Ontolog Forum

Revision as of 20:28, 10 January 2023 by Forum (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

Jack Park

Ontolog Forum was started by Peter Yim, way back in the day when he, I, and Adam Cheyer were at VerticalNet in Palo Alto. Sigh. End of an era. He will be deeply missed.

Steve Ray

I'm so sorry to hear this news. Peter inspired me to jump on the Ontolog Forum bandwagon all those years ago when we started the Ontology Summit series. He had a way of getting you all excited about the vision - his impact will last a long time.


Mike Bennett

I'm sorry to hear this. I can safely say I would not be where I am today if it weren't for Peter's encouragement and his leadership of the Ontolog Forum when I first started to work in the ontology space. He made a lot of things possible for a lot of people and left a legacy we all continue to benefit from.

Doug Holmes

This is, indeed, very sad news. He is directly responsible for the creation, growth and evolution of both the Ontolog Forum and Ontolog Summit. He was also a very nice and sincere person. I had hoped that we might see him again when travel between Hong Kong and the the rest of the world improved; sadly, we won’t. He’ll be greatly missed.

Fabian Neuhaus

This is very sad news indeed. As Steve said, Peter's enthusiasm was infectious. In addition to co-founding the Ontolog Forum and the Ontology Summit, Peter's legacy includes being a co-founder of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA), where he served as member of the Executive Council until the end of 2012. Peter put an enormous amount of energy into organizing and connecting the ontology researchers and practitioners. The ontology community owes him a lot. 

Harold Goranson

I think I gave Peter some seed money from a DARPA project for ontolog forum ever so long ago. He was honestly committed to do good.

Sorry to hear of his passing.

Elizabeth Florescu

Peter was extremely innovative and entrepreneurial, always ahead of the curve. He strongly impacted the life and work of those who had the privilege of knowing him. The Millennium Project is one of the organizations that highly benefited from Peter's bootstrapping. Tributes coming in from around the world are posted at: Peter will be highly missed, but his huge footprint and legacy will live on.  Deeply saddened, Elizabeth

Mihai Nadin

Some people make a difference. He was one of them.

Kenneth Baclawski

Our friend and Ontolog Forum founder Peter Yim has passed away. It was very sad news to all of us who worked with him, and a great loss to the community he founded and nurtured for many years.

The Ontology Summit 2023 is dedicated to the memory of Peter, and will begin with a tribute to Peter on 18 January 2023 at Noon US/Canada Eastern Time at

The obituary page for Peter is at If you wish to write a tribute to Peter, please send it to me and I will post it on the Ontolog Forum wiki. Video tributes can also be posted on the wiki.

Ravi Sharma

I Deeply regret the passing away of Peter Yim. As you say he started our Forum and I have actively joined it since 2008. We convey deep condolences as a great professional who shared his computing and infrastructure resources for this forum. We will miss him. Regards. Thanks. Ravi

Matthew West

Dear Colleagues,

I can imagine some people here today who are wondering who Peter Yim was, because he was not one of the Big Voices on the Ontolog Forum. That is because he was a convener, facilitator and resource integrator. As Steve said, he had the vision, and brought together the people it needed to make it happen.

It was Peter’s vision, for example, that the Ontolog Forum should be a virtual water cooler that we could all chat by without any specific agenda, or being a project, so that serendipitous things could happen, like the recent shared experiences of chat GPT, and also that the Ontology Summit would bring together the state of the art on a particular ontology related topic. He worked behind the scenes to make those things happen and get the right people involved.

He will be missed but remembered fondly by those who knew him.

Kingsley Idehen

May Peter's soul rest in eternal peace.

He will be dearly missed :(

Leo Obrst

Yes, I was greatly saddened on hearing about Peter. We last communicated around Christmas of 2021.

I met Peter at VerticalNet initially. He was a program manager then and associated with the Palo Alto group that included Jack Park, Adam Cheyer, Howard Liu. Isadra was a startup company back then developing an agent-based trading hub for business-to-business e-commerce (B2B) that had been acquired by VerticalNet, based in Horsham, PA. It was the heady days of the era, and VerticalNet was one of the early companies to embrace ontologies for product and service knowledge representation. I left MITRE in December, 1999, to go to VerticalNet, and began to hire ontologists. There were very few back then, of course, mostly AI knowledge representation developers, computational linguists, and philosophy graduate students. In the spring of 2000, I traveled from Horsham (where the ontological engineering department was centered) to Palo Alto to meet with the ontologists, B2B domain experts, and software folks there. The dot.bomb erupted later that year, and by early 2001, most of the VerticalNet ontology and domain expert staff, along with many others, had been jettisoned. However, a few of us kept in touch afterwards, especially Jack Park, Peter Yim, and I.

In 2001-2002, Peter and I spent a lot of time discussing the emerging Universal Business Language (UBL) standards effort (an OASIS Technical Committee, in which Peter participated) under the direction of Jon Bosak, with the idea of founding the effort on ontologies. Most of the rest of the early story can be read in Peter’s retrospective 2015 paper in Applied Ontology [1].

I do recall our virtual presentation to UBL, the creation of a UBL-Ontolog mailing list, and our traveling to Minneapolis for the UBL face-to-face, where we presented our proposal (I still have the slides). The overall conclusion though was that UBL was moving fast and the TC decided to remain XML-based. But a small group of us (Peter, Kurt Conrad, and I, co-convenors) decided to create a Community of Practice for applied ontology. Thus Ontolog (Forum) was born. Peter certainly was the guiding force.

Peter provided his CIM3.NET infrastructure as the underlying support for Ontolog, and thereafter largely devoted the rest of his life to making Ontolog a going concern and a solid community focused on ontological and semantic technologies.

Peter was dedicated to making CIM3.NET and Ontolog an instance of Doug Englebart’s “Bootstrap” strategy [2], a way to make solid progress in developing knowledge about and practice in applied ontology, which was Peter’s “improvement vector” in Englebart’s terminology.

I worked with Peter for many years and greatly admired his perseverance, practicality and drive, his openness to new ideas and approaches, his generosity and tolerance of ambiguity, his recognition of the need for compromise to allow communities to evolve to achieve their worthy goals.

We will all miss Peter. He was a good friend, colleague, administrator, and visionary.


[1] Yim, Peter. (2015). Bootstrapping the applied ontology practice: Ontology communities, then and now. Applied Ontology. 10. 229-241. 10.3233/AO-150161.


Joanne Sylvia Luciano

Oh my, that is sad news. He is and will be missed – and more importantly remembered, for developing and supporting this community. Thank you Peter Yim.

Biswanath Dutta

I am sorry to hear this news. He was an inspiration to me.  May his soul rest in peace. My deepest condolence to his family.  Om Shanti 

Sincerely,  Biswanath 

Giancarlo Guizzardi

These are really sad news.

I was lucky to be part of the first elected IAOA Executive Council with Peter (also Leo and many other great people) and I always remember his kindness and balanced view in things. He did an immense service to the community with Ontolog and bridging it with IAOA to the point that IAOA created an honorific award called the Peter Yim Award.

My sincere condolences to his family and friends. RIP, Peter. Thanks for everything.