Ontolog Forum

Session Synthesis
Duration 1 hour
Date/Time 23 Feb 2022 17:00 GMT
9:00am PST/12:00pm EST
5:00pm GMT/6:00pm CET
Convener Ravi Sharma
Track Disaster Landscape

Ontology Summit 2022 Synthesis

Dealing with Disasters

The COVID-19 pandemic as well as other pandemics and disasters have prompted an impressive, worldwide response by governments, industry, and the academic community. Ontologies can play a significant role in search, data description, interoperability and harmonization of the increasingly large data sources that are relevant to disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontology Summit 2022 examined the overall landscape of disasters and related ontologies. A framework consisting of a set of dimensions was developed to characterize this landscape. The framework was applied to health-related disasters, environmental disasters, as well as aerospace and cyberspace disasters. It was found that there are many cross-domain linkages between different kinds of disasters and that ontologies developed for one kind of disaster can be repurposed for other kinds. A representative sample of projects that have been developing and using ontologies for disaster monitoring and response management is presented to illustrate best practices and lessons learned. The Communiqué ends by presenting the findings and recommendations of the summit.


Conference Call Information

  • Date: Wednesday, 23 Feb 2022
  • Start Time: 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST / 6:00pm CET / 5:00pm GMT / 1700 UTC
  • Expected Call Duration: 1 hour
  • The Video Conference URL is
    • Meeting ID: 881 4427 2329
    • Passcode: 553714
  • Chat Room:
    • If the chat room is not available, then use the Zoom chat room.
  • One tap mobile



[12:06] Gary Berg-Cross: I would add that the Launch had some ideas, such as the Semantic spectrum as a frame. Another is the challenge of diverse definitions The chat asked Is there common 'agreement' on the definition of 'disaster'? The UN DRR is a start:

A serious disruption of the functioning of a community or society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts, which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope with using its own resources.

[12:12] Gary Berg-Cross: I think that we can leverage much from Mark Fox's talk on Public Health Events (within a city framework). He covered ontology design patterns/modules and light ontology work.

[12:14] RaviSharma: Todd and Gary suggestions on Ken's Q on disaster meaning.

[12:15] RaviSharma: Risk - is not context dependent

[12:15] RaviSharma: Gary said look at ontologies

[12:16] RaviSharma: Gary look at Mark Fox talk for cities.

[12:16] RaviSharma: pandemic health risk

[12:17] RaviSharma: Janet - parametric view

[12:18] RaviSharma: ontological view of disasters Janet and Todd

[12:19] RaviSharma: Gary said about OGC

[12:22] Andrew Dougherty: OpenCYC has #$DisasterEvent

[12:28] Gary Berg-Cross: Parameters to understand pandemics include incubation period, transmissibility, the average stay in hospital, proportion of reported cases, proportion of deaths amount critial cases....from "Ten Epidemiological Parameters of COVID-19: Use of Rapid Literature Review to Inform Predictive Models During the Pandemic"

[12:29] Gary Berg-Cross: KG speakers Chris and Justin

[12:33] RaviSharma: Ram outlined overview, start with definitions, patterns and speakers

[12:33] RaviSharma: Janet reiterated that and a few diagrams in communique

[12:34] Gary Berg-Cross: Mark made the point, that we can include in our communique that investigators of disasters seek a deep understanding of the extent to which legacy systems have created disaster data silos across the departments/divisions/areas dealing with disasters. A first step to breaking down the silos is the creation of data standards. Stating that Data Standards for X is the most important is not helpful

[12:36] Gary Berg-Cross: Alternate definition of Disaster - any accidental, natural or malicious event which threatens or disrupts normal operations, or services, for sufficient time to affect significantly,or to cause failure of, the enterprise. from Glossary of Disaster Management Terms

[12:37] ToddSchneider: From Disaster - 3.1.73 disaster situation where widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses have occurred that exceeded the ability of the affected organization (3.1.165), community (3.1.39) or society to respond and recover using its own resources (3.1.207)

[12:38] Andrew Dougherty: A specialization of #$Emergency. Each instance of #$DisasterEvent is a #$PhysicalDestructionEvent in which at least some of the objects destroyed or harmed are considered to be of significant value. (We use 'value' in its most general sense, to include monetary value, social value, moral value, etc.) Obviously, this is a very subjective and norm-laden concept; however, there are many things which clearly qualify as #$DisasterEvents, e.g. #$TitanicSinking, #$BombingOfHiroshima, and #$TerroristAttack-September-11-2001-NYC-PENN-WDC. Two important specializations are #$NaturalDisaster and #$ManMadeDisaster.

