ECO
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
Ontology:
The Need for
International Coordination
NCOR Inaugural Oct 27, 2005
Dr. W. Ceusters
European Centre for Ontological Research
Saarland University, Saarbrücken - Germany
ECO
R
European Centre for
Ontological Research
European Centre for
Ontological Research
ECO
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ECOR’s members & partners
European Centre for
Ontological Research
External
members
Local members
Partners
Status Oct 2, 2005
ECO
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
Goals and objectives
• sustained and coordinated collaboration with institutions
with proven track record of excellence in ontological
research and in the application of ontology to solve
concrete problems.
• interdisciplinary approach based on philosophical rigour
• exchange of research personnel for short research visits
• participation in joint projects,
• joint supervision of doctoral research,
• joint production of software and authorship of research
papers
• collaborate in seeking funding at national and
international levels for ontology-related research and
development activities
ECO
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
Similar Centers
• Created:
– Interdisciplinary Ontology
forum Japan
– NCOR
• Considered:
– Canadian Centre for Ontological Research
– Australasian Ontology Center
ECO Europe: cross-border
R coordination is in our genes
European Centre for
Ontological Research
• Flanders: a wealth of dialects
– About 850 for a population of 6,000,000
• Belgium: population: 10,000,000
– 3 communities: French, Flemish, German
– 3 regions: Flanders, Wallony, Brussels
– 6 governments
• Europe:
– 25 countries
– Many more regions, some cross-national
• Flanders, Basque country, Occitania, ...
ECO
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European Member States
European Centre for
Ontological Research
ECO
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
Permanent cross-border
awareness
• Variations in legislation:
– What is forbidden in one jurisdiction, might be
allowed in a second one, and mandatory in a
third one.
• Variations in culture and habits
• Biggest incentive:
– No cross-border issue, no money !
• Biggest source of (research) funding: EU
• Requirement for EU-funding
– Europe-wide problem
– Problem cannot be solved by one Member State
ECO
Reasons for
R
coordination in general
European Centre for
Ontological Research
• Avoid waste of financial resources and
efforts
– Pro:
• Division of labor
• Roadmap for future developments
– Contra:
• Additional overhead
• Sharing of resources
– But: competition is a good driver for quality
• Benchmarking, quality assurance
ECO Coordination needs and
R
opportunities for Ontology
European Centre for
Ontological Research
• Horizontal
– Ontology languages
• We asked for one, but did we ask for OWL ?
– Terminologies, concept systems, ontologies
– The Syntactic Web
– Ontology-based applications
• Vertical
–
–
–
–
Healthcare & Life Sciences
Finance
Legal
Globalisation
ECO Current US GOV eHealth
R
goals & strategies
European Centre for
Ontological Research
• G1: Inform Clinical Practice:
– S1. Provide incentives for EHR adoption.
– S2. Reduce risk of EHR investment.
– S3. Promote EHR diffusion in rural and underserved areas.
• G2: Interconnect Clinicians.
– S1. Regional collaborations.
– S2. Develop a national health information network.
– S3. Coordinate federal health information systems.
• Goal 3: Personalize Care.
– S1. Encourage use of Personal Health Records.
– S2. Enhance informed consumer choice.
– S3. Promote use of telehealth systems.
• Goal 4: Improve Population Health.
– S1. Unify public health surveillance architectures.
– S2. Streamline quality and health status monitoring.
– S3. Accelerate research and dissemination of evidence.
US Department of Health and Human Services July 21, 2004
ECO UMLS Semantic Network
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
ECO
Main
problems
with
eHealth
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
‘ontologies’
• Internal and external (in)consistency
• What do the terms in a terminology stand
for ?
• ‘meaning is context’
• The biggest defenders are
– Those who build them
– Those who never studied them
• Lobbying for mandatory use
ECO
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
Terminologies, concept
systems, ontologies
universals
terms
particulars
concepts
ideas in people’s
minds
ECO
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Current mainstream thinking
European Centre for
Ontological Research
wisdom (- representation)
knowledge - representation
information - representation
data - representation
Questions not often enough asked:
•
•
What part of our data corresponds with
something out there in reality ?
What part of reality is not captured by our
data, but should because it is relevant ?
Reality
What is there on the side of the concrete, real entities
ECOThe ultimate eHealth scenario
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
Ontology
continuant
disorder
person
CAG repeat
EHR
Juvenile HD
#IUI-1 ‘affects’ #IUI-2
#IUI-3 ‘affects’ #IUI-2
#IUI-1 ‘causes’ #IUI-3
Referent Tracking
Database
ECO
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
International Virtual
Observatory Alliance
• development and deployment
of technology to enable
international utilization of astronomical archives
• Created 2002
• By January 2005: funded participation from 15
countries ($20 million)
• Collaborative efforts in:
XML data format standards
VO Resource Registries
VO Resource Metadata
VO Query Language
Universal Content Descriptions
Space-Time Coordinate Metadata
unified Data Access Layer standards for spectra and images,
unified astronomical Data Models
Web Service technologies for the VO.
