Formal Ontology in Information Systems
Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference (FOIS 2006)
# of pages374
Researchers in areas such as artificial intelligence, formal and computational linguistics, biomedical informatics, conceptual modeling, knowledge engineering and information retrieval have come to realise that a solid foundation for their research calls for serious work in ontology, understood as a general theory of the types of entities and relations that make up their respective domains of inquiry. In all these areas, attention is now being focused on the content of information rather than on just the formats and languages used to represent information. The clearest example of this development is provided by the many initiatives growing up around the project of the Semantic Web. And, as the need for integrating research in these different fields arises, so does the realisation that strong principles for building well-founded ontologies might provide significant advantages over ad hoc, case-based solutions. The tools of formal ontology address precisely these needs, but a real effort is required in order to apply such philosophical tools to the domain of information systems. Reciprocally, research in the information sciences raises specific ontological questions which call for further philosophical investigations. The purpose of FOIS is to provide a forum for genuine interdisciplinary exchange in the spirit of a unified effort towards solving the problems of ontology, with an eye to both theoretical issues and concrete applications. This book contains a wide range of areas, all of which are important to the development of formal ontologies.