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Ontology Summit 2010: Panel Session-4 - "Education & Training Quality for Ontologists" - Thu 11-Feb-2010     (1)

Ontology Summit 2010 Theme: "Creating the Ontologists of the Future"     (1A)

  • Panel Session-3 Topic: "Template for Ontology Training Programs"     (1A1)
  • Co-chair: Professor BarrySmith (University at Buffalo) & Dr. FabianNeuhaus (NIST)     (1A2)

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  • Discussions and Q & A:     (1A5F)
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  • Please note that this session will be recorded, and the audio archive is expected to be made available as open content to our community membership and the public at-large under our prevailing open IPR policy.     (1A5J)

Attendees     (1B)

Resources     (1B5)

Theme: Ontology Summit 2010 - Creating the Ontologists of the Future     (1C)

This is our 5th Ontology Summit, a joint initiative by NIST, Ontolog, NCOR, NCBO and IAOA with the support of our co-sponsors. The theme adopted for this Ontology Summit is: "Creating the Ontologists of the Future" and was launched on 10-Dec-2009. Like previous years, this Ontology Summit will comprise of three months of virtual discourse, over our archived mailing lists, wiki, and virtual panel sessions (like this one), and will culminate in a 2-day face-to-face workshop/symposium to be held on Mon & Tue, 15 & 16-March-2010 at NIST (Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA.)     (1C1)

  • Session Topic: Template for Ontology Training Programs     (1C2)
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.     (1C4)
We will present sample specifications of the skills and content which should be included in ontologist training programs. Features addressed will include: a common core of theoretical content and practical expertise, electives, the role of interdisciplinarity, and human-directed and software-directed elements.     (1C5)

Agenda & Proceedings     (1D)

OntologySummit2010 - virtual panel-4 - Topic: "Template for Ontology Training Programs"     (1D1)

Transcript of the online chat during the session     (1D3)

see raw transcript here.     (1D3A)

(for better clarity, the version below is a re-organized and lightly edited chat-transcript.)     (1D3B)

Participants are welcome to make light edits to their own contributions as they see fit.     (1D3C)

Welcome to the Ontology Summit 2010: Panel Session-4 - "Education & Training Quality for Ontologists" - Thu 11-Feb-2010     (1D3E)

Ontology Summit 2010 Theme: "Creating the Ontologists of the Future"     (1D3F)

  • Panel Session-3 Topic: "Template for Ontology Training Programs"     (1D3G)

o Professor Dagobert Soergel (University at Buffalo)     (1D3J)

o Dr. Bill Andersen (Ontology Works)     (1D3K)

o Dr. Nicola Guarino (Laboratory for Applied Ontology (ISTC-CNR), Italy)     (1D3L)

o Professor Michael Grüninger (University of Toronto)     (1D3M)

anonymous morphed into Maria Keet     (1D3P)

Frank Olken: I have joined the teleconference.     (1D3Q)

anonymous morphed into Elizabeth Florescu     (1D3R)

Joel Bender morphed into Joel Bender     (1D3S)

Rex Brooks: I have joined the chat, too.     (1D3T)

anonymous1 morphed into JulitaBermejoAlonso     (1D3U)

Ravi Sharma: Barry: Would you agree that the abilities of ontologies to show relationships among data     (1D3V)

and also the ability to process data to useful information is the reason for increasing demand for     (1D3W)

ontologists recently?     (1D3X)

Pavithra Kenjige: We learn how to create Ontology in Software Systems Engineering curriculum     (1D3Y)

(optional)... So Computer Science people can do that as well..     (1D3Z)

Peter P. Yim: ... would the "anonymous" person please change your identity to your real name by clicking     (1D3AA)

on the "Settings" button (at the top center), please     (1D3AB)

Ravi Sharma: Barry: The three NOT categories could be closely aligned by-product specialists related     (1D3AC)

to ontologists or do you believe that there is zero overlap among them and ontologists?     (1D3AD)

anonymous1 morphed into Jeffrey Schiffel     (1D3AE)

