FOIS 2012 - Call for submissions           Site logo

DEFINITION AND SCOPE: Ontology, originally a fundamental part of philosophical enquiry, is concerned with the analysis and categorization of what exists. In recent years, however, a complementary focus of ontological inquiry gained significant momentum fueled by the advent of complex information systems which rely on robust and coherent representations of their subject matter. The systematic study of such representations, their reasoning techniques and their relations to reality, are at the center of the modern discipline of formal ontology.

Formal ontology in this modern sense is now a research focus in such diverse domains as conceptual modeling, database design, software engineering, organizational modeling, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, the life sciences, bioinformatics, geographic information science, knowledge engineering, information retrieval, and the semantic web. Researchers in all these areas increasingly recognize the need for serious engagement with ontology, understood as a general theory of the types of entities and relations making up their respective domains of enquiry, in providing a solid foundation for their work.

The FOIS conference is designed to provide a meeting point for researchers from all disciplines with an interest in formal ontology. The conference encourages submission of high quality articles on both theoretical issues and concrete applications. As in previous years, FOIS 2012 is intended as a nexus of interdisciplinary research and communication.

The FOIS conference series began with the first meeting in Trento, Italy in June 1998 followed by meetings in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. The seventh FOIS conference will be held in Graz, Austria July 24-27, 2012, in conjunction with the 3rd International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO 2012).

FOIS is the flagship conference of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA ), which is a non-profit organization the purpose of which is to promote interdisciplinary research and international collaboration at the intersection of philosophical ontology, linguistics, logic, cognitive science, and computer science, as well as in the applications of ontological analysis to conceptual modeling, knowledge engineering, knowledge management, information-systems development, library and information science, scientific research, and semantic technologies in general.

The deadline for full paper submissions has passed, but the call for posters is still open. See here the original text of the call for submissions. The poster session at FOIS 2012 will give young scientists the opportunity to present their current work related to formal ontology in information systems and discuss their approach, results, problems and methods with the other participants of the conference. The selection of poster contributions will pay specific attention to their relevance to the topics of FOIS 2012. The accepted posters will be published electronically and made available via the conference web page. As this poster session is particularly intended to provide an opportunity for young ontologists to disseminate, and obtain feedback on, their work, submission is restricted to students who are working towards a postgraduate qualification (masters or Ph.D.).

: We seek high-quality contributions on a wide range of topics. While authors may focus on fairly narrow and specific issues, all papers should emphasize the relevance of the work described to formal ontology and to information systems. Papers that completely ignore one or the other of these aspects will be considered as lying outside the scope of the meeting. Topic areas of particular interest to the conference are:



  • Kinds of entity: particulars/universals, continuants/occurrents, abstracta/concreta, dependent entities/independent entities, natural objects/artifacts
  • Formal relations: parthood, identity, connection, dependence, constitution, subsumption, instantiation
  • Vagueness and granularity
  • Identity and change
  • Formal comparison among ontologies
  • Ontology of physical reality (matter, space, time, motion, ...)
  • Ontology of biological reality (genes, proteins, cells, organisms, ...)
  • Ontology of artifacts, functions and roles
  • Ontology of mental reality and agency (beliefs, intentions, emotions, ...)
  • Ontology of social reality (institutions, organizations, norms, social relationships, artistic expressions, ...)
  • Ontology of the information society (information, communication, meaning negotiation, ...)
  • Ontology and Natural Language Semantics, Ontology and Cognition
  • Top-level vs application ontologies
  • Ontology integration and alignment; role of reference ontologies
  • Ontology-driven information systems design
  • Ontological foundations for conceptual modeling
  • Ontology-based application systems
  • Requirements engineering
  • Knowledge engineering
  • Knowledge management and organization
  • Knowledge representation; Qualitative modeling
  • Computational lexicons; Terminology
  • Information retrieval; Question-answering
  • Semantic web; Web services; Grid computing
  • Domain-specific ontologies, especially for: Biomedical science, E-business, Enterprise integration, Engineering, Geography, Law, Library science, Linguistics, ...

--> Dates and Times

--> Conference Organization

--> Author instructions

Local Organizers

Stefan Schulz
Catalina Martínez
Markus Kreuzthaler

Institute for Medical
Informatics, Statistics
and Documentation

Medical University of Graz

Auenbruggerplatz 2
8036 Graz, Austria

stefan.schulz [at]


Jul 31: ICBO + FOIS photos online

Jul 16: ICBO + FOIS brochure published

Jul 3: FOIS posters published

Jun 25: Preliminary ICBO and FOIS programs online

Mar 21: Online Registration open

Mar 20: Accepted FOIS Papers announced

Mar 5: Accepted ICBO Papers announced

Feb 10: Early Career Symposium announced

Feb 1: ICBO and FOIS workshops and tutorials announced

FOIS deadline extended to Feb 12, 2012 (strict)

Jan 25: ICBO workshops and tutorials online .

Maintainer: Stefan Schulz