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Semantic interoperability, ontologies and conceptual modelling (with exercises)

We are proud to offer again the highly praised course on "Ontologies engineering and data modeling". The course does not strictly require prior competence, although it is an advantage if you have taken the FAIR data stewardship course or have some familiarity with data management, data modelling and semantics. The course is given by Prof. Giancarlo Guizzardi, a renowned and very experienced contributor to the field of ontologies and conceptual data modelling. 

For data resources to be interoperable, they must be sufficiently and appropriately described and structured with metadata resources, in particular, with FAIR ontologies. Ontologies play a key role in data interoperability but, for that, they must themselves be designed for interoperability. The main objective of this course is to introduce practitioners to the theory and practice of Ontology Engineering in general, and the engineering of FAIR ontologies, in particular. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the development and use of these truly interoperable ontologies in areas such as, for example, Finances, Robotics, Cybersecurity, Industry 4.0, IoT, Digital Twins. However, as we demonstrate in this course, an approach for ontology construction uniquely based on logical languages (e.g., OWL, RDFS) is insufficient to address a number of semantic interoperability problems that arise in open and dynamic scenarios. We then show that these languages should be complemented by a language and methodology based on a Foundational Ontology, i.e., a domain-independent common- sense theory constructed by aggregating suitable contributions from areas such as philosophical ontology and logics, cognitive science and linguistics. In this course, we give an introduction to such a theoretically well-founded ontology representation language, namely, OntoUML. Moreover, we present a number of advanced modelling techniques, such as ontology design patterns, anti-patterns, and methodological guidelines, based on the foundations of this language, and show how they can be used to solve some classical and recurrent modelling problems that (re)appear in concrete application scenarios. Finally, we show how OntoUML ontologies can be properly translated to OWL using the gUFO framework.

Dates: October 9 - 11
Time: 09:00 -17:00

Tutor: Giancarlo Guizzardi (Univ. of Twente)

Note from tutor: Although it will be possible to follow the course online, it is highly recommended to participate with physical presence for maximum learning potential.



NOTE: The discounted registration fee ("early-bird") is available until June 15.

Lunch and snacks / drink during breaks are included.

Participants need to arrange their own accommodation.


  • Ontologies, Semantic Interoperability and the “I” of FAIR (1:30)
  • A Brief Introduction to Conceptual Modeling (1:45)
  • Types and Taxonomic Structures (1:45)
  • Model Refactoring and Model Quality, Practical exercises (1:45)
  • Dependent Types and Complex Relations (1:45)
  • Events, Higher-Order Types, Practical exercises (1:45)
  • Model Validation, Ontology Patterns and Anti-Patterns (1:30)
  • Ontology Implementation using gUFO (1:30)

October 9

  • 0900-1030: Session 1
  • 1030-1045: BREAK
  • 1045-1200: Session 2
  • 1200-1300 LUNCH
  • 1300-1430: Session 3
  • 1430-1500: BREAK
  • 15:00-17:00: Session 4

October 10

  • 0900-1030: Session 5
  • 1030-1045: BREAK
  • 1045-1200: Session 6
  • 1200-1300 LUNCH
  • 1300-1430: Session 7
  • 1430-1500: BREAK
  • 1500-1700: Session 8

October 11


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Introduction course to FAIR principles and application to data and metadata.