Ontolog Forum

Nicola Guarino

Laboratory for Applied Ontology (ISTC-CNR)
Polo Tecnologico, Via Solteri 38, 38100 Trento, ITALY 

Nicola Guarino (1954) is research director at the Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the Italian National Research Council (ISTC-CNR), where he leads the Laboratory for Applied Ontology (LOA), a section of the Institute located in Trento. A graduate in Electronic Engineering at Padua University in 1978, he was first in charge of the data acquisition and monitoring system of a large nuclear fusion experiment in Padua. He then moved to the area of knowledge representation, joining the CNR Institute of Systems Theory and Biomedical Engineering (LADSEB-CNR) to work initially on medical expert systems. He joined ISTC-CNR in 2003, moving to Trento to found the new lab. Since 1991 he has been playing a leading role in the ontology field, developing a strongly interdisciplinary approach that combines together Computer Science, Philosophy, and Linguistics, and relies on logic as a unifying paradigm. In 1993 he organized in Padua the first International Workshop on Formal Ontology in Conceptual Analysis and Knowledge Representation, and since then he has gained a well-known international leadership concerning the ontological foundations of conceptual modeling and knowledge engineering, and more in general the role of semantic technologies in information systems, multi-agent systems, and natural language processing. His impact is testified by a long list of widely cited research papers, and many keynote talks and invited tutorials in major conferences involving different communities. Among the best known results of his lab, the OntoClean methodology ( and the DOLCE foundational ontology (

Current research interests include service science, socio-technical systems, and e-government applications. He is founder and editor-in-chief (with Mark Musen from Stanford University) of the international journal Applied Ontology, as well as founder and president of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications ( He is also editorial board member of the International Journal of Semantic Web and Information Systems, the Journal of Data Semantics, and editor of the IOS Press book series Frontiers in AI and Applications.


See also: Dr. Guarino's invited talk to the Ontolog community at the session page: ConferenceCall_2006_02_02