Ravi Sharma: Fabian: I believe you are clubbing the requirements for ontology in the use case and     (1D3AF)

example module?     (1D3AG)

Peter P. Yim: Nicola: stressed "Ontological Analysis"     (1D3AH)

Frank Olken: What prerequisites are we assuming? a basic course in logic?     (1D3AI)

Rex Brooks: @Nicola: What I think I'm hearing from Nicola is analysis of ontologies as opposed to the     (1D3AJ)

use of ontological principles for analysis of some domain or collection of documents. Is this     (1D3AK)

Frank Olken: Also, I think that in addition to logic, we should include graph theoretic approaches to     (1D3AM)

ontology specification, characterization and integration.     (1D3AN)

Frank Olken: I am skeptical about a 3 unit course on management and team work - I think this should     (1D3AO)

be rolled into the project class.     (1D3AP)

Pavithra Kenjige: I agree that, just understanding the principle would not give the expertise, it is     (1D3AQ)

the practice that makes a person an expert! But in training, one can have enough examples to create     (1D3AR)

actual ontology would help!     (1D3AS)

Frank Olken: Perhaps ontological analysis is intended to be the equivalent of literary criticism. We     (1D3AT)

need a literature of ontologies,     (1D3AU)

Frank Olken: and a literature of ontological criticism.     (1D3AV)

Frank Olken: I agree with Bill Andersen on the importance of integrating with existing curricula. New     (1D3AW)

course approvals are very difficult.     (1D3AX)

Ravi Sharma: Bill: What are the minimum tools and especially open source tools that would help     (1D3AY)

develop the ontology applications and challenge the ontologist in the making?     (1D3AZ)

Frank Olken: I also agree with Bill Andersen on the importance of being able to work from existing DB     (1D3AAA)

Amanda Vizedom: I would think that ontological analysis would include the conceptual, formal, and     (1D3AAC)

functional aspects of an ontology. I don't know that this is what Nicola intends, but assertion of a     (1D3AAD)

fundamentally interdisciplinary nature suggests this to me. What I mean, roughly: formal = logical,     (1D3AAE)

set-theoretic, and similar characteristics of the ontology and its content, and the implications     (1D3AAF)

thereof; conceptual = what is being captured? how does the ontology correspond to something someone,     (1D3AAG)

or some expressions, might mean; functional = for what (kinds of) uses and applications could this     (1D3AAH)

ontology be used?     (1D3AAI)

JulitaBermejoAlonso: How do you merge the ontological knowledge and skills (ontologist role) with     (1D3AAJ)

domain knowledge (expert role)? They are not usually the same person. Sometimes, to speak     (1D3AAK)

ontology-like is not understood by experts. How is future training to address this?     (1D3AAL)

Pavithra Kenjige: Oh! Object Oriented concepts are quite powerful from a programming perspective.. if     (1D3AAM)

they have problem with understanding.. it is a gap one to pay attention to.. in the industry     (1D3AAN)

Amanda Vizedom: @Nicola: how does the characterization above fit with ontological analysis as you     (1D3AAO)

conceive of it?     (1D3AAP)

Pavithra Kenjige: I mean one has to pay attention..     (1D3AAQ)

Ravi Sharma: Julia: That was also closely related to my question to Barry.     (1D3AAR)

Gary Bergcross: Dagobert's comment on planning for how long an ontology will be maintained points to     (1D3AAS)

some need to have Ontology Management and planning covered in one of the courses.     (1D3AAT)

anonymous1 morphed into Bill Andersen     (1D3AAU)

anonymous3 morphed into DagobertSoergel.     (1D3AAV)

Ravi Sharma: Amanda: Ref. your comments to Nicola - I was also thinking of analysis of quality,     (1D3AAW)

completeness and extent to which the original intent of ontology specification was actually met?     (1D3AAX)

Bill Andersen: My notes will follow for introduction into the record.     (1D3AAY)

Bill Andersen: [BA] = Bill Andersen [RK] = Ryan Kohl [JW] = Jennifer Williams [OW] = Ontology Works     (1D3AAZ)

