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Ontology Summit 2010: Pertinent Questions     (1)

This is a draft workspace to help us identify the pertinent questions that we want this summit to help answer. These questions are intended to help us focus our discussion and prepare survey instruments to collect input from the community ...     (1A)

Ontology Summit 2010: Description, Goals and Objectives     (1B)

Increasingly, major national and international projects centered on ontology technology are being advanced by governments and by scientific and industrial organizations. This brings a growing need for ontology expertise and thus for new methods and institutions for the training of ontologists. The 2010 Ontology Summit will explore strategies to address this need in terms of curriculum, establishment of new career tracks, role of ontology support organizations and funding agencies, as well as training in the analysis and comparison of methodologies for designing, maintaining, implementing, testing and applying ontologies and associated tools and resources.     (1B1)

Pertinent Questions identified     (1C)

(mostly from input of the track champions)     (1C1)

  • Content-Present:     (1C2)
      • Which educational programmes are there, if any, which are mainly or entirely devoted to ontology and related topics?     (1C2A1)
      • Within other educational programmes, what modules/courses are there which are mainly or entirely devoted to ontology and related topics?     (1C2A2)
      • Are there any other programmes or modules/courses with sufficient ontologically relevant content?     (1C2A3)
      • Are there curricular models (a.k.a. curricular guidelines) that include ontology-related topics?     (1C2A4)
      • US, UK ... and other countries?     (1C2A5)
  • Content-Future:     (1C3)
      • What are the content topics (knowledge and skills), i.e., the competencies, necessary for training and educating an ontologist?     (1C3A1)
      • What does an ontologist need to learn and in what order?     (1C3A2)
      • What are the content topics useful or optionally desired for training and educating an ontologist?     (1C3A3)
      • Is there a spectrum of ontologist positions (e.g., from taxonomist to developer of logical theories) and if so, what is the content and competencies required for each?     (1C3A4)
  • Quality-Present:     (1C4)
      • By what bodies, if any, are the programmes identified as having substantial ontological content currently accredited?     (1C4A1)
      • By what bodies, if any, are ontology professionals currently certified?     (1C4A2)
      • What other forms of quality assurance exist that may be relevant to the track mission?     (1C4A3)
  • Quality-Future     (1C5)
      • Are existing forms of quality assurance appropriate for the purposes of assuring educational provision as suitable for professional ontologists?     (1C5A1)
      • How will training and educational programs and institutions delivering these programs be accredited?     (1C5A2)
      • What forms of certification should be used?     (1C5A3)
      • What other forms of quality control may be relevant to the track mission?     (1C5A4)
  • Requirements-Present:     (1C6)
      • Where do ontologists currently work?     (1C6A1)
        • What organization types (companies, departments, institutions, agencies, etc.)?     (1C6A1A)
        • What project types (long/short term, part of larger system/program, focus on IT|KM|search|interop|metadata|other)?     (1C6A1B)
        • What fields or industries?     (1C6A1C)
      • What folks are doing KOS work that is within or heading toward ontology, but may not be labeled as such?     (1C6A2)
      • What tasks do working ontologists perform and as roughly how much of their time (requirements gathering, elicitation, informal modeling, formal modeling, formal testing, user testing, "gold standard" and/or regression testing)?     (1C6A3)
      • What skills do working ontologists typically acquire on the job, and what via formal training?     (1C6A4)
      • What skills do employers expect? What formal training do employers expects?     (1C6A5)
    • additionally (from the 2009.12.10 session):     (1C6B)
      • how are expectations from ontologists different from those of knowledge engineers of the past?     (1C6B1)
      • Is there any consistent relationship between job labels (ontologist | knowledge engineer | ontological engineer | concept modeler | ...) and activities/skills?     (1C6B2)
      • What are the measures of effectiveness and performance?     (1C6B3)

Suggested Questionnaire from ArturoSanchez-AntonyGalton et al.     (1C8)

