Thursday, February 25, 2016

IAOA Newsletter 2015/2016

[copy of the newsletter 2015/2016, Feb 1, 2016]
Dear IAOA members,

2015 comprised a special milestone for our community as we marked the 10th anniversary of the Applied Ontology journal [1]. Nicola Guarino, Mark Musen, and the rest of the Editorial Board worked hard on a special issue, which will be published in the coming months.

IAOA was one of the co-organizers for Ontology Summit 2015 [2], which addressed the theme "The Internet of Things: Toward Smart Networked Systems and Societies." and explored Ontology Integration in IoT, Semantic Sensor Network Ontologies, Decision Making in Different Domains, and Related Standards and Synergies for Emerging IoT Ontologies.

The Third IAOA Summer Institute (in cooperation with the Vespucci Institutes 2015) [3] was held during the week of June 22-26 at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA. The topic this year was "Spatial Ontologies for e-Science" with Werner Kuhn, Peter Fox, and Michael Gruninger as facilitators. Amidst the scenery of coastal Maine, participants engaged in a wide range of discussions, primarily considering the notion of location. Topics included the role of location in [4] and PROV-O [5], geoscience without geometry, and a study of the concept of “along” (e.g. as in “samples were taken along the river”). Michael Gruninger was bestowed the honour of Fellow of the
Vespucci Initiative for the Advancement of Geographic Information in Science [6]. Special thanks are extended to Werner Kuhn, whose indomitable energy, inspiration, and organizational prowess made the Summer Institute another success.

Last year marked the first edition of JOWO (Joint Ontology Workshops[7] at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) [8] in Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 25-31. This event co-located the Workshop on Modular Ontologies (WoMO), Formal Ontologies for Artificial Intelligence (FOfAI), the Workshop on Ontologies and Logic Programming for Query Answering, and the Workshop on Belief Change and Non Monotonic Reasoning in Ontologies and Databases.

The 7th Workshop on Formal Ontologies Meet Industry (FOMI) [9] was co-located with the RuleML Conference [10] in Berlin on August 5. Organized by Roberta Cuel and Bob Young, the workshop brought together an interesting mix of perspectives from a wide range of industrial applications.

Concerning internal affairs, the end of the year brought changes to the Executive Council (EC). Marion Haemmerli, Janna Hastings, and Leo Obrst all retired from the EC. Leo has served as an EC member from the creation of IAOA in 2009, and Marion has been instrumental in laying the groundwork for the relocation of IAOA from Italy to Switzerland. A heartfelt thanks to Janna, Marion, and Leo for all of their hard work! Ken Baclawski, Amanda Vizedom, and Zena Wood were elected to the Executive Council, with their term starting this January, 2016.

Under the leadership of Maria Keet and Zena Wood, the IAOA Education Committee has been re-energized, with the visible result of getting a wiki [11] started, where people can find information on ontology courses, material, and textbooks. See there [12] to find out how to contribute to this effort.

This coming year will be quite exciting, with IAOA supporting several major events. The Ninth International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS 2016) [13] will be held in Annecy, France, on July 6-9. Giancarlo Guizzardi (General Chair) together with Roberta Ferrario and Werner Kuhn (Programme Chairs), as well as Patrick Barlatier and Richard Dapoigny (Local Chairs), are crafting an amazing conference that will showcase the latest research in applied ontology. For up-to-date information, visit the website at
[13] .

The Education Committee is leading the planning for the Third Interdisciplinary School on Applied Ontology (ISAO) [14], which will take place in Bolzano, Italy, between June 27 and July 1, 2016, i.e. Monday to Friday in the week before FOIS. Keep your eyes open for public announcements in the near future.

As in previous years, IAOA will again be a co-organizer of the Ontology Summit [15]. Ontology Summit 2016 has selected as theme for this year "Semantic Integration". The Summit will offer a particularly important opportunity for identifying use cases for applying formal ontologies to semantic integration problems in the domains of earth sciences, biology and medicine, cloud computing, engineering, and finance.

The relocation of IAOA from Italy to Switzerland is still on our agenda. Unfortunately, this project could not be finished in 2015 as intended originally, primarily due to delays in the revision of the Statute and the Bylaws for Switzerland. However, we are now approaching the completion of this revision as well as the formal foundation of IAOA in Switzerland, which are planned until March 2016. Please note that this timing has a side effect on membership renewals for 2016. All active memberships of 2015 are "silently" extended until March 31, 2016. After the foundation of IAOA in Switzerland and the setup of a new bank account all members will be informed when we are ready to enroll for this year.

With an active agenda for 2016, we look forward to your continuing support in all the endeavours of IAOA and will hope to see you at any or all of this year's events!

Michael Gruninger and Oliver Kutz
for the IAOA Executive Council


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