Laboratory for Applied Ontology (LOA)

Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technology (ISTC)

The Laboratory for Applied Ontology (LOA) is the result of the fusion of two previously distinct ontology groups, one with the former LADSEB-CNR (Padua), and the other with the former ITBM-CNR (Rome). Following a major restructuring process within the Italian National Research Council (CNR), LOA now belongs to the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technology (ISTC). The group performs basic and applied research on the ontological foundations of conceptual modeling, exploring the role of ontologies in different fields, such as: knowledge representation, knowledge engineering, database design, information retrieval, natural language processing, and the semantic web. The group is characterized by a strong interdisciplinary approach that combines Computer Science, Philosophy and Linguistics, and relies on logic as a unifying paradigm. On the application side, special emphasis is given to the use of ontologies for electronic commerce, medical information systems, enterprise modeling, integration of lexical resources, and information access to the Web.

Nicola Guarino (1954) is a senior research scientist at He graduated in Electrical Engineering at the University of Padova in 1978. In 1979-1984 he was responsible of the data acquisition and monitoring system of a large nuclear fusion experiment. He then joined LADSEB to work on knowledge representation issues. He is active in the ontology field since 1991, and has played a leading role in the AI community in promoting the study of ontological foundations of knowledge engineering and conceptual modeling under an interdisciplinary approach. His current research activities regard ontology design, ontology-driven information integration and retrieval, and conceptual modeling. He has been program chairman of the First International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS'98), is associated editor of International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, has published about 60 papers on scientific journals, books and conferences, and has been guest editor of 3 special issues on scientific journals related to formal ontology and information systems.

Aldo Gangemi (1962) graduated in Philosophy (Analysis of Scientific Languages) at the University of Rome in 1989. He is Research Scientist at the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the Italian National Research Council (ISTC-CNR). His main research interest is in the fields of ontological engineering and cognitive semantics. He is active in ontological engineering since 1992. He has been involved in several national and international projects (either ademic or industrial) on medical knowledge representation, ontological tools for conceptual modeling, legal and agricultural ontology construction and commercial catalogues building. He is author of more than 40 scientific papers (published in international journals and conferences) in the areas of artificial intelligence, applied informatics, linguistics, and philosophy. He gives international lectures and presentations on a regular basis and is consultant and lecturer for several companies on ontological engineering topics (domain ontology building, catalog maintenance). He is member of ACM, AMIA, and ICLA.