  • (3) Name of unit within the institution (e.g., department of, school of, college of, etc.)     (1C8D)
  • (5) If your institution offers an Ontology-related program, please answer the following questions. Otherwise, please skip to question 6 below     (1C8F)
    • (5.1) Name of the program     (1C8F1)
    • (5.2) Type of program (e.g., degree, certificate, etc.)     (1C8F2)
    • (5.3) If the program is a degree, please indicate the type of degree (e.g., BS, MS, PhD, Associate, etc.)     (1C8F3)
    • (5.4) If the program is a not a degree, please indicate the level of the program (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, etc.)     (1C8F4)
    • (5.5) Discipline of program (e.g., Computing, Engineering, etc.)     (1C8F5)
    • (5.6) Course(s) which can be taken within the program. For each course, please indicate its name and mention the Ontology-related content covered     (1C8F6)
    • (5.7) If your program is accredited by an accreditation organization or body, please indicate its name     (1C8F7)
  • (6) If your institution does not offer an Ontology-related program, but does offer entire courses with Ontology-related content, please answer the following questions. Otherwise, please skip to question 7 below.     (1C8G)
    • (6.1) Name of the program     (1C8G1)
    • (6.2) Type of program (e.g., degree, certificate, etc.)     (1C8G2)
    • (6.3) If the program is a degree, please indicate the type of degree (e.g., BS, MS, PhD, Associate, etc.)     (1C8G3)
    • (6.4) If the program is a not a degree, please indicate the level of the program (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, etc.)     (1C8G4)
    • (6.5) Discipline of program (e.g., Computing, Engineering, etc.)     (1C8G5)
    • (6.6) Course(s) which can be taken within the program entirely dedicated to Ontology-related content. For each course, please indicate its name and mention     (1C8G6)

the Ontology-related content covered     (1C8H)

  • (7) If your institution does not offer an Ontology-related program, and does not offer entire courses with Ontology-related content, but does offer courses tha have some Ontology-related content, please answer the following quesions. Otherwise, skip to question 8 below.     (1C8J)
    • (7.1) Name of the program     (1C8J1)
    • (7.2) Type of program (e.g., degree, certificate, etc.)     (1C8J2)
    • (7.3) If the program is a degree, please indicate the type of degree (e.g., BS, MS, PhD, Associate, etc.)     (1C8J3)
    • (7.4) If the program is a not a degree, please indicate the level of the program (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, etc.)     (1C8J4)
    • (7.5) Discipline of program (e.g., Computing, Engineering, etc.)     (1C8J5)
    • (7.6) Course(s) which can be taken within the program with some Ontology-related content. For each course, please indicate its name and mention the Ontology-related content covered     (1C8J6)
    • (7.7) If your program is accredited by an accreditation organization or body, please indicate its name     (1C8J7)
  • (8) If you know of any organization that certifies ontologists as professionals, please include its name and a web-link to it. Please list all organizations you are aware of, mentioning the name of the certificate.     (1C8K)
  • (9) Please include any relevant comment related to ontology content and quality assurance you are aware of that is not covered by the questions in this survey     (1C8L)
  • Remarks:     (1C8M)
    • AntonyGalton: we need to be aware of the potential for confusion (already mentioned in previous meetings) arising from different usages for terms such as 'programme' and 'course' (and 'module', 'unit', etc which are used by some institutions, at least in the UK). We might need to have 'cultural variants' of the questionnaire to allow for this (or at any rate, some 'note on terminology' to be added to the questionnaire).     (1C8M1)

Quality Track Questions     (1D)

(from Fabian Neuhaus with comment from Leo - ref. exchange     (1D1)

  • 1) If you would hire an ontologist for your organization     (1D2)

- what are the three most important skills that you would be looking for? (suggested answers: philosophical ontology, logic/formal semantics, ontology mapping, ontology lifecycle management, ontology evaluation/best practices, data modelling, knowledge of tools)     (1D3)

  • 2) What level of ontological education would you be looking for     (1D5)

(suggested answers: software engineer or domain expert with a certified participation in 10 days course on applied ontology / a software engineer or domain expert with one 1 year of additional training in applied ontology / somebody with a 2 year masters degree in applied ontology / someone with PhD in applied ontology)     (1D6)

    • Aldo Gangemi: applied ontology is not clear to anyone (even within ontology community I should say after my experience ;)) ... better ontology/knowledge engineering?     (1D7A)
  • 3) What kind of accreditation of the educational institution are you     (1D8)

looking for (???)     (1D9)


Suggested Survey Questions for Requirements Track - Present, from Amanda Vizedom     (1D11)

Objective     (1D11A)