[BA] Introductory comments     (1D3AAAA)

OW can best help this effort by transmitting our experience on over 50 ontology projects - more     (1D3AAAB)

precisely software development projects that involve the use of ontology Although my heart lies with     (1D3AAAC)

the "ontological analysis" emphasis, in connection with philosophical ontology and logic, this stuff     (1D3AAAD)

in practice follows the Pat Winston "raisin bread" law. Philosophical material are the "raisins".     (1D3AAAE)

You need the raisins, but they're only 5% of the total mass of the bread.     (1D3AAAF)

The real question that needs to be answered is where "ontologists" fit in to larger software     (1D3AAAG)

development efforts.     (1D3AAAH)

  • Closer to Info Sci than CS, Phil, Linguistics * Role in development is analogous to data modeler     (1D3AAAI)

but broader in scope     (1D3AAAJ)

1) [RK] Emphasis on training in standard Knowledge Representation     (1D3AAAK)

It's a bad move to make KR an elective, but have NLP front and center as a 'core knowledge' piece.     (1D3AAAL)

The KR component should help students understand what is hard and what is easy in their field, as     (1D3AAAM)

well as allow them to clearly understand the connections to other CompSci and Math fields.     (1D3AAAN)

2) [RK] Competence in at least one modern programming/scripting language.     (1D3AAAO)

The ability to write quick one-off scripts helps the ontologist in two ways. The most obvious     (1D3AAAP)

benefit is a decreased reliance on a trained programmer for small tasks, such as ripping through a     (1D3AAAQ)

text file or parsing an XML file. More importantly, though, is the increased understanding of things     (1D3AAAR)

IT that is gained from such an ability - whether the ontologist is writing models for databases or     (1D3AAAS)

for workflow organization, the model is going to have to connect to some kind of program.     (1D3AAAT)

Understanding those connections is a big plus for any fresh-out ontologist.     (1D3AAAU)

3) [RK, BA] A 3-credit course on life cycle management and team work doesn't make any sense     (1D3AAAV)

Better to adapt existing software engineering curricula - like UMCPs CMSC435 software engineering     (1D3AAAW)

course. The idea is to teach ontologists that they will be part of a software team so they need to     (1D3AAAX)

understand how all that works on a real project     (1D3AAAY)

Such a course would do the work of:     (1D3AAAZ)

3 credits: Use cases and examples (know: 5, 6, 7, (292C) 3 credits: Life cycle management and team     (1D3AAAAA)

work (know: 4.1, skills: 2, 13) (292D) 3 credits: Project course building ontologies (know: 4; all     (1D3AAAAB)

[JW] "In my experience, teamwork THEORY has not been very helpful, and teamwork in practice has     (1D3AAAAD)

fabulous complexity and is best experienced rather than discussed."     (1D3AAAAE)

4) [BA] Data analysis and manipulation course     (1D3AAAAF)

[JW] Most projects (in OW's experience) are NOT clean slate in the sense that there are no existing     (1D3AAAAG)

models (even if the only model is implicit to an existing database structure). In addition, most     (1D3AAAAH)

have existing data (usually not or under-documented) which must be dealt with.     (1D3AAAAI)

Scripting, XML, SQL     (1D3AAAAJ)

5) [BA] To reinforce Dagobert's point - Develop criteria for integration of existing course     (1D3AAAAK)

offerings in CS, IS, LS to support curriculum. If not done then there will be risk that     (1D3AAAAL)

ontology-specific courses could not be supported long term. The upside is that the view of ontology     (1D3AAAAM)

as inter-departmental is reinforced.     (1D3AAAAN)

6) [JW] The whole point of using ontologies is to promote model-driven application development. But     (1D3AAAAO)

there is a BIG gulf between app developers and ontologists. Ontology may indeed help in integration     (1D3AAAAP)

and such but there needs to be shared understanding between ontologists and app developers such that     (1D3AAAAQ)

the latter can "code to" the ontologies.     (1D3AAAAR)

