Basic Formal Ontology Summit Meeting

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The 2023 Basic Formal Ontology Summit Meeting will be held May 23rd-25th, 2023. The aims of the meeting are:

  1. to bring together researchers who have played an important role in the development and application of BFO, to highlight the practical impact and value of using BFO as a top-level architecture,
  2. to identify and work through outstanding issues experienced by users of BFO,
  3. to begin the creation of a set of BFO-conformant ontologies in the domain of government policy and data

Subsidiary goals are:

  • to showcase real-world examples of incorporation of BFO in development pipelines and their practical impacts
  • to promote collaboration across different groups of BFO users
  • to share case studies illustrating challenges arising in BFO use, evaluation, interpretation, and revision
  • to reveal differences in interpretation of BFO terms and relations, and of associated strategies for using BFO
  • to share strategies of evaluation of BFO from different user bases
  • to identify and disseminate strategies for improving the quality of BFO-based ontologies

Paper and Workshop Presentations

Those wishing to present a paper at this meeting, including at the workshops mentioned below, should submit a short abstract (~200 words) to John Beverley [1] before February 15th. Confirmation of acceptance will be issued by February 28th. Paper presentations are especially welcome on applications, uses cases, and practical aspects of employing BFO. See below for more descriptions of desirable presentation topics.

Those wishing to present a workshop should contact Barry Smith [2] as soon as possible. Note that we are planning for a meeting consisting entirely of plenary sessions. Hence, the number of workshops will be kept to a minimum.

Workshops chairs will decide each workshop structure (for example: panel, successive talks, one talk + responses, etc.); each workshop will be approximately 1-2 hours in length.


Participants may register here.

Early-bird registration fees are as follows (up to May 16th):

  • Students - None
  • Junior Faculty/Postdocs - $100
  • Senior Faculty, Government, Industry - $300

These fees are designed primarily to cover venue and refreshment costs. After the early-bird registration period up to the event date, the registration fees will be as follows:

  • Students - $50
  • Junior Faculty/Postdocs - $150
  • Senior Faculty, Government, Industry - $400

We are currently exploring possibilities for zoom participation, but given the goals of the event we strongly encourage in-person participation.

A processing fee of 10% will be charged for cancellations up to May 16th; thereafter, no refunds.

Keynote Speakers

We are happy to announce five keynote speakers (information will be updated as it becomes available).

Werner Ceusters
Division Chief, Biomedical Ontology
Department of Biomedical Informatics
University at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

The first keynote will be given by Werner Ceusters, who will speak on
The Axiomatization of BFO 2020: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Abstract

Alan Ruttenberg
Director of Clinical and Translational Data Exchange
University at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine

The second keynote will be given by Alan Ruttenberg,
and will be titled Time Matters

Fabian Neuhaus
Institute for Intelligent Cooperating Systems, Otto-von-Guricke University Magdeburg

The third keynote will be given by Fabian Neuhaus,
and will be titled BFO-FOL for Domain Ontologies

Janna Hastings
Editor-in-Chief of Applied Ontology, Assistant Professor of Medical Knowledge and Decision Support, Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zurich
Vice-Director, School of Medicine, University of St. Gallen


The fourth keynote, by Janna Hastings, will be titled
Field Reports from Using BFO in Scientific Ontologies

Ryan Riccucci
Division Chief, US Border Patrol

The fifth keynote, by Ryan Riccucci, will be titled
For a Government Ontology


May 23 (Tuesday) - 25 (Thursday), 2023


Main Ballroom of the University at Buffalo Center for Tomorrow

The Center for Tomorrow, located at the University at Buffalo’s Amherst campus, houses a 350-seat conference area that can be converted into smaller meeting rooms, a reception and display area, a food preparation and serving facility, and a 7,500-square-foot open courtyard.


Comfort Inn University
Amherst, NY 14226
1 Flint Road

Attendees are encouraged to book rooms at Comfort Inn University by following the link here. They should mention that this is a conference booking to receive the special rate.
Comfort Inn University is a four minute walk from the BFO-SM venue and guests will be provided coffee and breakfast each morning.

