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[iaoa-member] position statement

To: "iaoa-member@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <iaoa-member@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Obrst, Leo J." <lobrst@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2013 23:00:52 +0000
Message-id: <FDFBC56B2482EE48850DB651ADF7FEB02E412723@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Dear  IAOA members,


I am happy to accept the nomination for the Executive Council of the IAOA (thank you, Michael and Laure). Here is my position statement.


As an elected member of the Executive Council of IAOA for the past 3 years (and an original member of the EC since 2009), I have been the EC liaison to the Education Committee, helping to establish the Summer Institute in Applied Ontology in 2011 and the Summer School in Ontological Analysis in 2012. I also assisted on the Election Committee in 2012, maintaining the EC 2012 Election site.


One issue that the IAOA should address immediately, in my opinion, is the widening gap between the formal applied ontology community and the Semantic Web community. Often the two communities seem to think they have nothing in common, whereas I believe they share many common goals, common technologies, and a common interest in well-engineered applied ontologies. Many of us in IAOA promote and use Semantic Web technologies and reasoning methods; similarly, many in the Semantic Web community advocate more rigorous and principled ontologies based on ontological analysis.  Therefore, I would like to bridge the gap between our two communities before it gets wider, and so propose a new Semantic Web Applied Ontology special interest group (SIG) to the IAOA EC and membership, that will actively seek rapprochement with our colleagues in the Semantic Web (and Linked Data) community. I hope you will join me in this effort.

My background [1] is in the formal semantics of natural language, having obtained my PhD at the University of Texas at Austin in theoretical linguistics. For 30 years I have worked as a computational linguist and artificial intelligence researcher, and since the mid-1990s, as an ontologist, first at Boeing and now at MITRE.  Here are some short points on my career:


·       Created one of the first commercial ontology departments at VerticalNet.com, a business-to-business electronic commerce firm (1999)

·       Promoted the adoption of ontologies and semantic technologies throughout the US federal government (since 1997)

·       Co-convened (with Peter Yim and Kurt Conrad) the Ontolog Forum, an open community of practice focused on ontological engineering (2002)

·       Co-founder and co-organizer of the Ontology Summits (2006-present) [2]

·       Co-organizing currently the 2013 Ontolog mini-series on Ontology, Rules, and Logic Programming for Reasoning

·       Co-founded and co-organized the original Ontologies for the Intelligence Community, now Semantic Technologies for Intelligence, Defense, and Security (STIDS) [3]


My own research and development efforts have focused on promoting the use of formal ontological and semantic analysis, and combining the use of ontologies with automated reasoners based on logic programming and knowledge compilation techniques, and work that bridges the formal semantics of natural language to formal ontology.


I’ve been privileged to serve on the IAOA EC, and look forward to continuing to support you and the greater ontological community.  


Thank you,



[1] http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?LeoObrst

[2] Ontology Summit: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?OntologySummit

[3] STIDS: http://stids.c4i.gmu.edu/index.php



Dr. Leo Obrst        The MITRE Corporation, Information Semantics

lobrst@xxxxxxxxx     Information & Computing Technologies, C2C

Voice: 703-983-6770  7515 Colshire Drive, M/S H317

Fax: 703-983-1379    McLean, VA 22102-7508, USA


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