This volume collects the papers presented at the 9th edition of the Formal Ontology in Information Systems conference, FOIS 2016, held July 6–9, 2016, in Annecy, France. As in the previous editions, FOIS 2016 included keynote addresses, full paper presentations, an Ontology Competition, an Early Career Symposium in its scientific program and was preceded by the Interdisciplinary Summer School on Ontological Analysis, now at its third edition and held June 27–July 1 in Bolzano-Bozen, Italy.
A new entry in FOIS 2016 has been the Demo Session, an excellent forum to advertise the applicability of results and software —both ontology based and for the ontology life-cycle— as well as to receive feedback from the international ontology research community.
The Ontology Competition was firstly introduced to the conference series at FOIS 2014 and the topic for this year was “Representing Change in Ontologies”; its aim was to spread best practices in the ontology community and in fact ontologies where evaluated according to predefined criteria, such as expressivity, performance with automatic reasoners, reusability, philosophical soundness etc.; all ontologies accepted for presentation have been made publicly available at ontohub.org/fois-ontology-competition.
The Early Career Symposium, in turn, provided early career scientists the opportunity to present their work and obtain fist-hand feedback and mentorship from senior scientists in their field as well as to meet and discuss their work with each other at a PhD Lounge.
The main conference track received 80 full papers, marking a continuation of the high submission numbers reached in the 2014 and previous editions, while 8 submissions were received for the Ontology Competition, 5 for the Early Career Symposium, and 4 for the Demonstration Session. Together, these submissions came from 29 countries in all continents. Based on the reviews we received from the Program Committee, we accepted 25 full papers (an acceptance rate of 30.9%) for the main track. The Ontology Competition track included 3 papers, the Early Career Symposium accepted 5 proposals for presentation as posters and lightning talks in a dedicated session of the conference, and 3 systems were accepted for live demonstration.
In addition, the conference hosted 4 specialized workshops: International Workshop on Ontology Modularity, Contextuality and Evolution (WOMoCoE), CAOS (First International Workshop on Cognition and Ontologies), New Standards for the Working Ontologist: Common Logic and DOL, and Onto.Com (Ontologies and Conceptual Modeling).
The full papers show the liveliness and growth of formal ontology as a body of theories and methods informing (and informed by) the design and use of information systems, including the semantic web. The application domains addressed include geography, biomedicine, economics, social reality and engineering. The dimensions of space, time and measurement, as well as human cognition and language, continue to pose ontological challenges and elicit novel ideas.
Workshops, finally, united researchers and practitioners working on a particular research challenge, method, or application. Winners of the Ontology Competition as well as of the FOIS Best Paper Award were announced during the conference. Awards and runners-up can be found at iaoa.org/fois2016/.
Scientific conferences are kept alive by the authors submitting reports on their work, whether these get accepted or not. The scientific standards, in turn, are collectively defined and enforced by the program committee. We want to sincerely thank both groups (which, of course, overlap in fruitful ways) for their hard work and dedication to FOIS.
This edition of the conference has been organized by the University Savoie-Mt Blanc and has received the support of AfIA (Association franaise pour l'Intelligence Artificielle), and we express our gratitude to both. FOIS 2016, like all of its predecessors, has been scientifically promoted by the International Association for Ontologies and its Applications (IAOA – iaoa.org), which has also encouraged the participation of students by financing several student grants. Last but not least, we would like to thank our three invited speakers, Gilberto Câmara, Stephen Mumford, and Friederike Moltmann, for delivering inspiring keynotes, as well as the Conference Chair, Giancarlo Guizzardi, and the Local Chairs, Patrick Barlatier and Richard Dapoigny, for managing all of the strategies and details that have made the conference a productive interaction of researchers from the growing range of disciplines that contribute to formal ontology.