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Nicola Guarino graduated in Electronic Engineering at the University of Padua in 1978, with a thesis on biomedical engineering. In 1979-1984 he was in charge of the data acquisition and monitoring system of a nuclear fusion experiment at the Institute of Ionized Gases (IGI-CNR) in Padua. He then moved to the area of knowledge representation, joining the CNR Institute of Systems Theory and Biomedical Engineering (LADSEB-CNR, now ISIB-CNR) to work initially on medical expert systems. He moved to ISTC-CNR in 2003, to found the new Laboratory for Applied Ontology in Trent. He has been active in the ontology field since 1991, developing a strongly interdisciplinary approach that combines together Computer Science, Philosophy, and Linguistics, and relies on Logic as a unifying paradigm. As early as 1993 he organized in Padua the first International Workshop on Formal Ontology in Conceptual Analysis and Knowledge Representation, and since then he has gained a well-known international leadership concerning the ontological foundations of conceptual modeling and knowledge engineering, and more in general the role of semantic technologies in information systems, in multi-agent systems, and in natural language processing. His impact is testified by the successful series of conferences on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS 1998-2008), a long list of widely cited research papers, a number of special issues on international journals, and a series of keynote talks and invited tutorials in major conferences involving different communities. Among the best known results of his lab, we may mention the OntoClean methodology and the DOLCE foundational ontology.
He participated to various ontology-related projects, such as the European project WonderWeb (development of foundational ontologies for the Semantic Web), a project on Modeling Trust and Security Relationships in Organizations funded by the Province of Trento (MOSTRO), a large Italian project on knowledge-oriented technologies for enterprise integration (TOCAI), and an initiative for an open ontology-based resource for the Italian lexicon (Senso Comune). He is also co-director (with Laure Vieu) of ILIKS - Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Interacting Knowledge Systems, a French-Italian joint initiative with more than 70 researchers involved. Recently he got involved in various e-government initiatives (such as the laboratory for e-government LEGO) aiming at developing a reference ontology for the Italian Public Administration focusing on the interactions between services and organizations. Strong cooperation relationships exist with various national and international research institutes.
He is editor-in-chief (with Mark Musen, Stanford University) of the Applied Ontology journal (IOS Press); associate editor of Journal of Data Semantics and Frontiers of Computer Science in China, editor of the book series Frontiers in AI and Applications of IOS Press, and general chair of the conference series on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS). He is also president of the newly established International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA), and member of ACM, AAAI, and AI*IA.