Tentative Schedule

Tuesday, May 23

Start Time: 9:00am

  • 9-9:15am: Opening Remarks
  • 9:15-10:30am: Keynote Werner Ceusters: The Axiomatization of BFO 2020: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Abstract
  • 10:45-12pm: Keynote Fabian Neuhaus: BFO-FOL for Domain Ontologies Abstract

12-1pm Lunch On-Site

  • 1-2:15pm: Keynote Alan Ruttenberg: Time Matters Abstract
  • Workshop BFO and Temporal Data (Chair - Amelia Kahn)
  • 2:30-3pm: "Temporal Annotations", Dave Lutz
  • 3-3:30pm: "Stases", Mark Jensen
  • 3:30-4pm: "Time and the Continuant: Modeling Temporal Data in BFO-OWL", Ludger Jansen Abstract
  • 4-5:30pm: Roundtable The Future of BFO: What Needs to be Changed? (Participants: Barry Smith, Alan Ruttenberg, Werner Ceusters, John Beverley)

5:30pm Banquet for Keynote Speakers and Organizers

Wednesday, May 24

Start Time: 9:00am

  • 9-9:15am: Opening Remarks
  • 9:15-10:30am: Keynote: Janna Hastings, Field Reports from Using BFO in Scientific Ontologies
  • Workshop Applications of BFO in Biomedicine and Sustainability (Chair - Cameron More)
  • 10:30-11am: "Ontologies for a Learning Health System: Application to PARS3 and theoretical challenges", Adrien Barton, Paul Fabry, Jean-François Ethier Abstract
  • 11-11:30pm: "BFO Applications in Interoperable Biomedical Ontology Development and Knowledge/Data Integration – He Lab Experience", Yongqun "Oliver" He, Jinjing "Jimmy" Guo Abstract
  • 11:30-12pm: "Ontologies for Sustainability: Theoretical Challenges", Giorgio Ubbiali, Nicolas Piras, Matthew Lange, Andrea Borghini Abstract

12-1pm Lunch On-Site

  • Workshop Applications of BFO in Industry (Chair - Jonathan Vajda)
  • 1-1:30pm: "OccO: The Occupation Ontology" John Beverley, Yongqun "Oliver" He, Sam Smith, et al. Abstract
  • 1:30-2pm: "The Industrial Ontologies Foundry", Farhad Ameri
  • Workshop Economics and Accounting Ontology (Chair - TBD)
  • 2-2:30pm: "Accounting Contracts in Collaboration Space", Bill McCarthy and Graham Gal Abstract
  • 2:30-3pm: "Toward an Ontology of Inflation", Jonathan Vajda Abstract
  • 3-3:30pm: "Advantages and Challenges of Building a Realism-based Ontology of Finance", Gloria Sanso Abstract
  • Workshop BFO and AI (Chair - TBD)
  • 4-4:30pm: "Fandaws and BFO", Aaron Damiano
  • 4:30-5pm: "BFO and Common Sense", Roman Ilin

5:30pm Banquet for All Participants

Thursday, May 25: Government Ontology

Start Time: 9:00am

  • 9-9:15am: Opening Remarks from UB Provost Scott Weber
  • 9:15-10:30am: Keynote: Ryan Riccucci, For a Government Ontology
  • Workshop: Buffalo and Toronto Ontology Alliance (BoaT) (Chair - Mark Fox)
  • 11-11:30am: "Survey of University of Toronto Government Ontologies" Mark Fox, Megan Katsumi
  • 11:30-12pm: "Survey of University of Toronto Ontology of Impact" Bart Gajderowicz

