Ontolog Forum

EarthScienceOntolog: Panel Session-03 - Thu 2012-10-11

Mini-Series Theme: An Earth Science Ontology Dialog ("EarthScienceOntolog")

Session Topic: Heterogeneity-preserving Data Interoperability: Methods and Challenges

Session Co-chairs: Professor KrzysztofJanowicz (UC Santa Barbara) and Professor PascalHitzler (Wright State University) - intro slides

Panelists / Briefings:

  • Dr. SimonScheider (University of Muenster, Germany) - "What does it take to interoperate? Semantic interoperability revisited in terms of human digital communication" slides
  • Dr. PrateekJain (IBM TJ Watson Research Center) - "Ontology matching and Data Interopera​bility using community generate data" slides
  • Mr. BenjaminAdams (UC Santa Barbara) - "Semantic Similarity Measurement for Geo-Ontologies" slides
  • Professor GiancarloGuizzardi (Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil) - "Formal Ontology, Ontological (Anti-)Patterns and Model Simulation" slides



Heterogeneity-preserving Data Interoperability: Methods and Challenges - intro slides

This is the 3rd session of the Joint EarthCube-Ontolog Mini-series on "Ontology and Semantic Technology for the Earth Science Community" - a series of panel sessions dubbed: "EarthScienceOntolog" - an Earth Science Ontology Dialog.

This mini-series of events are co-organized/supported by members of the Earth Cube community, Ontolog community, SOCoP community, IAOA community.

The Earth Science Ontolog mini-series is designed to explore the current status and application of multi-level ontologies towards developing a semantically enabled cyberinfrastructure for the Earth Science Community. In addition, one key mission of the mini-series is to bring together members of both communities (Earth Science and ontology/semantics) into a meaningful dialog. We anticipate that the sharing of requirements and use cases, geo-science problems and issues, ontological engineering architectures and approaches, and prospective tools, will enable collaborative understanding of the challenges and potential value in the application of ontology and semantics in Earth Science.

Session abstract: Data integration and data-model intercomparison are very work intensive tasks that require the semi-automatic or manual retrieval and interpretation of metadata. In interdisciplinary settings and data-intensive science, such a manual approach is not feasible anymore. Instead machines should support scientists in retrieving data and models and analyzing whether they are fit for a certain purpose. This requires semantic annotations and ontologies that reflect the conceptualizations underlying the shared data and models. Research on semantic interoperability is concerned with using such ontologies to enable a meaningful reuse and integration. However, most existing approaches try to foster interoperability by standardization or alignment to foundational ontologies, thus enforcing a potentially huge set of abstract ontological commitments. Consequently, such methods typically restrict semantic heterogeneity or even actively try to 'resolve' it. While this may be desirable in certain settings, in many other cases it restricts the acceptance of ontologies and semantic technologies and even contradicts the evolving and diverse nature of interdisciplinary science. Thus, this session presents work that has the potential to foster interoperability without necessarily restricting heterogeneity too much.

More details about this mini-series at: EarthScienceOntolog (home page for this mini-series)


