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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.


Computer vision + ONTology Applied Cross-disciplinary Technologies @ ECCV 2014, Zurich, September 7, 2014.

Organising committee


Image and video understanding is the process of converting elementary visual entities (pixels, voxels) to symbolic forms of knowledge (textual tags, predicates), by means of various kinds of models (statistical classifiers, neural networks, expert systems, etc.). It represents the highest processing level in a computer vision system, operating usually on top of a basic processing layer, which extracts intermediate image representations (patches, volumes). Due to the unconstrained nature of photographic images and videos, and the lack of fully reliable low-level features, the process of image understanding may be helped grounding it with a prior semantic model describing any domain knowledge, which may operate during both learning and inference. This semantic layer is usually represented by means of an ontology, intended as a set of primitive concepts and relations expressed by axioms providing an interpretation to the vocabulary chosen for the visual description of a domain.

After the early steps in the eighties, the research domain that cross-pollinates computer vision and formal ontology stagnated, limited probably by the lack of available domain ontologies. However, more recently, with the creation of shared resources as ImageNet, TinyImage, Labelme, on the computer vision side, and WordNet on the formal ontology side, the area exploded, leading to an exponential growth in the scientific community.

The aim of CONTACT 2014 is to bring together a wide range of researchers in computer vision and machine learning on one side, and formal ontology on the other, to share innovative ideas and solutions for exploiting the potential synergies emerging from the integration of the two domains, for object and event recognition, scene, image and video understanding, with the long term goals of promoting the development of a proper visual ontology and a better understanding of how such a visual ontology could be used for visual inference.

CONTACT 2014 will be the first of a series of events which will have an interesting yet unique characteristic: in order to gradually connect the communities of computer vision and formal ontologies in a tight relationship, the CONTACT workshop will be hosted iteratively in a major computer vision conference (as ECCV is) and in a major ontology conference (as FOIS - Formal Ontologies for Information Systems): this way, the cross-fertilization will take place by involving the best of the two communities, with alternative emphasis on one facet or the other.

Ontological Modelling of Socio-Technical Systems, workshop at FOIS 2014.

Workshop on Ontological Modelling of Socio-Technical Systems

Socio-Technical Systems (STS) are complex systems that embed human and artificial agents, material and institutional artefacts and resources, in which agents' behaviour and practices are partly constrained by norms. The design and the investigation of the property of STS is a challenging topic for a number of communities such as organisation sciences, multiagent systems, AI, sociology, economics, just to name a few. The aim of this workshop is to gather a number of contributions that focus on theoretical aspects of the ontological modelling of STS as well as on the application of ontologies to actual STS (such as airports, hospitals, service systems and complex organisations in general). 


Roberta Ferrario, Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, CNR, Italy 

Daniele Porello, Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, CNR, Italy

Important dates

Paper Submission: 22nd May 2014

Notification of Acceptance: 22nd June 2014

Camera ready: 22nd July 2014

8th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems

8th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS 2014), September 22-25, 2014, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

by Dr. Radut