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10th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS 2018)

September 17-21, 2018 | Cape Town, South Africa |


The advent of complex information systems which rely on robust, coherent and formal representations of their subject matter, led in the last 25 years to the exploitation of ontological analysis and ontology-based representation. The systematic study of such representations, their axiomatics, their corresponding reasoning techniques and their relations to cognition and reality, are at the center of the modern discipline of formal ontology.

Formal ontology is now a research focus in such diverse domains as conceptual modeling, database design, knowledge engineering, software engineering, organizational modeling, artificial intelligence, robotics, computational linguistics, the life sciences, bioinformatics, geographic information science, 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, to provide a solid foundation for their work.

The FOIS conference is a meeting point for researchers from all disciplines with an interest in formal ontology. The conference encourages submission of new and high quality articles on both theoretical issues and concrete applications. As in previous years, FOIS 2018 is intended as a nexus of interdisciplinary research and communication.

FOIS is the flagship conference of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA, website: ), which is a non-profit organization aiming 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.


FOIS 2018 includes a number of additional facets:

+ an open call for workshops,
+ an open call for tutorials,
+ a young researchers symposium,
+ a demo and industry track
+ an ontology competition


We seek high-quality papers on a wide range of topics. Concerning scope, an ideal FOIS paper will address both content-related ontological issues and their formal modeling, as well as their impact and relevance for some aspects of information systems.

Areas of particular interest to the conference include the following:

Foundational Issues
* Kinds of entities: particulars/universals, continuants/occurrents, abstracta/concreta, dependent entities/independent entities, natural objects/artifacts
* Formal relations: parthood, identity, connection, dependence, constitution, causality, subsumption, instantiation
* Vagueness and granularity
* Space, time, and change

Methodological issues
* Top-level vs. domain-specific ontologies
* Role of reference ontologies
* Ontology integration and alignment
* Formal comparison among ontologies
* Relationship with cognition, language, semantics, context

Domain-specific ontologies
* Ontology of physical reality (matter, space, time, motion etc.)
* Ontology of biological reality (organisms, genes, proteins, cells etc.)
* Ontology of mental reality and agency (beliefs, intentions, emotions, perceptions etc.)
* Ontology of artifacts, functions, capacities and roles
* Ontology of social reality (institutions, organizations, norms, social relationships, artistic expressions etc.)

* Ontology-driven information systems design
* Ontological foundations for conceptual modeling
* Knowledge management
* Qualitative modeling
* Computational linguistics
* Information retrieval
* Semantic Web, Web services
* Business modeling
* Ontologies for particular scientific disciplines (biology, chemistry, geography, physics, cognitive sciences, linguistics etc.)
* Ontologies for engineering: shape, form and function, artifacts, manufacturing, design, architecture etc.
* Ontologies for the humanities: arts, cultural studies, history, law, literature, philosophy etc.

Call for papers

  • Paper Submission Deadline: 13 April 2018
  • Notification: 30 May 2018
  • Camera-ready papers: 24 June 2018
  • Conference Dates: 17-21 September 2018

Call for workshop/tutorial

  • Proposal Submission: 2 March 2018
  • Notification: 15 March 2018

As usual, the FOIS proceedings will be published in book form by a prominent publisher. Furthermore, the papers will be available open access.


General Chair:

  • Oliver Kutz (KRDB, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)

Program Chairs:

  • Stefano Borgo (Laboratory for Applied Ontology (LOA), ISTC CNR Trento IT)
  • Pascal Hitzler (Data Semantics (DaSe) Laboratory, Wright State University, USA)

Local Organization:

  • Maria Keet (University of Cape Town, South Africa)