     (5A2)

Meetings     (6)