To discover and clarify requirements for ontologist training, from the perpective of consumers of such training: trainees, employers, and others who might rely on the quality of such training and/or the reliability of any certification it produces.     (1D11A1)

This survey is designed to elicit information about the knowledge and skills ontologists need, or are expected to have, in a variety of working contexts. In addition to harvesting such knowledge from currently working ontologists, the survey extends inquiry to other potential stake-holders in the training of future ontologists: those who might look to such training as a solution to changing job requirements or market conditions, and those who hire, manage, evaluate, or otherwise depend upon the work of ontologists. By such broad-ranging requirements gathering, the Ontology Summit Organizing Committee hopes to produce a clearer, more realistic picture of the needs to be met by training of ontologists.     (1D11A2)

Additionally, the Organizing Committee is deeply aware of varied and multidisciplinary nature of ontology today. A single set of requirements, satisfying the needs and expectations of all current working contexts, is unlikely. In the design of ontology training curricula, it will therefore be important to know not only what content might be covered, but also how the elements of that content relate to various kinds of working situations and tasks that trained ontologists might face. That is, it is good to have as comprehensive a training menu as is feasible; it is even better to understand how to prioritize content and assemble curricula from that menu to suit particular training needs.     (1D11A3)

Special Instructions     (1D11B)

The questions below can be divided into two main groups: those that elicit information about ontologist training needs and those that elicit information about the context in which the these needs are present. Any genuine responses to the needs questions will help to fill out the picture of needs and expectations. However, the survey will be most effective if each set of answers to the needs questions comes from a consistent point of view and a working context. Many of those we hope will respond have multiples roles and working contexts from which perspectives you might answer. You are encouraged to take the survey multiple times, each time utilizing the initial questions about your organization and role to roughly identify the point of view and working context with which your remaining answers are best associated. Your cooperation in this investigation, including your willingness to specify context as just described, are greatly appreciated and of great potential benefit to our field's self-understanding.     (1D11B1)

Therefore, if you have more than one relationship to Ontologists (e.g., are one, hire them, train them, etc.) and/or have such a relationship with more than one organization (e.g., employer, clients, academic affiliation), please select one such role/relationship and complete the survey with consistently from the perspective of that role/relationship. You are encouraged to then repeat the survey for as many such role/relationships as you have and deem relevantly different. In 1a you are asked to to provide the organization and role for this set of answers; differing responses here are sufficient for us to distinguish duplicate from intentionally varied submissions. Thank you.     (1D11B2)

Final Note: Throughout this survey, please interpret ��ontology�� to mean formal ontology, a field involving formal representation of knowledge organization structures or, alternatively, formal modeling of concepts and relationships, often for computational purposes. In contrast, "ontology" herein is *not* intended to refer to the traditional philosophical subfield of ontology, also called "metaphysics" and often paired or contrasted with epistemology. Correspondingly, "ontologist" should be interepreted to mean a practitioner of the contemporary, formal field. If you are involved in the philosophical field but not the formal, representational field, please keep this disambiguation in mind and answer "no" when asked whether you are a practicing ontologist.     (1D11B3)

Questions     (1D11C)

What is your Organization's primary Sector of operation? Please answer with reference to the organization you identified in 1a. A small collection of very general Sectors is given here. However, you are very much encouraged to be more specific, especially by utilizing one of the existing organization classification schemes such as the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) (see http://unstats.un.org/unsd/cr/registry/regcst.asp?Cl=27)or North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) (see http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/ - search box in upper left lets you find sector descriptions containing keywords) or International. Please remember that here you are characterizing your organization, rather than your own specialty or function within it.     (1D11C3)

What is your primary function within your organization? A small collection of common roles is given here, However, you are welcome to be more specific, especially by utilizing one of the existing occupation classification schemes such as the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) (see http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/isco/isco88/major.htm) Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes (see http://www.bls.gov/soc/soc_majo.htm) or the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) Occupational Listings (see http://online.onetcenter.org/)     (1D11C6)

Do you personally design, develop, test, evaluate, or conduct research on formal ontologies? Or, have you done significant work of this sort in the past? If so, please indicate the nature of the work. If not, please select the last option.     (1D11C9)