7) [JW] No need for separate "philosophy of language" course. [BA - Language is important as Nicola     (1D3AAAAS)

points out, but] this can be incorporated into the philosophical ontology or just rolled up into a     (1D3AAAAT)

general philosophical support class.     (1D3AAAAU)

[JW] Core skills -- The inclusion of funding in the life cycle skill set is not something I have     (1D3AAAAV)

seen elsewhere, and seems to call for a set of skills applicable to marketing. I am not sure it     (1D3AAAAW)

belongs in a standard view of lifecycle management.     (1D3AAAAX)

9) [BA] The idea of "use cases" sounds good but in practice will be difficult to achieve. Example     (1D3AAAAY)

are intelligence applications OW has done where the "use cases" are wildly complicated and would     (1D3AAAAZ)

choke someone who does not already have significant experience. Best to provide some application     (1D3AAAAAA)

templates as part of an ontology-oriented SWE course. It certainly doesn't make sense to make it a     (1D3AAAAAB)

separate course.     (1D3AAAAAC)

Ravi Sharma: excellent inputs Bill.     (1D3AAAAAF)

Amanda Vizedom: Working off of the comments about permanency, funding, and long-term maintenance: In     (1D3AAAAAH)

many applied and/or integrated ontology settings, the idea of a permanent or unchanging ontology is     (1D3AAAAAI)

considered at least practically infeasible, at worst based on one or more fundamental     (1D3AAAAAJ)

misunderstanding. However, that is not to say that disposable or one-off work is desired. The     (1D3AAAAAK)

missing middle, in the general body of knowledge, is how to create re-usable and maintainable     (1D3AAAAAL)

ontologies *and* architectures (including structures of integreated, modular ontologies) that allow     (1D3AAAAAM)

integration, extension, and adaptation with maximal fluidity and minimal rework.     (1D3AAAAAN)

Dagobert Soergel: Importance of ontological analysis, crystallizing the structure of a domain,     (1D3AAAAAO)

developing a global view of the entities and relationships in a domain or in the body of knowledge     (1D3AAAAAP)

needed to deal with a problem.     (1D3AAAAAQ)

Bill Andersen: +1 on Michael's point on teaching ATP     (1D3AAAAAS)

Ravi Sharma: All: I think tools training is not sufficiently emphasized? any comments for tool     (1D3AAAAAT)

training even if these are short or vendor sponsored courses?     (1D3AAAAAU)

Amanda Vizedom: If you put your hand up by mistake, you can remove it by clicking on your hand in the     (1D3AAAAAV)

Dagobert Soergel: Relationships to related areas, such as building taxonomies and thesauri that are     (1D3AAAAAX)

less formal but use similar techniques, use similar resources, and rrequire similar knowledge     (1D3AAAAAY)

Rex Brooks: @Ravi: Tools are critical. Understanding them are not necessarily easy, especially if the     (1D3AAAAAZ)

logic or relationships is built into the tool. This is important for choosing the tools we use.     (1D3AAAAAAA)

Dagobert Soergel: Importance of courses where students build ontologies. Apprentice learning     (1D3AAAAAAB)

Ravi Sharma: Rex: For example these days - How do we employ people who do not have Office, Databases     (1D3AAAAAAC)

and HTML (Web) basic understanding, the tools training is similar as it prepares you to a     (1D3AAAAAAD)

methodology for ontology development or application of ontology to solve real problems whether these     (1D3AAAAAAE)

are search related or for mining or knowledge from information?     (1D3AAAAAAF)

Amanda Vizedom: This thread (tools, modeling languages) reminds me: I have encountered several cases     (1D3AAAAAAG)

where substantial work is being done, including both project plans and individual ontologist-expert     (1D3AAAAAAH)

exchanges, with absolutely no awareness of the substantial research that has been done to try to     (1D3AAAAAAI)

enable better (more accurate, faster) elicitation and/or direct contribution to ontologies by domain     (1D3AAAAAAJ)

experts themselves. I'd advocate that a look at the history and current state of such research     (1D3AAAAAAK)

should accompany learning about the tools themselves!     (1D3AAAAAAL)

