SWAO:Conference Call 20211210

Number 94
Duration 1 hour60 minute
3,600 second
0.0417 day
Date/Time December 10 2021 19:00 GMT
11:00am PST/2:00pm EST
7:00pm GMT/8:00pm CET
Convener Andrea Westerinen

IAOA Semantic Web Applied Ontology (SWAO) SIG


Meetings have moved to the second Friday of the month at 2pm Eastern Time.


  • Actions from last meeting
    • KenB status update on the workshop communique from the IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support (CogSIMA)
    • RobertR liaison status with the IAOA Education Committee
    • RobertR sharing "ontology definition" spreadsheet
  • Review and discussion of "What Is an Ontology?" writeup
  • Housekeeping and next meeting
  • AoB


Actions Review

  • (KenB) Another workshop for the IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support (CogSIMA) will be held in June 2022
    • A new draft of the communique will be available before that meeting
  • (RobertR) The IAOA Education Committee has not had a meeting since our November SWAO meeting
    • RobertR will discuss the SWAO work at the next opportunity
  • (RobertR) The Ontology Definition Spreadsheet is available on Google Drive
    • If used, attribution MUST be given

Ontology Definitions and Analysis

There was a good discussion of the definitions of ontology, graph and knowledge graph in this document. Note that the document has been edited to include feedback received during the meeting.

The main discussion was focused on the definition of ontology. The definition from the paper is:

"A partial, simplified description of the categories of things, attributes and relationships, in a topic area, created by a community of users for an explicit purpose, and specified in some formalism"

Other items of discussion:

  • The goal of the ontology definition in the paper was to encompass all types of ontologies (foundational, computational, applied, ...)
    • A hierarchy of definitions (as defined by RobertR and included below) could be created, but a general definition is needed
  • Definitions from the Education Committee's term list were examined
    • It was noted that Guarino's definition (#7) is old and has been revised
    • And the definition in #6 is problematic since an ontology may start from a taxonomy, but this is not required
    • Guarino's updated definition: "An ontology makes explicit people's distinctions and assumptions about the nature and structure of a portion of the world (the domain of discourse)"
  • A possible hierarchy of "ontologies" was proposed by RobertR which "sub-classed":
    • Formal ontology
    • "An ontology, consisting of categorical and non-categorical terms, explicitly expressed in an artificial language, such as FOL"
    • The idea is formalizing the ontology. The conceptualization is expressed in some formalism, whether computable or not
    • Computational ontology
    • "A formal ontology expressed in a computable artificial language"
    • The conceptualization is both expressed in a formalism and in a computational form, which may be the same
    • Applied ontology - 2 senses:
    • "A computational ontology that is intended or designed to be used for some particular application (broadly construed), domain of intertest, database, or dataset" "An ontology that is intended or designed to be
    • This will be discussed further at the January meeting

Next Meeting

The next SWAO SIG meeting will be January 14 2022, 2pm Eastern Time (Standard time, world-wide). We will continue discussing the definition of ontology.


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

Previous Meetings

... further results