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IAOA Summer Institute on Upper Ontologies     (1)

The International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA) is announcing the 2017 Summer Institute on Upper Ontologies     (1A)

Date: August 8-11, 2017             Registration     (1B)

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada     (1C)

Participants from all sectors of applied ontology are invited to interact from August 8 to 11, in Toronto, Canada. As always, the Summer Institute will challenge the state of the art through lively discussions and hands-on problem solving rather than lengthy presentations.     (1D)

Overview     (2)

Within the Applied Ontology community, upper ontologies are widely recognized as tools to support the tasks of ontology design and semantic integration. At the first Ontology Summit in 2006, the designers of several prominent upper ontologies were joined by key ontology technology participants, with the purpose of finding a means to relate the different ontologies to each other. In the decade since that meeting, the development and application of upper ontologies has continued, yet many challenges remain.     (2A)

The 2017 IAOA Summer Institute will explore the following topics:     (2B)

  • What are the foundational choices and the practical motivations of present upper ontologies?     (2C)
  • What is the range of concepts that should be covered in an upper ontology?     (2D)
  • What are the relationships among upper ontologies?     (2E)
  • How do we evaluate upper ontologies?     (2F)
  • Using upper ontologies for semantic integration     (2G)
  • Using upper ontologies for ontology design     (2H)
  • Discussion of proposals for ISO 21838 (Top-Level Ontologies): content and consensus-building methodology     (2I)

Facilitators     (3)

Stefano Borgo     (3A)
Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, Trento, Italy    [1, 2]     (3B)
Michael Gruninger     (3C)
University of Toronto, Canada    [1]     (3D)
Nicola Guarino     (3E)
Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, Trento, Italy   [1, 2]     (3F)
Barry Smith     (3G)
University at Buffalo, New York, USA   [1]     (3H)

Programme     (4)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 (Day 1): Conceptual Underpinnings of Upper Ontologies     (4A)

Discussions will focus on the foundational choices of present upper ontologies, as well as the range of concepts that should be covered in an upper ontology.     (4A1)

8:30 am: Breakfast and Introduction     (4A2)

9:00 am: Session 1: What are the fundamental ontological choices and commitments of an upper ontology? e.g. Objects and events (3D vs. 4D), Properties and qualities, Parts and wholes, Constitution and identity, Social reality and roles     (4A3)

10:30 am: Coffee Break     (4A4)

11:00 am: Session 2:What is the scope (range of concepts)?     (4A5)

12:30: Lunch     (4A6)

2:00 pm: Session 3: Where do we draw the line between upper and midlevel ontologies?     (4A7)

3:30 pm: Coffee Break     (4A8)

4:00 pm: Session 4: How are upper ontologies evaluated?     (4A9)

5:30 pm: Closing Forum for Day 1     (4A10)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 (Day 2): Applications of Upper Ontologies     (4B)

The second day will look at applications of upper ontologies, such as semantic integration and ontology design. We will also consider whether upper ontologies deliver on their purported benefits.     (4B1)


9:00 am: Session 1: Why do we need upper ontologies? What are the purported benefits?     (4B2)

10:30 am: Coffee Break     (4B3)

11:00 am: Session 2: How do upper ontologies support semantic integration of software applications? How do upper ontologies support semantic integration of other ontologies?     (4B4)

12:30: Lunch     (4B5)

2:00 pm: Session 3: What techniques are used to design new ontologies from existing upper ontologies?     (4B6)

3:30 pm: Coffee Break     (4B7)

4:00 pm: Session 4: Do upper ontologies deliver on their purported benefits or are other approaches (e.g. networks of ontologies with mappings) sufficient?     (4B8)

5:30 pm: Closing Forum for Day 2     (4B9)

Thursday, August 10, 2017 (Day 3): Relationships among Upper Ontologies     (4C)

In light of the discussions about the applications of upper ontologies, the third day will identify limitations of existing upper ontologies and explore possible extensions. We will also discuss the relationships among the different upper ontologies.     (4C1)

9:00 am: Session 1: What are the limitations of existing upper ontologies?     (4C2)

10:30 am: Coffee Break     (4C3)

11:00 am: Session 2: What are possible extensions? i.e. what concepts/axioms are missing?     (4C4)

12:30: Lunch     (4C5)

2:00 pm: Session 3: Can we specify mappings between existing upper ontologies?     (4C6)

3:30 pm: Coffee Break     (4C7)

4:00 pm: Session 4: What is the relationship between two axiomatizations of an upper ontology in different logics (e.g. OWL and CL)?     (4C8)

5:30 pm: Closing Forum for Day 3     (4C9)

Friday, August 11, 2017 (Day 4): Synthesis     (4D)

The last day will look at what's in the future for upper ontologies.     (4D1)


9:00 am: Session 1: What are the open problems for upper ontologies?     (4D2)

10:30 am: Coffee Break     (4D3)

11:00 am: Session 2: Are these problems more theoretical or practical?     (4D4)

12:30: Lunch     (4D5)

2:00 pm: Closing session for the Summer Institute     (4D6)

The Summer Institute will be held in room BA4164 in the Bahen Centre for Information Technology (40 St. George Street) on the main St. George campus of the University of Toronto.     (5A)

Logistics details, including accommodations, can be found at     (5B)

Registration    (6)

Registration is open between May 8, 2017 and July 17, 2017 !

The registration fee amounts to 500 CAD, which in USD or EUR likely yields a value in the range of 350-400 USD or 325-350 EUR, respectively.     (6B)

Student Grants     (6C)

A limited number of travel and attendance grants are available for students.     (6C1)

IAOA student members may apply for fee waivers and/or travel grants by sending the following information to Michael Gruninger (gruninger@mie.utoronto.ca) by June 15, 2017:     (6C2)

Related Links     (7)

Working Notes     (8)

Meeting Humor    (9)

There is a tradition, at least for VoCamps, to include some which is also found in some presentations. Some items are generated at group dinners.     (9A)

O- humor 1. A well founded Upper Ontology, UO, walked into a bar and spotted a richly populated Domain Ontology (DO). While they did their best to affiliate, alas it didn’t work out. DO found UO’s social assumptions lacking.     (9B)

O- humor 2. Why does DOLCE never seem to sleep? Because it is committed to Uppers.     (9C)

O- humor 3. How do you get to a Top Level Ontology by elevator? You press the “T” button.     (9D)

O- humor 4 Have you heard about the latest new, tiny Upper Ontology? Maybe the most concise ever. It’s the Tweet Ontology.     (9E)

O- humor 5. Why did the philosopher cross the road? There seem to be many hypotheses but maybe we’ll never know, she doesn’t believe in causality. But some say an occurrent made her do it     (9F)