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Subject: Ontologies Seminar&Tutorial, November 95, London, England
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SEMINAR, November 7, London, England
TUTORIAL, November 6, London England

The subject of ontologies has received little or no attention in Europe outside 
the academic world. And yet it is already being used at the centre of some very 
major software developments. For example, in building the infrastructure for the 
Space Mission Systems of the next century - representing some of the most 
complex software systems in Europe - the European Space Agency is exploring the 
use of ontologies for the representation and exchange of mission knowledge. But 
how many people know what an ontology is?

Simply put, an ontology is a structured definition of the terms, and 
relationships between the terms, within a particular domain. This simple 
definition belies the power behind the concept. Ontologies have a major 
contribution to make to some of the most important issues in the software 
industry, such as reuse, interoperability, distributed processing and standards. 
There is also the possibility of a potentially huge market in 'packaged 
ontologies', although this is still a speculative concept.

This tutorial and seminar by UNICOM are the first events to present the topic 
from an industrial viewpoint. The aim of the tutorial is to provide attendees 
with a thorough understanding of the concepts and technology behind ontologies, 
and how and where they should be used. The objective of the Seminar is to 
explore in more detail the relevance of ontologies to the three themes of 
"reuse", "interoperability" and "distributed processing".

Technical Directors of Software Houses
IT Consultants
IT Strategy Planners
R&D Directors

The complexities of the Space Mission Systems of tomorrow foreshadow the 
complexities of future business and industrial systems.Anyone planning or 
advising on the future IT infrastructure of a large corporation needs to start 
tracking ontologies - and these events are an ideal starting point.
Suppliers of large, complex software packages also need to track the technology 
of ontologies since they could play a major role in the evolution of such 
packages. They could also represent a brand new business opportunity: packaged 
ontologies for vertical domains, around which different packages - from 
different vendors - could be built, with the assurance that they would all 
interoperate. Consider the strength of the market position of - and potential 
profits for! - the owner of such an ontology in a key domain, such as banking or 
process control. 


The Impact of Ontologies on
 Reuse, Interoperability and Distributed Processing

Session One: Ontologies in Practice

1. What is an ontology and how would you use one?
	Professor N.J.I. Mars, University of Twente, Netherlands

What is an ontology?
How would you use an ontology to design software systems (and in particular 
knowledge-based systems)?
How would you use an ontology to facilitate sharing and reuse of knowledge 
How can an ontology be designed?
How can the quality of an ontology be assessed?
Practical experiences and illustrations.

2. Overview of ontologies in use.
	Professor B.J. Wielinga, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Why ontologies are useful.
Examples of projects that use ontologies.
Libraries of ontologies.
Ontologies as vehicles for reuse of knowledge.

Session Two: Ontologies, Standards and Interoperability

1. Interoperability and reuse of an ontology in electrical networks.
	Dr. Amaia Bernaras, LABEIN, Spain

Introduction to the electrical network domain.
Why are ontologies useful? From ontologies to standards.
Interoperability: Diagnosis and Service Recovery Planning applications.
On the Usability of Reusable Ontologies.

2. Achieving interoperability in the Enterprise Project.
	Mike Uschold, AIAI

A description of the Enterprise Project.
The Enterprise ontology.
How the ontology allows different tools to interoperate.

Session Three: Achieving Reuse via Ontologies

1. Knowledge reuse in technical domains: the KACTUS Project.
	Rob Martil, Lloyds Register

Introduction to Lloyds Register and the ship structures problem domain.
The approach taken by the KACTUS project.
Gial/solution scenario.
Ontology development experiences
Interoperability experiences
Re-use possibilities

2. Knowledge reuse in business domains: experience with IBM BSDM.
	Martin King, IBM UK

The need for reuse in business.
The evolution of business (Enterprise) modelling.
Experience with IBM BSDM.
Experience of model reuse.
Enhancing modelling with ontology approaches.
The future outlook.

Session Four: Ontological Glue in Distributed Agent Systems

1. Ontologies within the Knowledge Sharing Effort Project.
	Michael Grunninger, University of Toronto, Canada

The scope and major elements of the Knowledge Sharing Effort.
The role of ontologies and Ontolingua.
The Process Interchange Format Project
The big picture for future software development environments.

2. Prospective applications of ontologies for future space missions.
	Joe Wheadon, European Space Agency

ESA studies which have used Ontologies.
Perceived problems and limitations in the development and use of ontologies.
A look into the future: Areas of application for further study.

Alex Goodall has over twenty years experience in the computer industry, mostly 
working with leading-edge technologies. In 1980 he formed one of the very first 
companies to commercialise expert systems. He now runs a specialist publishing 
and consulting company -AI Intelligence- that focuses on commercial AI 
developments in Europe. His publications include the newsletter AI Watch and 
specialist reports on AI technologies. He has also undertaken consultancy 
assignments for large corporations and government bodies to help formulate their 
strategies concerning advanced software technologies. He has been appointed as 
the Co-ordinator of the recently formed Euroknowledge Association which is 
concerned with KBS standards.

Principles, Applications and Opportunities

What is an ontology?
What are the origins of the concepts and technologies?
Why are ontologies needed?
How mature is the technology of ontologies?
What major issues are still being researched?
How are ontologies used?
When would you consider using an ontology?
How would you go about building and using an ontology?
How will ontologies impact mainstream software development?
Is there or will there be a marketfor ontology products?

Presented by:

Mike Uschold, AIAI, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Michael Grunninger, Department of Industrial Engineering, 
			      University of Toronto, Canada.

Enquiries contact below:

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