LINGUIST List 24.1509

Wed Apr 03 2013

Calls: Computational Ling, Semantics, Text/Corpus Ling, Lexicography/Canada

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 03-Apr-2013
From: Selja Seppälä <>
Subject: International Workshop on ‘Definitions in Ontologies’
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Full Title: International Workshop on ‘Definitions in Ontologies’ Short Title: DO 2013
Date: 07-Jul-2013 - 07-Jul-2013 Location: Montreal, Canada Contact Person: Selja Seppälä
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:
Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics; Lexicography; Semantics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Call Deadline: 15-Apr-2013

Meeting Description:

International Workshop on ‘Definitions in Ontologies’ (DO 2013)
July 7, 2013
At ICBO 2013 (International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies)
Montreal, Canada


Ontologies built using OBO Foundry principles are advised to include both formal (logical) definitions, as well as natural language definitions. Depending on the effort, one or the other can be underrepresented. Possible explanations to this bottleneck are the high cost of producing well-written definitions; an insufficient understanding of the nature of natural language definitions or of logic; the lack of an operational theory of definitions; the lack of studies that evaluate usability and effectiveness of definitions in ontologies; a paucity of tools to help with definition authoring and checking. Producing natural language definitions is time-consuming, costly and prone to all kinds of inconsistencies. Producing logical definitions that are effective, correct, and communicative is also difficult. It is therefore worth exploring different ways of assisting, with automation, creation and quality control of definitions.

This workshop gathers interested researchers and developers to reflect upon general themes as the selection and modeling of defining information; the relation between definitions in specific domains as opposed to domain-independent definitions; the theoretical underpinnings of definitions; tools that can facilitate relating logical and natural language definitions. In addition, we would want to encourage participation by different communities using definitions so that their needs can be exposed.

2nd Call for Papers:

Deadline Approaching

The workshop will consist of two parts. First, selected presentations of short papers from attendees. Second, a guided discussion based on the participants’ suggestions. This discussion is aimed at synthetizing and prioritizing defining practices. All papers should end with a suggestion on the defining practices or users’ needs regarding definitions. We will, based on the presentations and discussion, collect a list of recommendations relating to definitions in ontologies to be posted on the workshop’s website.

Intended Audience:

We solicit participation from developers and users from all around the world and different linguistic communities in the areas of ontology, natural language processing, information retrieval, logics, philosophy, terminology and lexicology. We want to encourage participation of ontologists and tool developers building ontology authoring tools; philosophers and logicians who can shed light on the issues in creating definitions; biomedical researchers interested in the role of definitions in nomenclatures such as SNOMED; computer scientists interested in the treatment of definitions in the framework of languages like OWL; terminologists and lexicologists working on definitions and their modeling; NLP researchers working on definition extraction techniques or on information retrieval methods for definition production; and NLP/IR researchers reusing definitions produced for ontologies.


Topics of interest are split between foundational aspects, pragmatic issues and user perspectives. Below we list some possible topics.

Foundational Aspects:

- Theories of definition and their implications for the defining practice
- Realist versus conceptualist approaches in definition writing
- Definition modeling: what kinds of information are defining
- Domain-independent versus domain-specific definition models
- Formal versus natural language definitions

Pragmatic Issues:

- Quality control in definitions
- Ways of evaluating definitions
- Comparison and evaluation of different definition production techniques: handwritten, automatically generated from formal definitions, extracted from corpora or constructed from information retrieved from corpora
- Methods and tools to automate definition production and checking
- (Multilingual) definition generation
- Information retrieval for definition production
- Use of definition models to facilitate information retrieval
- Definition extraction from corpora
- Interactions between ontologies and lexical resources (WordNet, FrameNet)
- Consequences/Strategies of giving necessary versus necessary and sufficient definitions, or simply sufficient definitions
- Coordination of logical and textual definitions
- Alternatives to and variants of definitions: elucidations, explanations, glosses, figures

User Perspectives:

- Assessment of definitions used in current practice
- Balancing needs of within discipline use and wider use of definitions
- Use of specialized terminology versus general vocabulary
- Presentation of definitions to different user audiences
- Alternatives/Augmentations of textual definitions, such as figures and images for anatomy, where textual definitions may be harder to formulate

Important Dates:

Deadline for submission: April 15, 2013
Notification of acceptance: May 15, 2013Camera-ready copies for the proceedings: June 15, 2013
Workshop: July 7, 2013


We welcome short papers, up to 6 pages, excluding references. All papers should end with a suggestion on the defining practices or users’ needs regarding definitions.

Papers are to be prepared using the ICBO templates ( and submitted via EasyChair (

All papers must be original. By submitting a paper, the authors agree to publication of their paper in the proceedings under the CC-BY 3.0 license (open access). The proceedings of the workshop will be published on CEUR Workshop Proceedings (

Organizing Committee:

Selja Seppälä (University at Buffalo, USA),

Program Committee:

César Aguilar (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
Nathalie Aussenac-Gilles (National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), France)
Caroline Barrière (CRIM, Canada)
Thomas Bittner (University at Buffalo, USA)
Mélanie Courtot (British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, Canada)
Christiane Fellbaum (Princeton University, USA)
Natalia Grabar (Université de Lille 3, France)
Janna Hastings (European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge, UK)
Marie-Claude L’Homme (Université de Montréal, Canada)
James Malone (European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge, UK)
Alexis Nasr (Aix Marseille Université, France)
Fabian Neuhaus (National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), USA)James Overton (Knocean, Toronto, Canada)
Richard Power (The Open University, UK)
Patrice Seyed (Tetherless World Constellation, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA)Robert Stevens (The University of Manchester, UK)
Allan Third (The Open University, UK)
Sandra Williams (The Open University, UK)

Page Updated: 03-Apr-2013