Frank Olken: Again, I think there should some discussion of graph theoretic approaches to ontology     (1D3AAAAAAM)

specification, integration. See the work of Cliff Joslyn on graph theoretic approaches to ontology     (1D3AAAAAAN)

(taxonomy or partonomy) integration.     (1D3AAAAAAO)

Peter P. Yim: @Frank - can you provide a link to that work you are recommending, please?     (1D3AAAAAAP)

Rex Brooks: @Ravi: Exactly. I think one aspect that is coming up short in these discussions so far is     (1D3AAAAAAQ)

problem solving. Ontological Analysis of problems is a purpose and use I think needs to have at     (1D3AAAAAAR)

least some focus, maybe a course or two. Apart from ontological analysis for analyzing ontologies.     (1D3AAAAAAS)

Amanda Vizedom: Apologies; my previous is perhaps more of content point than a quality one.     (1D3AAAAAAT)

Bill Andersen: Fabian - you're assuming stable funding. With no demonstration of value proposition     (1D3AAAAAAU)

(and that will be *software*), funding will dry up eventually.     (1D3AAAAAAV)

Rex Brooks: @Amanda: I think so, too.     (1D3AAAAAAW)

Ravi Sharma: Amanda: That was the assumed prerequisite, but after or concurrent to the learning about     (1D3AAAAAAX)

SMEs on Ontologies and their contributions, it would help to use actual tools and then visualize     (1D3AAAAAAY)

and graph or create reports etc on real problems that use ontology as the emphasis in finding a     (1D3AAAAAAZ)

solution to a real application?     (1D3AAAAAAAA)

Bill Hogan: Just a general comment: I have not seen any discussion of the distinction between applied     (1D3AAAAAAAB)

ontologists and academic ontologists (faculty who advance the theory and science of ontology). Most     (1D3AAAAAAAC)

of the discussion seems aimed at the former. Is training of the latter as simple as doing a PhD     (1D3AAAAAAAD)

dissertation after getting an MS degree in ontology?     (1D3AAAAAAAE)

Bill Andersen: OW might be convinced to supply some of the templates for an engineering class     (1D3AAAAAAAF)

Frank Olken: Pat, most of Ontology Work's applications are classified unfortunately.     (1D3AAAAAAAG)

Bill Andersen: Frank - right, but we can schematize the structure of those applications for teaching     (1D3AAAAAAAH)

Rex Brooks: @Amanda: My agreement was to the comment before the short one about content v. quality.     (1D3AAAAAAAJ)

Bill Andersen: Pat - many of those applications will involve proprietary or classified data and/or     (1D3AAAAAAAK)

Bill Andersen: I think small-to-mid-size examples (as Michael G suggested) would be most useful and     (1D3AAAAAAAM)

that can be done without exposing sensitive stuff.     (1D3AAAAAAAN)

Frank Olken: Cliff Joslyn's papers can be found via DBLP     (1D3AAAAAAAO)

Pavithra Kenjige: Peter thanks for inviting! thanks everyone!     (1D3AAAAAAAQ)

Amanda Vizedom: @Fabian Interesting point about the separation of *some* ontologists from the     (1D3AAAAAAAR)

software. I think that's often correct. In some contexts, a corresponding distinction is made     (1D3AAAAAAAS)

between ontology architects and ontologists in general or knowledge engineers as a complimentary     (1D3AAAAAAAT)

speciality. That is, as either a specialization or a role within a project, some ontologists work     (1D3AAAAAAAU)

the high-level design and architecture, including analysis of the software integration and/or human     (1D3AAAAAAAV)

systems context. Others are focused on understanding the domain and developing ontology within that     (1D3AAAAAAAW)

general architecture. Neither is harder/easier, IMHO, but they are quite different.     (1D3AAAAAAAX)

Ravi Sharma: Amanda: I made a comment before Bil's pasted comments, please review whenever possible.     (1D3AAAAAAAY)

