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The Laboratory for Applied Ontology (LOA) performs basic and applied research on the ontological foundations of conceptual modeling, exploring the role of ontologies and ontology management in different fields, such as: knowledge representation, knowledge engineering, database design, information retrieval, natural language processing, and the semantic web. The group is characterized by a strong interdisciplinary approach that combines Computer Science, Philosophy and Linguistics, and relies on logic as a unifying paradigm. On the application side, special emphasis is given to the use of ontologies for e-government, enterprise modeling and integration, natural language processing, and the Semantic Web.


10th International Workshop on Value Modeling and Business Ontologies

March 10-11, 2016 - Trento

The importance of modeling the essence of enterprises on a level that abstracts from operational details is increasingly recognized. Two recognized enterprise modeling approaches are value modeling and business ontology. Business ontology provides abstract descriptions of enterprises in their business context, focusing on what is needed to create and transfer value. Value modeling is a business modeling approach that focuses on the value objects exchanged in business networks. Business ontology and value modeling research is conducted using instruments like REA (Resources, Events, Agents), the e3-value tool set, VDML and the Enterprise Engineering framework.

The goals of this VMBO workshop are to bring together researchers with an interest in value modeling and business ontology in order to present and discuss the current state of enterprise or business modeling and to identify key areas for further research. The theme of this year?s workshop is the ontological foundations of value and service modeling, but other papers are welcome as well.

If you are interested in joining, please submit a paper in the following categories:

  • full paper (maximum of eight pages) - describe original research contributions, present problems or challenges encountered in practice or report industrial cases and practices;
  • short discussion paper (maximum of four pages) - describe your main ideas. We encourage you to focus on ideas in progress for which you would like to get feedback from other workshop participants.

Important dates:

  • Jan 24, 2016: Paper submission deadline **EXTENDED**
  • Feb 2, 2016: Notification of acceptance
  • Feb 20, 2016: Camera ready for full papers
  • Feb 20, 2016: Registration deadline
  • March 10-11, 2016: VMBO Workshop (Trento)


This year VMBO will be held together with the workshop on "Understanding the Notion of Value in the Service Economy".

FOIS 2016

9th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems

July 6-9, 2016 - Annecy, France

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 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.

FOIS is the flagship conference of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA), which is a non-profit organization that promotes interdisciplinary research and international collaboration in formal ontology.


Understanding the Notion of Value in the Service Economy

March 14-15, 2016 - Trento

The service economy is undoubtly posing new challenges to our understanding of the basics of social interaction, including the very notion of economic value. Indeed, despite the notion of value has always raised the interest of economists, and many definitions have been proposed, it has always remained rather elusive and difficult to capture. This picture has been complicated by the rise of service economy, which has shifted the focus from the company?s perspective to the customer?s perspective, where value is co-created in the interaction between the provider and the customer. Value co-creation is also at the core of the sharing economy, which poses further challenges to the theory of economic exchange.

But what does it mean to create - or co-create - value? How, when, where is value created? And what is economic value, after all? What are the mechanisms of value ascription? Are there differences between ascribing value to a good or to a service? What about the value of ownership in the sharing economy? And in general, what does it mean to ascribe value an object, an action, a commitment, a relationship? How does value ascription depend on contextual aspects, such as possession or scarcity of resources? How may multiple value ascriptions related to different contexts interact, originating a notion of cumulative value?

These appear to be genuine ontological questions, centered around the nature of economic value. Adressing these questions is important not only from the theoretical point of view, but also to build better computer-based models of complex socio-technical systems, where value modeling plays a crucial role. Only understanding value mechanisms we can aim at integrating in a transparent way the business perspective with the organizational perspective and the process perspective, with the ultimate goal of enabling a better governance of our society.

So this workshop is primarily addressed to those who are interested in the ontology of social reality for modeling purposes, but more in general to anybody who is interested in the foundations of economic value. The workshop will consist of invited presentations given by worldwide experts from very different disciplines, including philosophy, economics, accounting, business management, and information systems. Participation is open to anybody, but the space is limited so early registration will be required. For the time being, please express your intention to attend by sending an email to

Invited speakers confirmed so far:

  • Paul Johannesson, Dept. of Computer and System Sciences, Stockholm
  • Paul Maglio, University of California at Merced and IBM Research Center, Almaden
  • William E. McCarthy, Dept. of Accounting and Information Systems, Michigan State University
  • Olivier Massin, Philosophy Dept., University of Geneva
  • Kevin Mulligan, Philosophy Dept., University of Geneva
  • Stephen Pratten, School of Management and Business, King's College, London
  • Hans Weigand, Tilburg School of Economics and Management
  • Gloria Zuñiga y Postigo, Philosophy Dept, Ashford University, USA

by Dr. Radut