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  • 7th International Conference on Formal Ontologies in Information Systems (FOIS 2012)
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  • Date: July, 24-27, 2012
  • Location: Graz, Austria
  • Website: FOIS 2012

Held together with the 3rd International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO 2012), July, 24-27, 2012 in Graz, Austria


Ontology, originally a fundamental part of philosophical enquiry, is concerned with the analysis and categorization of what exists. In recent years, however, a complementary focus of ontological inquiry gained significant momentum fueled by the advent of complex information systems which rely on robust and coherent representations of their subject matter. The systematic study of such representations, their reasoning techniques and their relations to reality, are at the center of the modern discipline of formal ontology.

Formal ontology in this modern sense is now a research focus in such diverse domains as conceptual modeling, database design, software engineering, organizational modeling, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, the life sciences, bioinformatics, geographic information science, knowledge engineering, information retrieval, and the semantic web. Researchers in all these areas increasingly recognize the need for serious engagement with ontology, understood as a general theory of the types of entities and relations making up their respective domains of enquiry, in providing a solid foundation for their work.
The FOIS conference is designed to provide a meeting point for researchers from all disciplines with an interest in formal ontology. The conference encourages submission of high quality articles on both theoretical issues and concrete applications. As in previous years, FOIS 2012 is intended as a nexus of interdisciplinary research and communication.

The FOIS conference series began with the first meeting in Trento, Italy in June 1998 followed by meetings in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. The seventh FOIS conference will be held in Graz, Austria July 24-27, 2012, in conjunction with the 3rd International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO 2012).

FOIS is the flagship conference of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA), which is a non-profit organization the purpose of which is to promote interdisciplinary research and international collaboration at the intersection of philosophical ontology, linguistics, logic, cognitive science, and computer science, as well as in the applications of ontological analysis to conceptual modeling, knowledge engineering, knowledge management, information-systems development, library and information science, scientific research, and semantic technologies in general.


We seek high-quality papers on a wide range of topics. While authors may focus on fairly narrow and specific issues, all papers should emphasize the relevance of the work described to formal ontology and to information systems. Papers that completely ignore one or the other of these aspects will be considered as lying outside the scope of the meeting. Topic areas of particular interest to the conference are:

  • Foundational Issues
    • Kinds of entity: particulars/universals, continuants/occurrents, abstracta/concreta, dependent entities/independent entities, natural objects/artifacts
    • Formal relations: parthood, identity, connection, dependence,constitution, subsumption, instantiation
    • Vagueness and granularity
    • Identity and change
    • Formal comparison among ontologies
    • Ontology of physical reality (matter, space, time, motion, ...)
    • Ontology of biological reality (genes, proteins, cells, organisms, ...)
    • Ontology of mental reality and agency (beliefs, intentions, emotions, ...)
    • Ontology of social reality (institutions, organizations, norms,social relationships, artistic expressions, ...)
    • Ontology of the information society (information, communication,meaning negotiation, ...)
    • Ontology and Natural Language Semantics, Ontology and Cognition
  • Methodologies and Applications
    • Top-level vs application ontologies
    • Ontology integration and alignment; role of reference ontologies
    • Ontology-driven information systems design
    • Ontological foundations for conceptual modeling
    • Ontology-based application systems
    • Requirements engineering
    • Knowledge engineering
    • Knowledge management and organization
    • Knowledge representation; Qualitative modeling
    • Computational lexicons; Terminology
    • Information retrieval; Question-answering
    • Semantic web; Web services; Grid computing
    • Domain-specific ontologies, especially for: Biomedical science,
  • E-business,
    • Enterprise integration, Engineering, Geography, Law, Library science, Linguistics.

Important Dates



Paper Submission Deadline

January 31, 2012


March 8, 2012

Camera-Ready Deadline for accepted papers

March 24, 2012

Conference Dates

July, 24-27, 2012


Conference chair: Michael Gruninger (University of Toronto, Canada)
Program chairs: Maureen Donnelly (University at Buffalo, USA) and
Giancarlo Guizzardi (Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil)
Local organization: Stephan Schulz (Gratz University, Austria)

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