Ontolog Forum

Ontology Summit 2011: Panel Session-5 - "Strategies for 'Making the Case' - Take-I" - Thu 2011_02_24

Summit Theme: OntologySummit2011: Making the Case for Ontology

Session Title: Strategies for 'Making the Case' - Take-I

Session Co-chairs: Dr. MatthewWest (Information Junction, UK) & Mr. PeterYim (Ontolog; CIM3)


  • Dr. MatthewWest (Information Junction, UK) - "Show me the Money: the benefits trail for Ontology" [ slides ]
  • Dr. NormanWinarsky (SRI Ventures) - "The Story of Siri, and SRI's Venture Incubator Process" [ slides ]
  • Dr. DeniseBedford (Kent State University) - "Role of Ontologies in Master Data Management" [ slides ]
  • Mr. ChrisPartridge (BORO Solutions) - "Be pragmatic, be opportunistic" [ slides ]
  • Mr. PeterYim (Ontolog; CIM3) - "Science & Technology that change the world: beyond good work, marketing stunts and logic" [ slides ]


OntologySummit2011 Theme: "Making the Case for Ontology"

  • Track-4 Focus: "Strategies for 'Making the Case'"
  • Session Title: Strategies for 'Making the Case' - Take-I

This is our 6th Ontology Summit, a joint initiative by NIST, Ontolog, NCOR, NCBO, IAOA & NCO_NITRD. The theme adopted for this Ontology Summit is: "Making the Case for Ontology."

This year's Ontology Summit seeks to address the need to provide concrete evidence of successful deployment of ontologies by examining several application domains for such examples, and in better articulating where different "strengths" of ontological representation are best applied. To support that, the summit also aims to classify the categories of applications where ontology has been, and could be, successfully applied; to identify distinct types of metrics that might be used in evaluating the return on investment in an ontology application (cost, capability, performance, etc.); to lay out some strategies for articulating a case for ontological applications; and to identify remaining challenges and roadblocks to a wider deployment of such applications that represent promising application areas and research challenges for the future. The findings of the summit will be documented in the form of a communiqué intended for public consumption.

The Panel Session today is organized by our Track-4 co-champions, and will be featuring a range of panelists who will tell us the strategic approach they take when making their case and the issues they find as they prosecute the case.

See developing details on this Summit series of events at: OntologySummit2011 (home page for this summit)


Ontology Summit 2011 - Panel Session-5

  • Session Format: this is a virtual session conducted over an augmented conference call


Please refer to the above

IM Chat Transcript captured during the session

see raw transcript here.

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

Participants are welcome to make light edits to their own contributions as they see fit.

-- begin in-session chat-transcript --

Peter P. Yim: .

Welcome to the Ontology Summit 2011: Panel Session-5 - Strategies for 'Making the Case' - Thu 2011_02_24

Summit Theme: Ontology Summit 2011: Making the Case for Ontology

Session Title: Strategies for 'Making the Case' - Take-I

Session Co-chairs: Dr. Matthew West (Information Junction, UK) & Mr. Peter P. Yim (Ontolog; CIM3)


  • Dr. Matthew West (Information Junction, UK) - "Show me the Money: the benefits trail for Ontology"
  • Dr. Norman Winarsky (SRI Ventures) - "The Story of Siri, and SRI's Venture Incubator Process"
  • Dr. Denise Bedford (Kent State University) - "Role of Ontologies in Master Data Management"
  • Mr. Peter P. Yim (Ontolog; CIM3) - "Science & Technology that change the world: beyond good work, marketing stunts and logic"

Please refer to details (dail-in numbers, agenda, slides etc.) on the session page



anonymous1 morphed into MichelVandenBossche

anonymous1 morphed into David Leal

anonymous1 morphed into Chris Partridge

anonymous3 morphed into Fabian Neuhaus

anonymous1 morphed into Norman Winarsky

anonymous3 morphed into Bruce Musicus

anonymous5 morphed into Frank Olken

BruceMusicus1 morphed into Bruce Musicus

anonymous8 morphed into Michael Riben

anonymous2 morphed into Phil Murray

anonymous3 morphed into Anne Hunt

anonymous7 morphed into Tony Rhem

Steve Ray: Friendly code reminder: *3 to unmute, *2 to mute

anonymous2 morphed into Dustin Cote

anonymous2 morphed into ByronDavies

Frank Olken: I tried to call in with Google voip, and was told the conference calling number was not

a legal phone number - so I am using my cell phone.

