CfP ECAI96 Workshop Ontological Engineering (Paul van der Vet)
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 14:51:48 +0100
From: (Paul van der Vet)
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To:, ontolingua@HPP.Stanford.EDU
Subject: CfP ECAI96 Workshop Ontological Engineering
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		   Held in conjunction with ECAI'96
		   Budapest, August 12 or 13, 1996


Adam Farquhar (Stanford University, USA)
Asuncion Gomez-Perez (Technical University of Madrid, Spain)
Michael Gruninger (University of Toronto, Canada)
Mike Uschold (Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute,
  Edinburgh, UK)
Paul van der Vet (chair, University of Twente, the Netherlands)

with additional reviewers

Harold Boley (German Research Institute for Artificial
   Intelligence, Germany)
Nicolaas Mars (University of Twente, the Netherlands)


The last few years have seen a growing interest in the design, use,
and sharing of ontologies. Work in this area naturally incorporates
formal knowledge representation with practical implemented
systems. Ontological engineering currently is a craft rather than a

This workshop attempts to further the advent of more systematic design
practices. It will focus on practical experience in the design and
construction of ontologies in a variety of different domains.
Participants are asked to identify (even if only in retrospect) the
design decisions that underlie their ontologies. At the workshop
itself, the discussion will be aimed at identifying a suite of
principles, design decisions, and `rules of good practice' from which
other ontology designers may profit. The idea is not to come up with
the one and only recipe for designing ontologies. We rather expect
several systematic design practices, each with its own intended use.

This is a *workshop* rather than a mini-conference. We solicit papers
(see below), but at the workshop itself the stress is on sharing
experiences. There will be ample room for discussion. We expect all
participants to contribute to the discussion. At the end of the
workshop, we hope to be able to pin down some practices in a fairly
explicit way.


Recently, there have been workshops on ontologies at IJCAI (August
1995), LaJolla (Nov 1994), on implemented ontologies at ECAI-94 in
Amsterdam (August 1994), on knowledge sharing and information
interchange at IJCAI-93 in Chambery (August 1993), and the workshop on
formal ontology in Padova, Italy (March 1993). This workshop will
contribute to the continuum of current research, by focusing on the
practical aspects of ontology development and use including tools,
methodologies, and engineering practice.

At these workshops and in the published literature, ontologies are
called important or indispensable in designing and building
knowledge-based systems and in facilitating sharing and reuse of
knowledge resources. It is evident that quite a number of research
groups are building ontologies. It is less clear what design decisions
are taken and how they contribute to the success (or failure) of the
ontologies developed. Thus the danger of making the same mistakes over
and over again is as real as the danger of inventing the wheel at
several places simultaneously.

Development of an ontology is a laborious and therefore costly
process. The field would profit immensely if we could learn from each
other's successes and failures. One way to lay down the do's and
don't's is in the form of systematic design practices. With so many
groups working on the subject, it is possible to gather experiences
and start articulating systematic design practices.


To achieve this aim, the following issues need to be addressed:

- Can the practices followed by ontological engineers be articulated?
What lessons have people learned from the implementation of their
ontologies? Can these lessons be generalised?

- To clearly identify the various roles that implemented ontologies
may play. Do they support automated reasoning and problem-solving?
Are they used as an inter-lingua to achieve inter-operabilty, re-use,
or sharing? Are they used 'merely' to ensure communication of a shared
understanding between people?

- What tools are available to assist in the design and/or
implementation of ontologies? How do they compare with each other?

- To what extent are the ontologies designed in different domains
shareable and reusable? How can we structure ontologies to support
sharing and reuse?

- Is there a need for a suite of generic ontologies to support the
more domain-specific ontologies? If so, what are these generic
ontologies? Can they be related to existing standards and, if so, how?

- What are the obstacles to the integration of different ontologies?

Domains of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following:
- Medicine
- Natural Language
- Materials Science and Engineering
- Enterprise Modelling (including process modelling, product
modelling, and organization modelling).


The workshop will last a whole day, being either 12 or 13 August,
1996. No more than six slots for presentations are foreseen. Depending
on the number of papers and the issues they address, a slot contains
one or two presentations. At the workshop, a presentation differs from
reading a paper; rather, it is expected to raise important points for
discussion. The papers that are the basis of the presentations at the
workshop and the accompanying ontologies can be consulted at the
WWW-site of this workshop well in advance. Participants are invited to
consult this site before they join the workshop. The URL can be found


IMPORTANT NOTE: workshop participants are required to register for the
main conference in addition to their registration for the workshop.

Participation to the workshop shall be limited to 35 persons. Persons
interested in participating are required to either:

- Submit a full technical paper, maximum 10 pages (including figures
and bibliography) that addresses one or more of the issues specified
above. In addition, every paper should be accompanied by at least one
ontology developed by the author(s) in some well-known format like
Ontolingua or a description logic. The code should be well documented.

- Submit a position paper of two pages maximum, explaining the
particular interest and the potential contribution to the workshop's

Papers will be reviewed by two independent reviewers. The review
process will obviously focus on how well the contribution addresses
the questions identified above and on clarity of exposition as regards
the design decisions taken, including their contribution to the
overall quality of the ontology.



March 15, 1996
Deadline for submission of full papers (including the accompanying
ontology). Send three hard-copy submissions to the address mentioned
below or submit by email. Detailed instructions will become available
at the WWW-site listed below. In case of more than one author, be sure
to identify one corresponding author. For ease of communication, the
corresponding author is required to have an email address.

April 30, 1996
Review results returned to authors of full papers by email to the
corresponding authors.

June 1, 1995
Deadline for final full papers. Detailed instructions will be made
available well in advance, and in any case will accompany the positive


April 30, 1996
Deadline for position papers. Position papers can be submitted in bare
ASCII or self-contained LaTeX.

June 1, 1996
Notification of participation returned to authors of position papers.


ECAI96 Workshop Ontological Engineering
Paul van der Vet
Knowledge-Based Systems Group
Dept. of Computer Science, University of Twente
P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, the Netherlands

Phone +31 53 489 36 94
Fax +31 53 489 29 27