A Course in Formal Ontology with Adam Pease

By ACM San Francisco Bay Area Professional Chapter (other events)

Mon, Aug 6 2012 10:00 AM Thu, Aug 9 2012 4:00 PM


The purpose of this course is to give participants a working knowledge in formal ontology, a new technology increasingly used for data interoperability and large scale database metadata design. Ontologies are increasingly being used to define and constrain the use of terms in schema and database design, in search and information retrieval applications and generally in software design and development. Dozens of job openings on major IT jobs sites mention ontology as a job title or required skill.

After completion of the course, participants will be able to: (1) create their own ontology content that extends the open source Suggested Upper Merged Ontology (SUMO); and (2) use the open source Sigma toolset to ensure their ontologies are internally consistent, consistent with SUMO, and structured in accordance with current best practices.

The course will be given in eight sessions, each session consisting of a one-hour lecture followed by a one-hour facilitated lab. An optional class project will be offered for participants who are prepared to undertake a larger commitment. Each class will have a homework assignment to be completed during or after the lab. All assignments will be graded. Attendance will be taken. Students attending all classes and turning in all the assignments will receive a certificate of completion from the ACM and signed by the instructor.

Administrative Details

This course is presented in two sessions per day running from 10am to noon and 2-4pm with catered lunch from August 6-9, leaving ample time for working on the course exercises and discussion. Each attendee will be provided a copy of the book Ontology: A Practical Guide, which will form the basis for the course.  Students must bring their own laptops.  eBay will provide classroom facilities and catering.  A nominal tuition of $75 will be charged to cover ACM administrative costs, refreshments and the course textbook.  All classes will be held at the EBay North Campus  2161 N. First St., San Jose, CA, 95131. 

Course Content

Class 1: Introduction

  •  Motivation, Responding to the Critics, The Symbol Grounding Problem, Applications

Class 2: Knowledge Representation

  • Informal Languages, Frames, Description Logic, Propositional and Predicate Logic, First-Order Logic, Higher-Order Logics, SUO-KIF Details, Conversion from SUO-KIF to strict First-Order Logic

Class 3: Suggested Upper Merged Ontology

  • Validation, Principles of Construction, Open Research, SUMO History, SUMO Overview, SUMO's Eleven Modules, Lower Level    Ontologies, Ontological Issues, Ontology Code Management, SUMO Details and Examples, Semiotics Content, Physical Systems

Class 4: Ontologies in Comparison and Extension

  • WordNet, DOLCE, Basic Formal Ontology, Open Biomedical Ontologies, Semantic Web, DBPediaDigression: Ontology Development Pitfalls,  YAGO: Extending SUMO with Wikipedia, eBay ontologies

Class 5: SUMO, WordNet, Language Generation

  • Interpreting Language, Global WordNet, The Interlingual Index, Language Generation

Class 6: Knowledge Engineering Tools

  • Browsing and Display, Analysis and Debugging, Inference, Higher-Order Logic, Mapping, Merging and Translation, Working with Sigma and SUMO

Class 7: Using SUMO for Inference

  • Anatomy of a first order theorem prover, Proof Presentation, Normal form conversion

Class 8: English to Logic Translation

  • Simple Parsing and Interpretation, Issues in Translation


Mailing Address

P.O. Box 60355 Sunnyvale, CA 94088