Steve Ray: @Frank: It appears that this conference calling service is blocked by some (Google

included). I had the same issue in the past, and now just use my Vonage account for this call.

Steve Ray: @Byron: Did you need a question answered? We could try via chat.

ByronDavies: Moderator, please remove me from the queue.

Steve Ray: @Byron: Done. You can toggle raising and lowering your hand by clicking the little hand

icon at the lower right.

anonymous3 morphed into Pavithra Kenjige

Todd Schneider: Matthew, could you repeat the two uses of ontologies?

Matthew West: @Todd - Use 1 is in providing information through reasoning. Use 2 is in supporting

information systems through models and Master Data Mgt and data quality analysis.

Steve Ray: @Norman: I didn't catch the third ingredient for a successful venture. I got: Stellar

team; great market concept.

Matthew West: @steve 3rd is Disruptive Technology Solution.

Rex Brooks: Sorry I got here late, unavoidable.

Rex Brooks: I think the point that both Denise and Chris have made is that we should focus on solving

a use-case problem rather than making a case for ontology per se.

Rex Brooks: In fact how we solve their problems may require that we not make a point of using

semantics or ontology.

Steve Ray: @Rex: Thus, our application framework should be very useful.

Rex Brooks: @Steve: right!

Rex Brooks: @Steve: How do we incorporate the almost unanimous conclusions of this session into

application framework, a la siri?

Rex Brooks: We have the chicken and egg catch 22 situation where we need the context but to get the

context we need the context to make the case.?

Steve Ray: @Rex: I'd say: 1. Identify the audience. 2. Prepare the pitch for that audience. Siri's

audience was the VC community as far as I can tell.

Steve Ray: I'm hoping the Application Framework will list each application type, each audience type,

and each value metric.

Rex Brooks: Can we identify a bunch of problems (use-cases) we can solve? and then use that to

develop the application framework?

Steve Ray: @Rex: That was one of the drivers behind the Use Case track - to find actual use cases and

find out what worked when making the case.

Todd Schneider: The particular stake holders will also impact which metrics are of interest.

Steve Ray: I agree

Rex Brooks: @Steve: then I think Todd's idea of a matrix is a good idea to produce a set of

solutions, audiences, money-trail, etc.

Rex Brooks: And, of course, metrics!

Steve Ray: @Rex: Yes. I think it's a 3D cube: Application type; Audience type; Value metric

Leo Obrst: I agree with Peter, and with Chris, because it is a matter of both accuracy and a matter

of trust.

Pavithra Kenjige: @Peter - on slide 4, it says CIO and System architects... It is the job of the

enterprise architects to create an Ontology for the organizations for it to be useful for

organizational wide interoperability. System Architects have narrower responsibilities limited to

systems that they are responsible for..

Peter P. Yim: (added this response subsequently) @PavithraKenjige - I was using the term "system" in a

very broad sense - including that of enterprise systems, human systems, etc., and not just tools

systems or (computer-based) application systems.

Pavithra Kenjige: Application Architecture, would deal with application layer, Ontology should be

addressed when addressing information/ semantics of the information that application architecture

has to store or manipulate. For example, in a three tier architecture, or service oriented software

or application architecture, they have to work with the information they have to work with..

Phil Murray: Re: "Ontologies are overrated." Comparable to response to tech writer presenting a draft

to a manager for review: "I've done a little wordsmithing myself." To some people, Ontology

engineering looks like something very simple made more difficult and more expensive ... and not at

all providing something the rest of us can't do.

Mike Bennett: Is one issue the "Prototype" problem you also see with software: people form a mental

picture of the thing they saw, and picture this whenever they hear the word "ontology".

