19.690 conference: Formal Ontology in Information Systems

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 08:09:46 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 690.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2006 07:22:46 +0100
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: Formal Ontology in Information Systems

2nd Call for Papers

International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems

Electronic abstracts: May 1, 2006
Final submissions: May 5, 2006

Papers should be submitted electronically at:

Conference Description

Since ancient times, ontology, the analysis and categorisation of what
exists, has been fundamental to philosophical enquiry. But, until
recently, ontology has been seen as an abstract, purely theoretical
discipline, far removed from the practical applications of science.
However, with the increasing use of sophisticated computerised
information systems, solving problems of an ontological nature is now
key to the effective use of technologies supporting a wide range of
human activities. The ship of Theseus and the tail of Tibbles the cat
are no longer merely amusing puzzles. We employ databases and software
applications to deal with everything from ships and ship building to
anatomy and amputations. When we design a computer to take stock of a
ship yard or check that all goes well at the veterinary hospital, we
need to ensure that our system operates in a consistent and reliable
way even when manipulating information that involves subtle issues of
semantics and identity. So, whereas ontologists may once have shied
away from practical problems, now the practicalities of achieving
cohesion in an information-based society demand that attention must be
paid to ontology.

Researchers in such areas as artificial intelligence, formal and
computational linguistics, biomedical informatics, conceptual modeling,
knowledge engineering and information retrieval have come to realise
that a solid foundation for their research calls for serious work in
ontology, understood as a general theory of the types of entities and
relations that make up their respective domains of inquiry. In all
these areas, attention is now being focused on the content of
information rather than on just the formats and languages used to
represent information. The clearest example of this development is
provided by the many initiatives growing up around the project of the
Semantic Web. And, as the need for integrating research in these
different fields arises, so does the realisation that strong principles
for building well-founded ontologies might provide significant
advantages over ad hoc, case-based solutions. The tools of formal
ontology address precisely these needs, but a real effort is required
in order to apply such philosophical tools to the domain of information
systems. Reciprocally, research in the information sciences raises
specific ontological questions which call for further philosophical

The purpose of FOIS is to provide a forum for genuine interdisciplinary
exchange in the spirit of a unified effort towards solving the problems
of ontology, with an eye to both theoretical issues and concrete

Program Chairs
Brandon Bennett (University of Leeds, UK) brandon_at_comp.leeds.ac.uk
Christiane Fellbaum (Princeton University, USA and Berlin Brandenburg
Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Germany)

Conference Chair
Nicola Guarino (ISTC-CNR, Trento, Italy) guarino_at_loa-cnr.it

Local Chair
Bill Andersen (Ontology Works, USA) andersen_at_ontologyworks.com

Publicity Chair
Leo Obrst (The MITRE Corporation, USA) lobrst_at_mitre.org



We seek high-quality papers on a wide range of topics. While authors
may focus on fairly narrow and specific issues, all papers should
emphasize the relevance of the work described to formal ontology and to
information systems. Papers that completely ignore one or the other of
these aspects will be considered as lying outside the scope of the
meeting. Topic areas of particular interest to the conference are:

Foundational Issues

* Kinds of entity: particulars vs. universals, continuants vs.
occurrents, abstracta vs. concreta, dependent vs. independent, natural
vs. artificial
* Formal relations: parthood, identity, connection, dependence,
constitution, subsumption, instantiation
* Vagueness and granularity
* Identity and change
* Formal comparison among ontologies
* Ontology of physical reality (matter, space, time, motion, ...)

* Ontology of biological reality (genes, proteins, cells,
organisms, ...)
* Ontology of mental reality (mental attitudes, emotions, ...)
* Ontology of social reality (institutions, organizations, norms,
social relationships, artistic expressions, ...)
* Ontology of the information society (information,
communication, meaning negotiation, ...)
* Ontology and natural language semantics, ontology and
cognition, ontology and epistemology, semiotics

Methodologies and Applications

* Top-level vs. application ontologies
* Role of reference ontologies; Ontology integration and
* Ontology-driven information systems design
* Requirements engineering
* Knowledge engineering
* Knowledge management and organization
* Knowledge representation; Qualitative modeling
* Computational lexica; Terminology
* Information retrieval; Question-answering
* Semantic web; Web services; Grid computing
* Domain-specific ontologies, especially for: Linguistics,
Geography, Law, Library science, Biomedical science, E-business,
Enterprise integration, ...

Dr. Leo Obrst The MITRE Corporation, Information Semantics
lobrst_at_mitre.org Center for Innovative Computing & Informatics
Voice: 703-983-6770 7515 Colshire Drive, M/S H305
Fax: 703-983-1379 McLean, VA 22102-7508, USA

Dr Willard McCarty | Reader in Humanities Computing | Centre for
Computing in the Humanities | King's College London | Kay House, 7
Arundel Street | London WC2R 3DX | U.K. | +44 (0)20 7848-2784 fax:
-2980 || willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/
Received on Mon Apr 03 2006 - 03:16:09 EDT

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