Title: PHI 598 / ENG TBD Ontological Engineering, Spring 2018.
Registration: Class# TBD. Registration details for off-campus students are provided under Part Time/Graduate here.
Instructor: Barry Smith
Office hours: By appointment via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1 The Course
- 2 Background
- 3 1: Introduction to Ontology
- 4 2. An Introduction to Basic Formal Ontology
- 5 3. Use of Ontologies in Tracking Systems
- 6 4. How to Build an Ontology
- 7 5. Ontology and Information Engineering in the Healthcare Domain
- 8 6. An Overview of Ontology Projects in Military Domains
- 9 6. Documents and Document Acts
- 10 7. The Semantic Web
- 11 Preliminary Reading and Video Materials
The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to the methods and uses of ontological engineering, focusing on applications in areas such as military intelligence, healthcare, and document processing. It will provide an overview of how ontologies are created and used, together with practical experience in the development of ontologies and in the use of associated web technology standards. It will also address some of the human factors underlying the success and failure of ontology projects, including issues of ontology governance and dissemination.
The course is built out of fifteen 3-credit-hour sessions, each consisting of an on-line video lectures, video presentations created by students, and discussion sessions covering the topics of each lecture.
Text: Robert Arp, Barry Smith and Andrew Spear, Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, August 2015
Further readings and examples of video lectures are provided below
Provisional outline of 2018 lectures:
- 1. Introduction to Ontology
- 2. Big Data and How to Overcome the Problems it Causes
- 3. An Introduction to Basic Formal Ontology
- 4. Use of Ontologies in Tracking Systems
- 5. How to Build an Ontology
- 6. Creating Ontologies That Work Together
- 7. Ontology and Information Engineering in the Healthcare Domain
- 8. The Science of Document Informatics
- 9. The Semantic Web
- 10. Ontology Examples
- 11. Finance Ontology
- 12. The Ontology of Plans
- 13. Presentations of Student Projects 1
- 14. Presentations of Student Projects 2
Ontologies are an important tool in all areas where data is collected and described by different groups in different ways. Ontologies provide taxonomy-based computerized lexica used to describe diverse bodies of data. They thereby help to aggregate and compare data, to make data more easily discoverable, and to allow large bodies of data to be more effectively searched and analyzed. Ontologies also play an important role in the so-called Semantic Web, where the Web Ontology Language (OWL) forms a central building block in the stack of web technology standards created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
UB ontologists are involved in a variety of national and international projects in the military, healthcare, bioscience, transport and financial domains. There is an acknowledged shortage of persons with ontological engineering expertise in all these fields, and in related fields such as journalism, manufacturing and government administration.
The video links provided below point to samples of the sorts of lectures to be presented in 2018.
1: Introduction to Ontology
- Ontology: A Brief Introduction
- We will begin by addressing questions such as: What is an ontology? What are the differences and interrelations between ontology (philosophy), ontology (science), and ontology (engineering)? How are ontologies used?
- Ontology: From Philosophy to Engineering
- Ontology as a Solution to the Problem of Data Integration
- We are living in a world of big data. To find our way around this world, we need to identify and integrate the data that is important to our needs. The problem is that data is collected always from different perspectives, with different levels of detail, different granularities for example of space and time, and different communities use different technologies and different terminologies when collecting their data. This session provides an introduction to the problems of data fusion.
- Tanya Malyuta (CUNY): Ontologies vs. Data Models
- Tanya Malyuta (CUNY): Horizontal Integration of Intelligence Data
2. An Introduction to Basic Formal Ontology
- Why a standard ontology architecture is needed. Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as domain-neutral common architecture for domain ontologies defined in its terms. BFO and its competitors. Building ontologies with BFO
3. Use of Ontologies in Tracking Systems
- Presenter: Werner Ceusters
- A referent tracking system (RTS) is a special kind of digital information system that is designed to keep track of both (1) what is the case in reality and (2) what is expressed in other information systems about what is believed to be the case in reality. An RTS also keeps track of how changes in the information system correspond to changes in the reality outside that system. We will provide an introduction to referent tracking and its implementations.
- Reading: How to track absolutely everything
- Basics of Referent Tracking (RT)
- Referent Tracking and Video Surveillance
- Referent Tracking and Data Descriptions
4. How to Build an Ontology
- How to build an ontology 1
- Military ontology
- How to build an ontology 2
The Airs Suite of Ontologies and their use in annotating intelligence data. Information artifacts: Publications, databases, passports, emails. The Email Ontology. Minimal Information Checklists
- An Introduction to BFO's Treatment of Information Artifacts
5. Ontology and Information Engineering in the Healthcare Domain
- Health care today rests increasingly on the proper use of data deriving from different sources (data pertaining to genes, diseases, symptoms, drugs, medical devices, procedures, hospital infections and other adverse events, hospital management, billing, reporting, and many more). We provide an introduction to the ontology of disease, with special reference to the phenomenon of aging.
- Ontology for General Medical Science
- Informatics and Obamacare
- Genomics: Gene Ontology Annotations
- Electronic Health Records: Disease and Diagnosis
- Biodiversity: Semantics of Biodiversity
6. An Overview of Ontology Projects in Military Domains
- We will begin with a video Introduction to Semantic Technology in the DoD Business Mission Area by Denis Wisnosky]. We will then describe how ontology is being used for the horizontal integration of warfighter intelligence data within the framework of the US Army’s Distributed Common Ground System Standard Cloud (DSC) initiative. We outline how ontologies are being applied to bring about what we call the ‘semantic enhancement’ of data models used within each intelligence discipline. We then show how the strategy can help to overcome tendencies to stovepiping of intelligence data, and thus to help connecting the dots across different information sources.
- BFO and the Command Post of the Future
- 4. How to Integrate Data Slides Video
- 5. Military Ontology Slides Video
- 6. Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) Slides Video
- 17. Barry Smith: Space, Time and BFO Slides Video
- 18. LTC William Mandrick LTC Mandrick]: Roots of Ontology in the Military Slides Video
- 19. LTC Mandrick: Operational Ontology: The Future of the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) Slides Video
- 20. Ron Rudnicki: The CUBRC - US Army Ontology Collaboration Slides Video
6. Documents and Document Acts
- What is a document?
- Document Acts and the Ontology of Social Reality
- What can we do with documents? What can we do with digital documents that we can't do with paper documents?What is a diagram? How can we extend the technology of optical character recognition (OCR) to comprehend also the graphical content of documents?
7. The Semantic Web
- Ontology and the Semantic Web
- The term "Semantic Web" was introduced by Tim Berners-Lee and others in the late 1990's (1, 2) and first popularized in a paper in 2001 in Scientific American (see below). Berners-Lee summarizes the idea as "a web of data that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines", an extension of the web of documents primarily intended for consumption by people.
Presentations by Alan Ruttenberg
- Semantic Web Vision and History
- [shttp://ncor.buffalo.edu/2014/IE500/9-Vision-History.pptx Slides]
- Technology of the Semantic Web
- Ontology and the Semantic Web
- Tim Berners Lee Scientific American Articles :