We had a marvelous session with our invited speaker Professor
Alan Rector (from the University of Manchester, UK) on
14-Sep-2006. Professor Rector presented his talk on:
"Terminologies and Ontologies: What are they for? What would it
mean to QA an ontology (specifically in healthcare?)" and gave us
a brilliant lecture, beginning with a short history of medical
terminology, and went on to provide us with his perspectives on
what it takes to properly address the issues of quality assurance
in terminologies and ontologies. Professor Rector's insight
culminates his vision, theoretical research, as well the
extensive pioneering work and implementation experience that he
has amassed. (01)
Our appreciations go out to Professor Rector for sharing his
knowledge and insight with us. And, as always, thanks to everyone
of you among that huge crowd that participated at the session,
for joining us and for contributing to the rich discussion we had. (02)
Proceedings of the session are captured at our wiki page, at:
In particular, full audio recording of the session (as well as
the podcast and telephone playback of it) is now available too -
... Professor Rector's contribution adds a crucial piece to the
collective intelligence and body of knowledge that the Ontolog
community is building. (04)
Thank you again, Alan. (05)
Best regards. =ppy (06)
P.S. Two mini-series (of invited talks and discussions) are in
the making: one on "Ontology Evaluation and Measurement," and
another on "Database and Ontology." ... so stay tuned to make
sure you won't miss these upcoming events. =ppy
Peter P. Yim wrote Fri, 08 Sep 2006 11:31:19 -0700:
> The subject talk is coming up next Thursday, 14-Sep-2006 (starting at
> 17:30 UTC / 6:30pm BST / 1:30pm EDT / 10:30am PDT).
> Professor Rector is a great lecturer. The talk he will be giving:
> "Terminologies and Ontologies: What are they for? What would it
> mean to QA an ontology?" will be addressing some of the very
> basic issues and assumptions in ontology development. This talk
> will provide a good lead up to our upcoming joint
> NIST-Ontolog-NCOR mini-series in "Measurement & Evaluation of
> Ontology, and Supporting Tools" too. Don't miss this ... come
> join us on Thursday!
> ... RSVP (by e-mailing the sender offline) if you are planning to
> attend and haven't already responded. We do need the response to
> prepare enough resources to support everyone's participation.
> We look forward to having you at the session.
> Regards. =ppy
> -- (08)
> Peter P. Yim wrote Sun, 20 Aug 2006 20:58:06 -0700:
>> Ref: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?ConferenceCall_2006_09_14
>> We are pleased to announce that *Professor Alan Rector* from the
>> University of Manchester (United Kingdom) will be presenting to the
>> community his talk entitled: "Terminologies and Ontologies: What are
>> they for? What would it mean to QA an ontology?"
>> We take pleasure in inviting you to join us at this virtual event.
>> *Conference call-in details*:
>> Date: Thursday, 14-September-2006
>> Start Time: 17:30 UTC / 6:30pm BST / 1:30pm EDT / 10:30am PDT
>> (World Time:
>> Session Duration: ~2 Hours
>> Dial-in Number: +1-641-696-6600 (Iowa)
>> Participant Access Code: "686564#"
>> Shared-screen support will be available
>> Topic: *Terminologies and Ontologies: What are they for*?
>> *What would it mean to QA an ontology*?
>> *Abstract*: (by Alan Rector)
>> Terminologies and 'Ontologies' serve several disparate purposes:
>> o Providing a controlled vocabulary and/or standard set of identifiers
>> o Providing a means of browsing and finding appropriate vocabulary or
>> o Providing the linguistic terms - synonyms, translations, etc.. - to
>> go with the controlled vocabulary
>> o Cross mapping and translation between different systems
>> o Providing logical criteria which can be used for inference and
>> query expansion
>> o Providing additional 'universal' or intrinsic information about the
>> entities involved
>> o Serving as an index for other background knowledge and resources
>> Most current biomedical ontologies serve primarily the first three
>> functions, with varying efforts towards formal logical criteria.
>> However, there are aspirations, and sometimes claims, for more rigorous
>> functions, and many standardisation efforts pre-suppose more and more
>> formal structure.
>> Each of these functions implies criteria for quality assurance. For
>> example, for managing controlled vocabularies, process issues such as
>> version control and coverage are most critical. Browsing raises issues
>> of human computer interaction, and language raises its own issues. The
>> last three all require a degree of logical coherence and rigour.
>> In addition to many biomedical ontologies, scaling is critical.
>> Biomedical ontologies are large and potentially combinatorially
>> explosive. For some applications, small enumerated terminologies are
>> sufficient. For others, indefinitely large compositional ontologies that
>> cannot, in principle, be pre-enumerated are required.
>> Finally almost all ontologies are based on many poorly articulated
>> assumptions. Any quality assurance methodology must take account both of
>> what can be understood independent of consultation with the originators
>> and what conclusions can be reached after consultation with the
>> Overall we propose an approach to quality along two dimensions - process
>> and content - and a two stage process - the first independent of
>> consultation with the originating authority, the second in consultation
>> with the originating authority.
>> *About the Speaker*:
>> *Professor Alan Rector* is Professor of Medical Informatics in the
>> School of Computer Science at University of Manchester. He currently
>> leads the MRC funded E-Science Projects CLEF/CLEF-Services and the
>> JISC/EPSRC jointly funded CO-ODE/HyOntUse projects on ontology
>> development tools. His research interests are in knowledge
>> representation and management, user interface design, and practical
>> support of clinical patient care. He has led the MRC/DoH funded PEN&PAD
>> programme on user centred design of intelligent clinical interfaces, the
>> EC funded GALEN programme a large reference ontology for clinical
>> medicine. He is a member of the W3C Semantic Web Best Practices Working
>> Group and on HL7, CEN and ISO working groups on healthcare terminology.
>> In 2003 he was awarded the first BCS Award for Lifetime Achievement in
>> Health Informatics. Address: School of Computer Science, University of
>> Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL. email: rector-at-cs.man.ac.uk
>> *Refer to details on the session wiki page at*:
>> This will be a virtual session over an augmented conference call. The
>> session is expected to start with a 45 min. ~ 1 Hour presentation
>> followed by an extended discussion between the participants and the
>> speaker. The entire session will be recorded and made available as open
>> content under the prevailing Ontolog IPR policy (see:
>> As usual, this Ontolog event is open to all. I look forward to having
>> you at this session. Please pass the announcement along to those who
>> might be interested to join us too.
>> *RSVP* by by emailing me at <peter.yim@xxxxxxxx> offline.
>> Regards. =ppy
>> Peter P. Yim
>> Co-convener, Ontolog
> Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
> Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
> Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
> To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (010)