  • Dr. SimonScheider (University of Muenster, Germany) - "What does it take to interoperate? Semantic interoperability revisited in terms of human digital communication" slides
    • Abstract: The ontology and semantic web community has undergone several strategic shifts in terms of paradigms, from holistic ontology standardization, over ontology alignment with top-level ontologies, to a pluralist translation and similarity paradigm. Ontology engineering is currently changing from top-down engineering to bottom construction, e.g., in the form of design patterns. Interestingly, all of these paradigms were motivated by the goal of semantic interoperability. However, the role of semantic heterogeneity differs considerably among them: The more recent paradigms face the challenge of heterogeneity preservation rather than heterogeneity resolution. In this talk, I argue that semantic interoperability should accordingly be reconceived, too. Namely, as a human-machine-human communication problem, in which differences in semantic interpretation of data need to be successfully communicated instead of resolved. I also discuss existing notions of interoperability in this context. This helps rethink semantic tools according to their role in supporting the communication process.
  • Dr. PrateekJain (Knoesis, Wright State University) - "Ontology matching and Data Interopera​bility using community generate data" slides
    • Abstract: Identifying relationships between entities is a natural behavior of human mind. Humans have been doing it since our existence on this planet. The same human behavior has been replicated in various fields such as databases and semantic web. In this talk I will present a work called BLOOMS for the identification of relationships between ontology schemas. BLOOMS relies on the utilization of a bootstrapping based approach. The system computes alignments with the help of noisy community-generated data available on the Web. Currently, BLOOMS uses Wikipedia and the Wikipedia category hierarchy for this purpose. I will also discuss some results which show that BLOOMS outperforms state-of-the-art ontology alignment systems on LOD datasets. At the same time, BLOOMS is also competitive compared with these other systems on the Ontology Evaluation Alignment Initiative Benchmark datasets.
  • Mr. BenAdams (UC Santa Barbara) - "Semantic Similarity Measurement for Geo-Ontologies" slides
    • Abstract: As ontologies become more mainstream in the Earth sciences and related research areas there is interest in measuring the semantic similarity of entities and entity classes described in those ontologies. Application areas for semantic similarity measurement range from semantic interoperability and ontology matching to understanding uncertainty in geographic feature types and land-use classes to semantics-enabled geographic information retrieval. In this talk I will present an introduction to some main semantic similarity measurement techniques. I will follow with a short discussion of recent work on using unstructured observation data to calculate semantic similarities between geographic feature types.
  • Professor GiancarloGuizzardi (Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil) - "Formal Ontology, Ontological (Anti-)Patterns and Model Simulation" slides
    • Abstract: The quality of an Ontology as a Reference Model of Consensus depends not only on its suitability to capture relevant notions describing that domain, but also on how truthful it is to the underlying domain in reality. Looking at the Ontology as a logical theory, it should be axiomatized in a way that it will have as possible models exactly the intended ones, i.e., exactly those models which represent state of affairs deemed acceptable by the underlying conceptualization. Under this view, one fundamental methodological issue is: how can we help ontology engineers identify the exact formalization that will produce such a result? In this talk, I will discuss a number of tools that can play a significant role in modelers in achieving that task. Firstly, I will discuss Ontological Patterns as Modeling Building Blocks capturing well-founded and reusable formal micro-theories. Secondly, I will discuss the role of Formal Ontology (in the original sense of the word) in supporting the identification and construction of such Patterns. In a complementary direction, I will discuss the role of Model Validation via Visual Simulation to help modelers in identifying exceeding constraints (overconstraining) as well as missing ones (underconstraining) in the ontology's formalization. Finally, I will report on an empirical study that used this simulation strategy to identify a number of recurrent Anti-Patterns in a pool of concrete ontologies in different domains.


EarthScienceOntolog - Panel Session-03

  • 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 --

[09:50] Peter P. Yim: Welcome to the

EarthScienceOntolog: Panel Session-3 - Thu 2012-10-11

Mini-Series Theme: An Earth Science Ontology Dialog ("EarthScienceOntolog")

Session Topic: Heterogeneity-preserving Data Interoperability: Methods and Challenges

Session Co-chairs: Professor Krzysztof Janowicz and Professor Pascal Hitzler


  • Dr. Simon Scheider - "What does it take to interoperate? Semantic interoperability revisited in terms of human digital communication"
  • Dr. Prateek Jain - "Ontology matching and Data Interoperability using community generate data"
  • Mr. Benjamin Adams - "Semantic Similarity Measurement for Geo-Ontologies"
  • Professor Giancarlo Guizzardi - "Formal Ontology, Ontological (Anti-)Patterns and Model Simulation"


  • (if you haven't already done so) please click on "settings" (top center) and morph from "anonymous" to your RealName
  • Mute control: *7 to un-mute ... *6 to mute
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[10:08] JavierGarcia: I can not see the slides in Skype

[10:08] JavierGarcia: I thought you were sharing the desktop

[10:08] Peter P. Yim: session started ...