JulitaBermejoAlonso: Although Semantic Web oriented, the Knowledge Web (KW) Network of Excellence     (1D3AAAAAAAAA)

project did research on different scenarios for training (professional, masters, PhD), and the     (1D3AAAAAAAAB)

required core curricula in Ontology and Semantic Web. Might be of help?     (1D3AAAAAAAAC)

Amanda Vizedom: @Ravi: Not sure I understand the question.     (1D3AAAAAAAAD)

Arturo Sanchez: @FabianNeuhaus+Rest of Editors: what I am still wondering is if the strawman captures     (1D3AAAAAAAAE)

the idea of "ontologies with a purpose" in the context of a problem-solving life-cycle ...     (1D3AAAAAAAAF)

Maria Keet: Julita: probably a European masters programme would be a nice outcome     (1D3AAAAAAAAH)

Bill Andersen: Thanks to Barry, Fabian and of course Peter!     (1D3AAAAAAAAI)

Amanda Vizedom: @Julita: definitely of use for the Requirements track! Consider posting links to     (1D3AAAAAAAAK)

Requirements Community Input page?     (1D3AAAAAAAAL)

Ravi Sharma: Amanda look at the earlier comment for you from me on the first part of the chat when     (1D3AAAAAAAAM)

Amanda Vizedom: @Ravi: Yes, I see it, but am not sure I understand it.     (1D3AAAAAAAAO)

Joel Bender: Outstanding session, thank you!     (1D3AAAAAAAAQ)

Ravi Sharma: One general observation on survey, it is emphsized that respondents be practicing     (1D3AAAAAAAAR)

ontologists, hope it does not take away valuable inputs from others in the community?     (1D3AAAAAAAAS)

Peter P. Yim: Thanks, everyone, for the contribution ... full proceedings along with the audio recording     (1D3AAAAAAAAT)

of this session will be available after the weekend. ... Bye!     (1D3AAAAAAAAU)

Amanda Vizedom: @Ravi and all: different portions of the survey emphasize input from different     (1D3AAAAAAAAV)

elements of community or different topics.     (1D3AAAAAAAAW)

Ravi Sharma: Ravi Sharma to Amanda: Ref. your comments to Nicola - I was also thinking of analysis of     (1D3AAAAAAAAX)

quality, completeness and extent to which the original intent of ontology specification was actually met?     (1D3AAAAAAAAY)

Maria Keet: thanks for organising this interesting session. bye     (1D3AAAAAAAAZ)

Peter P. Yim: - session adjourned 12:02 pm PST -     (1D3AAAAAAAAAA)

-- end of chat session --     (1D3AAAAAAAAAB)

  • Please mark your calendars - next session (same time on a Thursday): Thu 2010.03.04 - Ontology Summit 2010 virtual session-5: "draft deliverables review and alignment" - developing agenda will be at: ConferenceCall_2010_03_04     (1D3AAAAAAAAAD)

An Open Invitation     (1E)

If you do find this initiative interesting or useful, we cordially invite you to join us in the "Ontology Summit 2010" virtual discourse that will be taking place in the next 3 months or so, and to the face-to-face workshop that will be held on 15 & 16-March-2010 as part of the NIST Interoperability Week in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA.     (1E1)

  • Join us at some of the upcoming virtual panel discussion (on the Ontolog Forum) on this year's summit topics. Watch for the announcements!     (1E3)
  • Registration for the face-to-face workshop (Mon & Tue 2009.03.15 & 16) will be announced later. Please be on the look out for it!     (1E4)

Audio Recording of this Session     (1F)

  • suggestion: its best that you listen to the session while having the presentation opened in front of you. You'll be prompted to advance slides by the speaker.     (1F5)
  • Take a look, also, at the rich body of knowledge that this community has built together, over the years, by going through the archives of noteworthy past Ontolog events. (References on how to subscribe to our podcast can also be found there.)     (1F6)

For the record ...     (1F7)

How To Join (while the session is in progress)     (1G)

This page has been migrated from the OntologWiki - Click here for original page     (1G4)