SWAO:Conference Call 20210111

Number 85
Duration 1 hour60 minute
3,600 second
0.0417 day
Date/Time January 11 2021 19:00 GMT
11:00am PST/2:00pm EST
7:00pm GMT/8:00pm CET
Convener Mike Bennett

IAOA Semantic Web Applied Ontology (SWAO) SIG

Meetings are normally on the first Monday of the month at 2pm Eastern Time.


  • Writing a post for the IAOA website
  • Ontology Articulation Guidelines
    • New activity focusing on best practice for the semantics aspects of ontology development
    • Next steps
  • Housekeeping
  • AoB
  • Next Meeting


Blog post

We did not meet in December. IAOA site shows November so this is up to date.

Exec Council also not met for while.

Do we need to do one for January?

Ken Baclawski: The next IAOA EC meeting is tomorrow.

Ontology Summit Tracks of Relevance

There is a track on the Summit that may be convergent with this agenda:

The Landscape one

Definitions also a relevant track

Also Neurosymbolic Learning ontologies

Also Organizations

ToddSchneider: Different types of ontologies have different uses and require different techniques. Some major types include: foundational, reference, domain, and application ontologies. The different types overlap. This track will survey the landscape of ontology types and propose guidelines on how to identify the type of an ontology and how to use it.

On the Summit - expect to survey things rather than have speakers go into detail.

TS is one of the speakers - will make some points.

Looking for speakers on this

MB happy to share the ontology style visual that the Semantic Shed are developing.

TS: Emphasis of the track is on the aspect of communication.

Then different needs for communication will require different things

i.e. 'Why do you want to build an ontology' - most of the answers relate to communication.

TS can send the draft outline.

We are about articulating the distinctions; summit track is focused on what is actually out there - what people are doing, research etc.

Also to contrast the European (Trento etc.) v American (BFO v everyone else).

For the Blog

So, do we want to put anything about the Summit Track in the January update?

Do have anything else to put in the update?

AW: Can put that we are paying close attention to the Ontology Summit and taking ideas and discussion points from that.

All agree. Would enable us to talk about the Summit in our post and how it relates to SWAO

Note that the November blog also mentions vocabulary - so we could mention that track also.

IAOA Dictionary

It is hard to find the IAOA dictionary e.g. via Resources, where we have been trying to look.

Apparently it's on the wiki pages (whether or not there's a link we didn't find yet)

There is a link:


Link via Education committee Wiki


only if you already know

(a) that there is a vicabulary to find on the wiki

(b) that it is called Terms List

In order to query things semantically you would need to have a SKOS vocabulary and SPARQL queries against that.

There is no native way of searching for things by meaning on the Internet (as brains do)

Relevant Topics for the Blog


Tarski and truthmakers


KB: Issue in Summit discussions on the Organizations track: we speak of an ecosystem of ontologies. What about Sustainability of such an ecosystem?

Also (just now) from TS: what about the maintenance of data surrogates for truth makers (e.g. banking license).

KS: Sustaining here is not the same as maintainability.

i.e. what community is involved in sustaining the thing.

TS i.e. who is going to pay for it?

(including time as well as $$)

(can we put anything about any of the above discussion in the Monthly blog update?)

MB to add notes on the Truthmaker stuff (spoke earlier but did not write it down)

Also check Stanford Enc of Philosophy.

Stamford - there is one in CT and one in Lincolnshire

ToddSchneider: Have to go.

Ontology Summit

Summit - can we get more of us involved/

AW: Yes. Will also review Todd's slides and comment.

SWAO Topics Dialog

Get some dialog going

Can we get that dialog going on the wiki structure somewhere?

AW: Better to put conclusions on the wiki. People already confused enough about ontology and truth and so on. Dialog between us is too advanced and confusing for many of our prospective readers.

e.g. the value of upper ontologies - when it comes to making something useful for an application (e.g. for a DARPA project); using the ontology to nail the semantics, relationships, connections between entities and concepts that we can populate with data. Whether or not we have the data or have it yet (or can infer it). What are the concepts and how they relate to solving a given problem.

AW has some material on this, based on how the ontology is defined. Based on competency questions and what other microservices need, to convey the information that's needed. Conceptual basis, then look at whether you have the data. UOs do nothing to help that problem.

People want to know how to make an ontology accessible to developers and to the business people when you are talking philosophy.

AW: Approach to ontology development to be about events. Events cause change. Eventualities (in linguistic event theory): an Event is a Thing. States exist. States have holders. Can be long- or short-running.

AW: e.g. people start with 'what are the nouns versus 'what are the events?' Events more tractable (less infinite). People interested in talking more about these issues.

AW: Recommend a general systems thinking approach (rather than a philosophy approach). This constrains the scope.

The question is whether in ontology we need to take account of the conclusions coming out of academia, the way you would in any other engineering discipline.

e.g. extract the things of relevance to the intended scope e.g. Who What When Where How. Makes a simple UO.

MB: Andrea is doing exactly what I describe as the role of Engineer, in understanding the academic stuff so that the IT people did not need to.


We could do a presentation-led discussion of these issues on one of these sessions (e.g. 5 min from each perspective) on the above and other issues.

Agree that we should not put this on a wiki

Take discussions to email / next meeting and aim to have wiki page with outputs.

Outputs need not be one monolithic view of the word, but a summary of the schools of thought, methods, tools and techniques that different people use and recommend, as well as the overlap and underlap.

So e.g. to highlight where UO or ODP are valuable. Also reuse - not black and white but at what level you reuse a thing.


Enough for blog post for this month

Agenda for next month to talk through the stuff above

MB and AW to present (5 min)

any anyone else who is able to

Top down v bottom up, whether you need TLO v ODPs, reuse challenges.

AW: Need a more real world way to think about concepts.

e.g. you still have the WWWWWs (including Why). People use stories to explain why they think something happened. Hence causal analysis so you can pull the Why out. Subject to defeasible logic.

Aside: Linguistic order of Adjectives in English

Ken Baclawski: FWIW, here is a classification of adjectives in English: order

Order; relating to; examples

1; opinion; unusual, lovely, beautiful

2; size; big, small, tall

3; physical quality; thin, rough, untidy

4; shape; round, square, rectangular

5; age; young, old, youthful

6; colour; blue, red, pink

7; origin; Dutch, Japanese, Turkish

8; material; metal, wood, plastic

9; type; general-purpose, four-sided, U-shaped

10; purpose; cleaning, hammering, cooking

Ken Baclawski: Sorry, that copy-paste added a lot of newlines.

(cleaned up in the edit)

Ken Baclawski: Here they are again:

  • opinion
  • size
  • physical quality
  • shape
  • age
  • colour
  • origin
  • material
  • type
  • purpose

Next meeting:

1 Feb.

All good

1 Mar not so good (talk about on next month's call)


  • Mike Bennett
  • Todd Schneider
  • Ken Baclawski
  • Andrea Westerinen

Next Meetings

... further results

Previous Meetings

... further results