[12:41] RaviSharma: Janet - Cyc definition, other dimensions, speakers comments, etc

[12:42] RaviSharma: Todd - what were discussed, organize and highlight, use some of it in communique

[12:43] RaviSharma: Gary - talks, semantics, used by speakers, semantic approach to disasters, also KG

[12:45] RaviSharma: Ram- we are in the front end of laying foundations for theme of summit and connect the stories

[12:45] RaviSharma: Disasters - fundamental, Doug, mark, and others. from Ram

[12:46] Gary Berg-Cross: Smart cities shows and model levels approach

Service Level (5087-n) spans concepts commonly associated with a particular service but still shared with other services, such as Vehicles and Transportation network. Can be read by multiple services, but updated only by one service.

City Level (5087-2) spans concepts that are general to cities and span all services such as Households, Services, Residents. Can be read and updated by multiple services.

Foundation Level (5087-1) spans very general concepts such as Time, Location, and Activity, upon which other levels are based.

[12:47] ToddSchneider: 0Since this is the 'Ontology Summit' how can the use of an ontological approach or the use of ontologies aid in 'disaster' planning, mitigation, or responses?

[12:49] Gary Berg-Cross: We talk about risks in a disaster such as on human, material, economic and environmental losses and impacts.

[12:55] RaviSharma: Andrew and Doug volunteered to create a summary of Doug's talk on Cyc

[12:56] RaviSharma: Ravi reminded that Doug Cyc needs feedback from his talk, Qs and comments, etc.

[12:59] RaviSharma: Three other talks, volunteers needed, Josh OGC Pilot, (Andrew Volunteered)

[13:01] RaviSharma: We have to schedule Andrew on April 13 or April 20

[13:02] RaviSharma: Doug Lenat talk has been viewed 1000 times (reviewed)

[13:02] RaviSharma: Other sessions views are in hundreds stats from Ken

[13:03] RaviSharma: Cas will try to Summarize the first talk

[13:03] Janet singer: Factors from the definitions of disaster, each evoking interesting parameters 1) a physical event 2) with risks 3) of harmful/disruptive/destructive impacts 4) on objects, services, systems 5) valued at various scales 6) according to economic, social, moral criteria

[13:04] RaviSharma: we still need two more for other speakers

[13:06] Janet singer: adding 7) evaluation from the perspective of some stakeholder (may be positive for some stakeholders while negative for others)

[13:08] Cas Miles: loosely associated thought: It seems several relief foundations define disasters with an element of 'capacity' of a community as well, "Disasters are serious disruptions to the functioning of a community that exceed its capacity to cope using its own resources." (but I'm not sure how that would work with existing ontologies or who and how capacity is defined yet.)

[13:11] RaviSharma: to Ken - request - we need to consolidate all comments relating to Cyc from Doug Miles and Andrew to send to Cyc Doug Lenat

[15:06] Douglas R. Miles: BTW.. at first I offered to do a summary of Lenat's talk but everyone realized it have very little to do with disasters and decided no one would need to summarize his talk.. So instead what we want is a description of what Cyc has along the lines of representing Risks and Disasters.

[15:06] Douglas R. Miles: Is that correct @Ken ?

[20:24] Ken Baclawski: @Douglas R. Miles: Yes that is correct.


Previous Meetings

ConferenceCall 2022 02 16Mark Fox
ConferenceCall 2022 02 09COVID-19 KGs
ConferenceCall 2022 02 02CYC
... further results

Next Meetings

ConferenceCall 2022 03 02Workshop Report
ConferenceCall 2022 03 09Knowledge Graph Approach to Combat COVID-19
ConferenceCall 2022 03 16Semantic Agents
... further results