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Ontology Summit 2012: Process

How are we moving the program forward? ...

Below are some attempts to capture the process, as we are doing it for the 2012 Ontology Summit season.

[ AnatolyLevenchuk / 2012.02.25 ] -

Ontology Summit is an organized thinking machine that work from January to April every year to brain-storm one of a topic of interest for ontology engineering community. Ontology Summit producing a special artifact: Communique with results of the brain-storming and discussion. One more outcome is synchronization of understanding of the topic of interest by ontology engineering community, but this outcome is intangible.

Summit Communique will be endorsed by Summit participants and broader community and then will be open published on a website (past Communiques: and in "Applied Ontology" journal, the premier journal in the field of Formal Ontology for information systems. Communique has co-lead Editors and track champions as editors. Producing of Communique as a final stage of year's Summit is a main task of Summit participants meeting in person for 2 days long "Workshop and Symposium" in USA (at a NIST place). Workshop and Symposium at NIST place has possibility of virtual presence (it is "virtureal") of those participants that cannot be present in person. This symposium has co-chairs. Ontology Summit has general co-chairs.

Year's topic is decomposed to 3-7 facets/aspects that intensively discussed separately. Such a facet is called "track". Summit tracks discussion is facilitated by Track Champions and have wiki page "Track Synthesis" as a main outcome artifact. Track Synthesis page is edited by track champions on a basis of:

  • Community of Summit participants threaded discussion in Ontology Summit list (
  • Postings of community of Summit participants to special wiki page "Track Inputs"
  • Results of online track Sessions.
  • Results of online polls, Delphi studies, surveys, questionnaires and other thought-provoking techniques.

Track champions also serve as co-editors for Communique that will comprise of major ideas of Track Synthesis pages of all Tracks.

General Summit co-chairs are ultimately responsible for thematic integrity of all Tracks and Workshop and Symposia to provide needed scrutiny to Summit topic.

Every track have one or more online 2-hours Sessions that is comprised of 3-6 short slide presentations on track topics, group chat and Q&A session with a panel of presenters. Audio, slides, chat transcripts and survey results will be published and used by track champions to prepare Track Synthesis. Every separate Session usually have two co-chairs. Session co-chairs are responsible for inviting leading experts on relevant areas relevant to the session topic as speakers, and facilitation of chat and moderate discussion among the panelists and other session participants.

Overall process leads by Organizing Committee that comprised of track champions, workshop and symposium co-chairs, lead co-editors, general Summit co-chairs. Also Organizing Committee has representatives of current six Ontology Summit organizers (Ontolog, NIST, NCOR, NCBO, IAOA, NCO_NITRD) and PR champion.

All the logistics and overall organizing work in "virtual" part of Summit (i.e. tracks and virtual part of Workshop and Symposium) is coordinated by a designate from the Ontolog Forum that acting on behalf and for Organizing Committee. The same organization/logistics function for real part of Workshop and Symposium is similarly provided by a coordinator designated by NIST.

Thus ideas on current Summit topic flow from

  • Ontology Summit discussion list to
  • Track Sessions presentations, panel discussion and chat; surveys and polls, Delphi study to
  • Track Input pages (for all Sessions and surveys) to
  • Track Synthesis pages to
  • Workshop and Symposia final discussions to
  • publishable Communique of a Summit.