[10:08] JavierGarcia: Is there a way that you can provide me with a link for the slides???

[10:09] Peter P. Yim: == Krzysztof Janowicz and Pascal Hitzler doing the session introduction ...

[10:09] NicholasDelRio: Javier: 0-chair for current slides

[10:09] JavierGarcia: thanks

[10:10] Peter P. Yim: @Javier - we are sharing slides if you can get into the vnc server (but those

behind corporate firewalls will have to run the slides on their own desktop)

[10:15] Peter P. Yim: == Simon Scheider presenting ...

[10:29] GaryBergCross: @Simon Thanks! I note in passing that Theories of Mind (ToM) might be a

useful intermediate concept to support Semantic Imitation.

[11:01] Simon Scheider: Thank you Gary for the hint;)

[11:16] EdwinMorris: Encode and decode are relative to the human interface. So the challenge is

during encode process to create a deeper level of meaning/labels/objects existing beyond just

language base? This would make machine comprehension and decoding much disambiguated...

[10:30] Peter P. Yim: == Prateek Jain presenting ...

[10:46] Peter P. Yim: == Ben Adams presenting ...

[11:07] Peter P. Yim: == Giancarlo Guizzardi presenting ...

[11:32] GaryBergCross: Giancarlo is there a publication that lists the Ontologies Analyzed such as

the Ontology from the Biodiversity Domain?

[11:32] Giancarlo Guizzardi: @Gary: the current report was published in the following paper:

[11:33] Giancarlo Guizzardi: SALES, T.P., BARCELOS, P.P.F., GUIZZARDI, G.: Identification of Semantic

Anti-Patterns in Ontology-Driven Conceptual Modeling via Visual Simulation, 4th International

Workshop on Ontology-Driven Information Systems (ODISE 2012), Graz, Austria, 2012 (together with the

7th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems FOIS 2012).

[11:29] Peter P. Yim: == open Q&A and discussion ...

[11:22] Peter P. Yim: ALL: it would be useful if you include a bit of context on your posts (think of

some person reading your entry 3 months or 5 years from now, and help him/her make sense of your


[11:13] GaryBergCross: These presentations are rich enough that it might take another session to

understand the related ideas between them and the implications. So I hope the speakers & organizers

will have a chance to do some of that relating and projecting.

[11:19] Peter P. Yim: @Gary - good thinking ... since we have two more sessions coming up (after today's

session) in this mini-series, it would be useful to identify specifics, the chairs of the two

upcoming sessions (also online here) can incorporate some of that material into their upcoming


[11:20] Krzysztof Janowicz: @Peter: Yes, good idea

[11:45] GaryBergCross: I'm wondering if Ben sees the similarity work he discussed as being able to

address/support the ontology matching that Prateek discussed.

[ ..... ] ref. EdwinMorris's "almost 'tail wagging the dog'" comment ... on Simon's slide#7: the

function of interpretation is based on understanding the semantic relationship of a one way system

... onous is on the producer of the information (to provide metadata, disambiguate), rather than

spending effort in the middle ground trying to bridge the receiver and the producer of the


[11:48] Mark Schildhauer: Relative to Edwin's question, I think some work by Guarino&Welty

(OntoClean) and Barry Smith et al. (BFO) are attempting to come up with basic formalisms for

developing ontologies for use in the semantic web.

[11:49] Mike Bennett: Seems to me that a good place to start on Edwin's question is the Peircean

semiotic triangle. Perhaps there is scope for some kind of feedback loop per Scheider which fine

tunes the effectiveness of the signification part of the triangle? Just a wild thought.

[11:50] EdwinMorris: Thank you

[11:53] Simon Scheider: Thank you Mike, I think this is definitely related

[11:50] Pascal Hitzler: Question for Prateek: Do you see a way to modify your approach so that it can

generate multiple (different) alignments, each corresponding to a different perspective or context?

