Getting involved in the Ontology Summit 2013 hackathon

The Ontolog Forum is “an open, international, virtual community of practice devoted to advancing the field of ontology, ontological engineering and semantic technology, and advocating their adoption into mainstream applications and international standards”.  The forum was reconstituted in 2002 and organizes annual series of events called Ontology Summits since 2006. An Ontology Summit is “an organized thinking machine that work from January to April every year to brain-storm one of a topic of interest for ontology engineering community” (see source). This year’s summit topic is “Ontology Evaluation Across the Ontology Lifecycle”.

Fortunately, I was invited to participate giving a talk at the “Intrinsic Aspects of Ontology Evaluation: Practice and Theory” session about the work done in OOPS! (OntOlogy Pitfall Scanner!). At the end of the session, Ontology Summit organizers proposed all the participants to get involved in the hackathon they were planning to carry out.  At that moment there was little information about it, indeed it was more of a imprecise plan about an event like a “hackathon” without a clear idea of when, who, how… but with the definite aim of creating something ‘real’ and ‘useful’ for ontology evaluation. So we accepted the invitation… or the challenge?

Soon we had some more information. There were three types of projects:

  • Hackathon: its goal is to create some new code, new API, or new ontology that are relevant to this Ontology Summit and/or this year’s “Ontology Evaluation” theme.
  • Ontology Evaluation Clinic” (abbrev. “Ontology Clinic“): aims at evaluating ontologies or gold standard ontologies through the “evaluation tool,” study the results, diagnose problems with the ontology, and see how the ontology, and the tool, may be improved,
  • Ontology-based Application Evaluation Clinic (abbrev. “Application Clinic“): helps the users evaluate whether ontologies the users already had in mind are fit for the intended purpose and whether the quality of those ontologies are satisfactory and provide appropriate recommendations

Participants had to write a proposal for the type of project they were interested in. As result, 8 hackathon projects, 4 ontology clinics and 3 application clinics were proposed.  After aligning proposals and schedule restrictions, 7 projects were selected for being carried out along the three selected weekends. Finally, OOPS! got involved in two of them, one ontology clinic and one hackathon project. The first one, “Evaluation of OOPS!, OQuaRE and Other Tools for FIBO Ontologies”, aims to explore the application of ontology quality measures to ontologies produced under the Financial Industry Business Ontology (FIBO) umbrella, while “Ontohub-OOR-OOPS! Integration” aims at the integration of OOPS! into the Ontohub and OOR ontology repositories. These two projects will take place the 13th of April 2013.

Now it is time for doing real work and getting some tangible outcomes. Results… in next posts.