SWAO Semi-Annual Report for September 2019
The role that ontologies play or can play in designing and employing semantic technologies has been widely acknowledged by the Semantic Web and Linked Data communities. But the level of collaboration between these communities and the Applied Ontology community has been much less than expected.
These communities actually share many common goals, common technologies, and a common interest in well-engineered applied ontologies. Many of those in the Applied Ontology community promote and use Semantic Web technologies and reasoning methods in everyday practice; similarly, many in the Semantic Web community advocate more rigorous and principled ontologies based on ontological analysis. All the communities share the need for a common semantic understanding and a formal representation of the domain at hand. The Semantic Web, Linked Data, and Big Data communities also have challenges to do with large scale applications and linking of vast heterogeneous data, so these communities also have different foci.
The Semantic Web Applied Ontology (SWAO) Special Interest Group is established to bring all perspectives to the table, thus creating a forum for the multiple communities to work collaboratively in tackling common problems. All are welcome to participate regardless of membership or affiliation.
- The major accomplishment of SWAO was the Special Issue "The Role of Ontologies in Linked Data, Big Data and Semantic Web Applications" that was published in Applied Ontology 12(3-4):189-194. http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/AO-170185. (2017) The special issue was introduced at the founding of SWAO in November 2013 and was completed in June 2017.
- SWAO maintains a website at SWAO with a link from the IAOA website at the scientific committees page of iaoa.org. The SWAO website includes meeting pages. The website is maintained on the Ontolog Forum wiki. Most meetings have a posted proceedings. As of August 2019, there have been 66 meetings, normally held on the first Monday of each month.
- In addition to the website, SWAO developed and contributed to a blog from 11/2014 to 05/2017. More generally, SWAO contributed to the IAOA website infrastructure. This is an ongoing activity.
- SWAO has contributed to the development of an online introduction to ontologies that is being developed by the IAOA Education Committee.
- SWAO was involved in maintaining events calendars from 11/06/2017 to the present. In line with its mission of linking different communities, SWAO engages in outreach activities with communities in the posted events.
- Discussions at the SWAO meetings are wide-ranging. The goal is to find opportunities for linking the increasing number of communities that need a common semantic understanding and a formal representation of their domains.