[11:54] Prateek Jain: Yes! Something which is related to stuff which I have been doing here.. it

involves using the instances which come together

[11:54] EdwinMorris: Voice dropped

[11:55] Todd Schneider: Edwin, NCOIC has attempted to address the issue you raised. See In the context of systems development many

times the need to represent the systems context is not recognized. But another aspect of the problem

is that the use of a system may change over time. In which case the original context may no longer

be valid.

[11:55] EdwinMorris: Todd thank you

[11:57] Todd Schneider: My VOIP has dropped out. Sorry.

[11:57] Pascal Hitzler: Todd you want to get back into the speakers queue?

[11:57] Marcio Faerman: Clusters are Simon's slide 9

[11:59] EdwinMorris: Dynamic semantic ontology that is expandable and scalable then? I think that


[11:59] Todd Schneider: Edwin, another aspect of representing 'context' is the recognition that it

has to be represented. Then the problems become how much is enough and what mechanism(s) to use. Of

course it doesn't help that the notion of context is itself not well understood.

[12:00] EdwinMorris: Thank you--

[12:00] Ben Adams: Thanks everyone

[12:00] Simon Scheider: thank you

[12:01] Scott Hills: Thanks very much to the co-chairs and speakers

[12:01] GaryBergCross: FYI Spatial Ontology Community of Practice ( ) is organizing

a free, hands on workshop to be held at the USGS National facility Nov 29-30 in Reston VA. There is

limited attendance organizing around 3 -4 Work Groups made up of domain experts, group facilitators

and people with semantic/ontological experience. Among the topics of groups being formed is one of

topographic mapping & hydrology concepts. This is a USGS effort to develop "ontologies useful in

multifarious applications, such as environmental modeling and EarthCube. Another topic is a more

abstract one on spatial regions as a type of containment schema that involve behavior associated

with an inside, an outside, a contained entity, and possibly a boundary There is a potentially

related group models the concept of Site as in EPA site or the geo-region of a bird nesting site or

with a school site, a wetland regions, a place identified as a marsh or a catchment area. We may

also have a group working on an expansion of a Semantic Trajectory ontology pattern to cover data

for migrations and shipping. I am still recruiting a few people to serve as facilitators and

modelers. If you are or know of some someone with CMAP and TTL syntax experience that would be a

great addition to our groups. Several of us have participated in VoCamp's to develop simple

ontologies with the most recent at Santa Barbara and Dayton having developed ontology patterns for

Movement, Path, and Semantic Trajectory. Inquiries to Gary Berg-Cross (SOCoP Secretary) gbergcross


[12:02] Pascal Hitzler: thanks everybody :)

[12:02] Mark Schildhauer: Dalia and I (MarkSchildhauer) are organizing the Nov. 1 overview of "state

of earth science ontologies" so if you have any suggestions about who to invite to this, let us know

(schild [at]

[12:02] Peter P. Yim: great session ... thanks everyone!

[12:03] Peter P. Yim: -- session ended 12:01pm PDT --

[12:04] List of chat-room attendees: Aida Gandara, Alden Dima, Alex Mirzaoff, Anne Thessen, Ben Adams,

BillNadal, Bobbin Teegarden, Clare Paul, Cyber-ShARE, Dalia Varanka, Daniela, David Valentine,

Deborah Nichols, EdwinMorris, Elizabeth Florescu, ElizabethL, Evan Wallace, Frank Olken, GaryBergCross,

GenhanChen, Giancarlo Guizzardi, JavierGarcia, JohnMcGrath, John F. Sowa, KowWengOnn, Krzysztof Janowicz,

Marcio Faerman, Mark Schildhauer, Max Gillmore, Mike Bennett, NicholasDelRio, Pascal Hitzler, Pat Cassidy,

Peter P. Yim, Prateek Jain, Robert Downs, Song Gao, Scott Hills, ScottPeckham, SimonQiangLiu, Simon Scheider,

Terry Longstreth, Todd Schneider, Tom Tinsley, Xavier Lopez, Yingjie Hu, vnc2, anonymous,

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

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