The Universal Ontology: A Vision for Conceptual Modeling and the Semantic Web
November 7th, 16:30
This talk puts forward a vision of a universal ontology (UO) aiming at solving, or at least greatly alleviating, the semantic integration problem in the field of conceptual modeling and the understandability problem in the field of the semantic web. As a first approximation, by UO we mean the formal specification of all the concepts that we use and share. So far it has been assumed that the UO is not feasible in practice, but we think that it is time to revisit that assumption in the light of the current state-of-the-art. This talk aims to be a step in this direction. We try to make an initial proposal of a feasible UO. We present the scope of the UO, the kinds of its concepts, and the elements that could comprise the specification of each concept. We propose a modular structure for the UO consisting of four levels. We argue that the UO needs a complete set of concept composition operators, and we sketch three of them. We also tackle a few issues related to the feasibility of the UO, which we think that they could be surmountable. Finally, we discuss the desirability of the UO, and we explain why we conjecture that there are already organizations that have the knowledge and resources needed to develop it, and that might have an interest in its development in the near future.
He has worked in the field of information systems for over 40 years, initially in industrial and later in university and research contexts. His main interests have been conceptual modeling, requirements engineering and information systems design. He has taught extensively on these topics. He has also conducted research on these topics, which has been published in international journals and conferences. His most recent work focusses on ontologies and the semantic web. He was the author of the book "Conceptual Modeling of Information Systems" (Springer, 2007).
In the UPC, he was dean of the Faculty of Informatics, director of the information systems department and director of the PhD school.
He is a member of the ER Steering Committee, of which he was chair during 2012-2014. He was the Program Co-chair of the ER 2006 and the General Chair of CAISE 1997 and ER 2008. He was elected ER Fellow in 2010.