ECOInternational Federation of Library
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Associations and Institutions
European Centre for
Ontological Research
• 1998: Functional Requirements for
Bibliographic Records
– Delineates the functions performed by
the bibliographic record wrt various media,
applications, and user needs.
– Provides a clear precisely stated, and commonly shared
understanding of what it is that the bibliographic record
aims to provide information about, and what it is that we
expect the record to achieve in terms of answering user
needs.
• May 2005 meeting of the FRBR Review Group:
– It is accepted that the FRBR model would benefit from an
ontology, and it is acknowledged by the FRBR Review
Group that the FRBR/CRM Harmonization Group is going in
that direction.
ECO
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
IFLA-FRBR entities
• Group 1 entities: user interests in intellectual or artistic
products
–
–
–
–
Work: a distinct intellectual or artistic creation
Expression: its intellectual or artistic realization
Manifestation: the physical embodiment of an expression of a work
Item: a single exemplar of a manifestation
• Group 2 entities: are responsible for content, production,
..., of group 1 entities.
– Person: an individual
– Corporate body: an organization or group of individuals and/or
organizations
• Group 3 entities: serve as the subjects of works.
–
–
–
–
Concept: an abstract notion or idea
Object: a material thing
Event: an action or occurrence
Place: a location
ECOFood and Agriculture Organization
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of the United Nations
European Centre for
Ontological Research
• Established ‘ontologies’:
– AGROVOC
– Food Safety and Animal Health Ontology
– Fishery ontology
– Ontology for indexing FAO’s Food, Nutrition
and Agriculture (FNA) journal
• Many other topics still untouched
• Practical implementations of the above not
yet realised
ECO
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
Fisheries Global
Information System
ECO
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FIGIS budget issues
European Centre for
Ontological Research
(all amounts in US$ 000)
Programme
231 Fisheries
Information
2004-05
ZRG
ZRG 2006-07
RG
RG 2006-07
Programme Programme Programme Programme Programme
of Work
Change
of Work
Change
of Work
7,573
0
7,573
300
7,873
232 Fisheries
Resources and
Aquaculture
12,358
41
12,399
500
12,899
233 Fisheries
Exploitation
and Utilisation
9,882
-131
9,751
760
10,511
11,406
-742
10,664
500
11,164
6,003
3
6,006
0
6,006
47,223
-829
46,394
-3,11
43,284
2,06
48,454
234 Fisheries
Policy
239 Programme
Management
Total
ZNG Impact
Total
FAO Council, Rome, 20 - 25 June 2005. Summary Programme of Work and Budget 2006-07
ECO
Recommendations of Committee I of the 11th
UN Congress on Crime Prevention and
R Criminal
Justice on money laundering (April 2005)
European Centre for
Ontological Research
• Establish mechanisms at national, regional and
international level to improve data collection on
economic and financial crimes;
• Improve the global legal framework to counter economic
and financial crimes;
• Provide effective technical assistance to developing
countries to improve their capacity to confront the problem;
• Agree on measures to improve cooperation between
government and private sector in preventing such crimes;
• Identify effective measures to curb money-laundering in
countries where participation in the "formal" financial
system is low, including in the areas of research, training,
skills development, technical assistance programmes
and regional and international cooperation.
ECO
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
Other topics
• Internet (financial) fraud detection and prevention
– Electronic payments
•
•
•
•
•
V.A.T. in international transactions
Freight and transport
(Bio-)terrorism
‘Future Force’
Economic development:
• The High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of
the Poor, a new independent global initiative,
announced it will fight global poverty by focusing on
the connection between poverty and the lack of legal
protections.
ECO
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
Non-technical aspects
• International legal framework for ontology– development: IPR
– use:
• responsability in case of mistakes
• national security
• Public involvement
• Market driven versus social or cultural well-being
• Funding:
– combining sources
• Cross-nation governmental: national funding for participation in
global initiative
• Mixed governmental / industry: InnoMed
ECO
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
Tasks in international
coordination
• Identify relevant national contact points
• Identify relevant international cross-sectorial
organisations
• Organise planning meetings for
– Common research agenda
– Promotion
• Identify waste of resources by lack of ontology
• Identify success cases
• Collection and dissemination of information
– Policy on what should be disseminated
• Provide support for
– technical and (pre-)investment studies
– Pilot projects implementations
• Monitoring of its own functioning
ECO
But overall: bring clarity !
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European Centre for
Ontological Research
This is truly ... an image of “a silver car”
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