Postcard: Dr Valentina Tamma at Bethlehem, USA

Dr Valentina Tamma, from the University’s Department of Computer Science, visited Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for two major events about semantics and semantic technologies.

Semantic technology is a concept in computer science that aims to bring semantics — the meaning and context behind words and sentences — to the world of computers

The first event, the 12th OWL Experiences and Directions Workshop – OWLED2015, which Dr Tamma is general chair, is the main forum for researchers and practitioners who work in the area of ontology engineering using the W3C standard OWL (Web Ontology Language).

Ontologies, explicit model of the knowledge and the constraints used by software applications, have now become well established, with many companies, such as BBC, Oracle, IBM, Amazon to name a few, using them extensively in order to provide semantic based services to their users.

OWLED brings together researchers and industrialists working in the main industries to understand and discuss challenging modelling problems, that can in turn become challenges for the reasoners used by ontology based information systems.

Ultimately, this is a community workshop that offers its attendees the possibility to discuss on whether the current OWL specification and the approaches supporting the development of ontology based applications meet the requirement of a dynamic and ever-changing industrial landscape.

OWLED is for the second time co-located with the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC), the major international forum where the latest research results and technical innovations on all aspects of the Semantic Web are presented.

OWLED had a rich and varied programme this year.  The two days workshop saw 21 presentations divided between long, short and ontology papers, and two prestigious invited speakers, Professor James Hendler, RPI and Dr Bijan Parsia (University of Manchester) who have both been at the forefront of the development of both versions of the OWL standard.

The programme also included and a very stimulating and engaging industry panel, where the four panelists, Mike Bennet (Hypercube) Jodi Wachs (Cerner), Dave McComb (Semantic Arts) and Peter Haase (Metaphacts) who   presented the modelling challenges of their specific industries, and highlighted the specific engineering aspects they believe should be better addressed by OWL, thus showing a very motivated and engaged community.

Dr Tamma will also attend the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) conference in her role as member of the OWLED steering committee, and will also serve as a mentor for early career researchers.


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