    • I personally develop formal ontology content     (1D11C10A)
    • I personally design formal ontologies to meet functional and/or situational requirements     (1D11C10B)
    • I personally evaluate formal ontologies.     (1D11C10C)
    • I personally conduct research in the area of formal ontology and/or its applications.     (1D11C10D)
    • I have personally developed or designed ontologies in the past, but don't currently. (how long past?)     (1D11C10E)
    • I hope or expect to personally develop or design ontologies in the future. (how long future?)     (1D11C10F)
    • I personally work in a related field and am not sure whether I'm an ontologist or not. [If this is your answer, be sure to see 1g-1i, below.]     (1D11C10G)
    • Other (Please Identify) ______________________     (1D11C10H)
    • I don't personally design, develop, test, evaluate, or conduct research on formal ontologies.     (1D11C10I)

Within the organization and role you identified, do you have a relationship to ontologist and/or ontology work, other than or in addition to personally performing work as described in 1d? Or, have you had a significant relationship to ontology work in the past? If so, please indicate the nature of this relationship. If not, please select the last option.     (1D11C12)

    • I personally develop applications that make use of ontologies     (1D11C13A)
    • I personally design applications that make use of ontologies     (1D11C13B)
    • I personally develop systems in which the system or one or more components incorporate ontologies     (1D11C13C)
    • I personally design systems in which the system or one or more components incorporate ontologies     (1D11C13D)
    • I personally oversee an ontology design or development team     (1D11C13E)
    • I personally oversee a team whose responsibilities include ontology design or development     (1D11C13F)
    • I personally oversee a project or program that includes ontology design or development     (1D11C13G)
    • I personally am involved with a project, program, or team that depends on ontology design or development performed elsewhere.     (1D11C13H)
    • I am personally involved in the hiring of ontologists     (1D11C13I)
    • I am personally involved in the evaluation of ontologists     (1D11C13J)
    • I am personally involved in the training of ontologists     (1D11C13K)
    • I am personally involved in the assignment of ontologists to projects     (1D11C13L)
    • Other (Please Identify) ______________________________     (1D11C13M)
    • I don't have a significant relationship to ontology work other than, or in addition to, personally performing it.     (1D11C13N)

Have you personally designed or developed taxonomies, thesauri, controlled vocabularies, classification systems, data models, knowledge models, category structures, or other Knowledge Organization Structures beyond (or in addition to) full formal ontologies? Or, have you done significant work of this sort in the past? If so, please indicate what kinds of KOS or models you have developed:     (1D11C15)

Are you involved in the development or delivery of Ontology Training? If so, what content do you cover? If not, please choose the last option.     (1D11C19)

Are you looking for or considering receiving training in ontology? If so, please indicate the level of training you are considering. If not, please choose the last option.     (1D11C22)

If you are considering training in ontology, what is the reason for this interest? If you are not considering such training, please choose the last option.     (1D11C25)

If you are considering training in ontology, do you have prior background (formal training and/or experience) that, in your view, helps you understand or perform ontology work? If so, please state the nature of this background. If you are not considering ontology training, please choose the last option.     (1D11C28)

If you identified related background above, what is the nature and extent of this background? If you did not identify such background, please choose the last option.     (1D11C31)

If you are considering training in ontology, which of the following areas of knowledge or skill are you looking for? In other words, if you were selecting a training program today, what content would you expect it to have? If you are not considering training, please choose the last option.     (1D11C34)

Are you involved in the hiring or recruitment of ontologists? Or, have you done so in the past? If so, please indicate nature of this activity. If not, please choose the last option.     (1D11C37)

If you are involved in the hiring or recruitment of ontologists, please indicate what level of training or experience you look for in an ontologist candidate. If you are not involved in hiring or recruitment, please choose the last option.     (1D11C40)

If you are involved in the hiring or recrutiment of ontologists, please indicate what knowledge, skills, experience, and/or characteristics you look for in an ontologist candidate. If you are not involved in hiring or recruitment, please choose the last option.     (1D11C43)

If you identified some areas as desirable in 3b, please select *just three* that you would rank as most important in your hiring decisions. If you are not involved in hiring, please select the last option.     (1D11C46)

Are you involved in the evaluation of ontologist skill, knowledge, and/or performance? If so, please indicate what knowledge, skills, and characteristics you think are important for ontologist quality and success. If not, please choose the last option     (1D11C49)

