Ontolog Forum

Session Ontologies for Exploring Interventions
Duration 1 hour
Date/Time 11 May 2022 16:00 GMT
9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT
5:00pm BST/6:00pm CEST
Convener Ravi Sharma
Track Environment Disasters

Ontology Summit 2022 Ontologies for Exploring Interventions

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.


  • Yolanda Gil Ontologies for Exploring Interventions for Disaster Preparation and Response Slides Video Recording YouTube Video
  • Preparing and responding to natural disasters requires integrated models of natural processes and human activities across disparate disciplines. It typically takes many months and even years create valid end-to-end simulations as the different models need to be configured in consistent ways so their results can be meaningfully interpreted. MINT is a novel framework that uses AI for model integration. MINT uses ontologies to represent modeling variables unambiguously in order to facilitate model integration, to capture model requirements and constraints in order to validate the use of models, and to connect models to scenarios and interventions in order to make them directly relevant to decision makers. We will illustrate the use of ontologies in MINT to study the impacts of climate extremes such as droughts and floods in food insecurity and migration in Sub-Saharan Africa, to set up controlled fires for wildfire prevention, and to facilitate the creation of rapid disaster response systems.
  • Dr. Yolanda Gil is Principal Scientist at the Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California, Director of New Initiatives in AI and Data Science in the Viterbi School of Engineering, and Research Professor in Computer Science and in Spatial Sciences. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Gil collaborates with scientists in many domains on semantic workflows and metadata capture, social knowledge collection, computer-mediated collaboration, and automated discovery. In 2019 she co-chaired the CRA/AAAI 20-Year Artificial Intelligence Research Roadmap for the US with key strategic recommendations based on extensive community contributions. She initiated and led the W3C Provenance Group that led to a widely-used standard that provides the foundations for trust on the Web. She is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She is also Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and served as its 24th President.

Conference Call Information

  • Date: Wednesday, 11 May 2022
  • Start Time: 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EDT / 6:00pm CEST / 5:00pm BST / 1600 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



[11:20] Ravi Sharma: Welcome everyone

[12:14] Ravi Sharma: Does Hydrology model include weather forecast and also real time measurements of weather?

[12:26] Ravi Sharma: What about weather forecast integration

[12:26] Ravi Sharma: A lot depends on soil types and so how would SPI compare or differ?

[12:36] Ravi Sharma: Intervention specification will only affect fertilizer used and so is not useful?

[12:42] Ravi Sharma: What is the benefit of backcasting?

[12:47] Ravi Sharma: Are you able to quantify uncertainty?

[12:54] Mike Bennett: How does the AI deal with the semantics of concepts in the ontologies?

[12:55] Ravi Sharma: Janet asked questions about models and AI.

[13:10] Nathan Filbert: Greetings - will these slides and recordings be available to review (references as well)? Id like to be added to some list for resources - This is extremely helpful to us as we develop a Central Plains disaster resilience center - Would love to work with others

[13:14] Ken Baclawski: @Nathan Filbert: The slides today are already posted on the meeting page. The video recording will be posted later today. Other links will be posted when they are available.

[13:15] Nathan Filbert: Excellent - thank you all so much!


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