12-1pm Lunch On-Site

  • Workshop: DIOWG: Department of Defense and Intelligence Community Ontology Working Group (Chair - Barry Smith)
  • 1-1:30pm: "DoD-IC Ontology Working Group (DIOWG) - Overview" Victor Rohr
  • 1:30-2pm: "DICO: Defense Intelligence Core Ontology" Forrest Hare
  • Workshop: Frameworks for Government Ontologies (Chair - Barry Smith)
  • 2-2:30pm: "Towards an Agile Process for Government Ontology" William S. Mandrick
  • 2:30-3pm: "Warrant and Truth Maintenance" David Limbaugh
  • 3-3:30pm: "Cognition Data Framework" Alex Cox
  • 3:30-4:30pm: Roundtable Future of Government Ontologies (Participants: David Limbaugh, Neil Otte, Victor Rohr, Ron Rudnicki, Alan Ruttenberg)

End Time: 4:30pm


John Beverley (University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY), [3]

Barry Smith (University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY), [4]

Participants will include:

Christopher Alvarez (CBP)

Claire Allen (CBP)

Farhad Ameri (Texas State University)

Adrien Barton (CNRS, IRIT, Toulouse)

John Beverley (UB)

Niklas Beckmann (U Bonn)

Alena Begler (Trinidata)

Carter Benson (UB)

Jay Bittner (Basis Path)

Thomas Bittner (UB)

Margaret Bogumian (Aerospace Corporation)

Werner Ceusters (UB)

Jaron Cheung (UB)

Sydney Cohen (Northwestern U)

Tim Coleman (Basis Path)

Giacomo De Colle (UB)

Alexander Cox (CUBRC)

Adam Czerniejewski (CUBRC)

Aaron Damiano (Rich Industries, Buffalo)

Alexander Diehl (UB)

Bill Duncan (U Florida)

Mark Fox (U Toronto)

Bart Gajderowicz (U Toronto)

Graham Gal (UMass, Amherst)

Josh Gough (CBP)

Pierre Grenon (GSK)

John Gugliotti (KadSci)

Jinjing Guo (U Michigan)

Janna Hastings (U St Gallen / U Zurich)

Forrest Hare (Summit Knowledge Solutions)

Ali Hasanzadeh (UB)

Yongqun "Oliver" He (U Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Olivia Hobai (UB)

William Hogan (U Florida)

Anthony Huffman (U Michigan)

Regina Hurley (Northwestern U)

Roman Ilin (Air Force Research Lab, Dayton)

Ludger Jansen (U Rostock)

Mark Jensen (CUBRC)

Amelia Kahn (UB)

David Kasmier (NCOR)

Megan Katsumi (U Toronto)

John Klasen (CBP)

Robert Krieter (UB)

Boonserm Kulvatunyou (NIST)

Stephen Lamberti (CBP)

Matthew Lange (Center for Food Ontology Operability)

Rasmus Larsen (U Toronto)

Austin Leibers (UB)

Pilar Vanessa León (Hack Space)

David Limbaugh (CUBRC)

Dave Lutz (MITRE)

William S. Mandrick (Raytheon)

Anna Maria Masci (NIH/NIEHS)

Seyedmohammadnavid Madani (UB)

William McCarthy (Michigan State University)

Mark McCormack (CPB)

Delaney McNulty (UB)

Eric Merrell (Johns Hopkins APL)

Cameron More (UB)

Michael Moskal (OSTHUS)

Fabian Neuhaus (U Magdeburg)

Bonnie O'Neil (Mitre)

Neil Otte (Johns Hopkins APL)

Nicolas Piras (U Milan)

Tim Prudhomme (UB)

Michael Rabenberg (UB)

Ryan Riccucci (Customs and Border Patrol HQ, Tucson)

Karen Richardson (Aerospace Corporation)

Victor Rohr (Aerospace Corporation)

Daniele Rosu (U Toronto)

Ron Rudnicki (CUBRC)

Alan Ruttenberg (UB)

Gloria Sanso (UB)

Selja Seppala (University College Cork)

Alec Sculley (UB)

Barry Smith (UB)

Tony Truong (Basis Path)

Giorgio Ubbiali (U Milan)

Krishna Udaiwal (Aurint)

Jonathan Vajda (SAIC)

Peihong "Karl" Xie (UB)

Eugene Yockey (CBP)

Yifan Wang (UB)

Lauren Wishnie (UB)

Wugetemole Wugetemole (UB)