Terry Longstreth: @Peter - I like your observation that "ontology" covers a range of strategic

concepts, from Controlled Vocabularies to Fully axiomatized logical frameworks (I hope I've

paraphrased that accurately). Do we need an enumeration of that spectrum, with target markets for

the individual strategies?

Todd Schneider: Have to go. Thank to all the speakers.

Peter P. Yim: @TerryLongstreth - I believe we addressed this ("What is an Ontology") back in 2007 - see:

Ontology Summit 2007 - Ontology, Taxonomy, Folksonomy: Understanding the Distinctions -

Steve Ray: @Terry: That was the subject of our 2007 Ontology Summit. See

Terry Longstreth: @Peter - I'm aware, but my point is that all of these are being called ontologies,

without a clear definition of how they should relate to each other. Was that discussed in 2007?

Peter P. Yim: @Terry - in particular - the Leo Obrst + Michael Grüninger "Ontology Framework" presentation

is enlightening - see:

Peter P. Yim: @Terry - absolutely! hopefully, at this Summit (2011), we will take that one step forward

and associate the "right" type of ontology to specific business problems

Rex Brooks: My line dropped as well, just as I was about to ask for input into a matrix that Todd and

I will put together, but I'd like to see a set of use-cases with specific problems we can solve so

we can identify the kind of application framework that will be needed and what metrics we can use to

measure how effectively we solve those problems.

Anne Hunt: Sorry, I could only stay until 11. Good conversation--see you next time.

Nicola Guarino: Have to go. Great session!

Peter P. Yim: Thanks, Anne ... thanks, Nicola ...

Steve Ray: @Rex: Be sure to coordinate with the Track 1 team that is tasked with creating the

Application Framework.

Rex Brooks: @Steve: we should do that tomorrow.

Steve Ray: @Rex: Indeed. And this is the focus of next Thursday's session: Integrating the Framework,

the Use cases, and the value metrics.

Rex Brooks: @Peter: Exactly! We can focus on the solution to problems, and not worry about telling

everyone how we solve it.

Peter P. Yim: Matthew West suggested: "Ontology inside!"

Rex Brooks: Ontology Onboard!

Mike Bennett: Ontology enabled?

Pavithra Kenjige: Problem with selling the concept of Ontology is - we treat it as Semantic

technology dependent like RDF and Owl! I wonder it is necessary to limit it that way?

Phil Murray: @Leo Obrst (paraphrased): "People will reinvent what ontologies do while deprecating

ontology engineering." Absolutely true. So KR people need to be associated strongly with something

that has high visibility and clearly understood impact. The attention to Watson could be a

springboard for that.

Rex Brooks: @Leo: one thing we need to be careful about is using appropriate messages per audience.

When speaking to technicians, we can say things we shouldn't attempt with a non-technical,

managerial or venture capitalist audience.

Phil Murray: Gotta go. And thanks, Peter, for fixing my access. Good discussion, all.

Peter P. Yim: Thank you for your participation and contribution, Phil ... bye

Norman Winarsky: Have to go. Thanks so much for the great discussion.

Matthew West: Thank you very much Norman

Mike Bennett: Some fantastic insights in today's session!

Pavithra Kenjige: thank you

Peter P. Yim: Great session ... thank you all!

Peter P. Yim: - session ended: 11:32am PST --

-- end of in-session chat-transcript --

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  • Conference Date and Time: 24-Feb-2011 9:38am~11:32am PST
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Additional Resources

  • Homepage of OntologySummit2011
    • Ontology Summit 2011 Launch Event - ConferenceCall_2011_01_20
    • "Ontology Application Framework" session - ConferenceCall_2011_02_03
    • "Ontology Applications & Use Cases - I" - ConferenceCall_2011_01_27
    • "Ontology Applications & Use Cases - II" - ConferenceCall_2011_02_10
    • "Value Metrics, Value Models and the Value Proposition - I" - ConferenceCall_2011_02_17
  • [ontology-summit] mailing list archives -
  • Homepage of this annual Summit series - see: OntologySummit

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