If you are a working ontology developer, are there areas of training you wish you had, for current, past, or possible future ontology positions? If so, please identify them from the list below or add under "Other" if they are not listed. If you do not personally perform ontology work, please select the last option.     (1D11C52)


Florescu-Yim questionnaire     (1D12)

  • 2. For my organization, we (already have) would estimate that there will be:     (1D12C)

An O-Dept An O-program O-employees     (1D12D)

  • 3. what needs to happen between now and the day when we will have "ontology departments" in universities and enterprises?     (1D12F)
  • 4. what would be typical career paths of individuals with ontology training?     (1D12G)
  • 5. if an individual is inclined to pursue an ontology career, what are the education/training paths that he/she can pursue?     (1D12H)

Questions to elicit Developments for the RTDelphi     (1D13)

Please provide the most probable answer, in your opinion, to each of the questions below. From your answers, we will distill the "developments" (statements) that will help get an outlook on the future of ontology and ontologists.     (1D13B)

  • What major "Development(s)" (please express in one statement) do you foresee happening to the domain of Ontology or to the Ontologist profession over the following 20 years? (e.g. recognition of ontology as a science)     (1D13C)
  • What do you see as important emerging trends concerning ontology, ontologists or ontology training/education over the next 20 years?     (1D13D)
  • About how many "ontologists" (or professionals doing work that requires an "ontology education or training") do you estimate the world might need over the next 20 years?     (1D13E)
  • What are the potential futures of ontology in academia? (e.g. university departments, mandatory credit courses, undergrad, grad, PhD, etc)     (1D13F)
  • What are the potential futures of ontology in enterprises? (e.g. job title, skill required, etc.)     (1D13G)
  • What needs to happen between now and the day when we will have "ontology departments" in universities and enterprises?     (1D13H)
  • If you were to educate the general public about "ontology," what do you expect them to learn, know or understand?     (1D13I)

16 Developments selected for use in the RTDelphi Study     (1D14)

Ref.: [[OntologySummit2010_FutureDevelopments_Synthesis|Syntheses of the Ontology Summit 2010 Panel Session-1 Input]]     (1D14A)

  1. on a global basis, at least 10 universities have a Ontology Science department     (1D14B)
  2. on a global basis, at least 10 universities have a Ontology Engineering department     (1D14C)
  3. on a global basis, at least 10 universities have cross-disciplinary programs in Ontology Science and/or Engineering department offering Master degrees (for career professionals) or PhD degrees (for researchers)     (1D14D)
  4. at least 5% of all professionals in system architecture, systems design and engineering, software engineering and information technology will be required to have proper ontology training (and a larger number will need some background in ontology)     (1D14E)
  5. accredited programs are available from educational institutions that train certified professionals Ontologists (with the kind of standings that other professionals like scientists, engineers, architects, lawyers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc.)     (1D14F)
  6. the terms and the disciplines of "Formal Ontology" and "Ontology in Information Science" are properly understood by academia and industry (in related fields)     (1D14G)
  7. the "ontology" word, and teaching of the basics of it, shows up in secondary/high school education     (1D14H)
  8. the "ontology" word, and teaching of the basics of it, shows up in primary/elementary school education     (1D14I)
  9. the discipline of "Ontology" is properly understood by everyday people (the way disciplines like mathematics, physics, psychology, music, art, etc. is understood)     (1D14J)
  10. International Standards are regularly being developed and expressed, BOTH in a natural language and as an ontology     (1D14K)
  11. persistent repositories of quality ontologies are available for professional and public use (and they are being regularly used)     (1D14L)
  12. compelling tools that allow everyday data and information to be "ontologized" by everyday people emerge ... suggest what those tools might be     (1D14M)
  13. compelling "ontology enabled" applications emerge ... suggest what they might be     (1D14N)
  14. compelling evidence of the benefits of "Ontology" emerge ... suggest what that might be     (1D14O)
  15. significant increase (10x the current level or better; assuming current level is non-zero) in R&D funding is put into developing Ontology science and engineering     (1D14P)
  16. a major breakthrough is made in the field of Ontology     (1D14Q)

The online Surveys and RTDelphi study - see: OntologySummit2010_Survey     (1E)


Resources and Reference     (1F)


Remarks & other input     (1G)

  • Amanda / 2009.12.15: asking the community "who else should we ask?"     (1G1)


This page has been migrated from the OntologWiki - Click here for original page     (1G2)