Mon, 22 Mar 2004 22:18:52 GMT

Call for position papers

The ECOOP-04 Workshop ÎPhilosophy, Ontology and Information Systemsâ aims at providing a forum where the issues related to the use of philosophical ontology in object oriented information systems can be discussed.

Key goals of the workshop are to secure, as far as possible, a measure of agreement on:

– What philosophical ontology is,
– Whether, and how, ontology can assist in object oriented software development,
– What philosophical ontology can add to the debate on the mapping between objects in the real world and system objects,
– What the key obstacles to the deployment of ontology are,
– The possibility of collaborative research efforts among the participants.

People interested in participating in the workshop are requested to submit a short position paper (5 pages or less) that indicates the issues they wish to have discussed in the workshop and/or relevant work they have done.
The workshop organizers will review and select from the submitted papers providing feedback as needed. Position papers will be posted prior to the workshop so as to give participants the time to read the papers beforehand.

Examples of the kinds of issues that could be raised are:

– How do the definitions of philosophical ontology and ontology used in information science differ?
– What can software engineers and philosophers gain from such comparison?
– What is object oriented software engineering currently lacking that philosophical ontology can provide?
– If any, which guidelines or constraints can ontological philosophy provide in order to assist software engineering?
– What areas in particular would benefit most from philosophical ontology? What is the scope of relevance (including the limitations) of philosophical ontology for software engineering?
– Is ontology relevant only to the individual object model or are there lessons from ontology to be learned at the methodological level?
– How can ontology support software architectures?
– Why are most object models not ontologically sound in the first place ö even though they are supposedly closely reflecting reality?
– Where is the gap rooted? How to make sure not to be trapped?
Are there examples of how philosophical ontology has improved software engineering?
What attempts have been made to apply ontology (including philosophical ontology)?
– Where and why have they succeeded or failed?
– Is it more beneficial to establish reference ontologies or to extend the object oriented methodologies?
– How are ontologies represented anyway?
– What are the benefits and limitations of these approaches?
– Can philosophical ontology help in system integration projects? And if so, how?
– Are there any methodologies for applying philosophical ontology to software development?

It will be useful to identify application areas within object oriented software engineering where philosophical ontology could usefully be deployed. Examples include:

– Enterprise ontologies,
– Expression of common semantics across a number of systems,
– Expressivity necessary for semantics description,
– Methodologies, approaches, and paradigms for enterprise integration,
– Model translations and integration,
– Possibility for reference semantics,
– The needs of emerging technologies such as semantic web, semantic GRID, and web services,
– Semantic problems of legacy migration,
– Semantics of enterprise modelling and enterprise architecture,
– Semantics of software system architecture,
– Semantics of interfaces – for support at development time or at runtime.


The workshop will be structured with the aim of stimulating creativity and discussion among the participants. The participants will be given an opportunity to briefly summarise their papers. The majority of the workshop will be devoted to discussion of issues raised in the papers. Group discussions may be organized on the basis of the list of issues identified. Ample time will be reserved to plenary discussions. Participants should be prepared to engage in lively discussions targeted at the establishment of common ground and promising routes for further work.
The workshop will end with a final plenary session summarizing the important points raised in earlier discussions and drawing lines for possible follow up.

Organizing Commitee

Petra Becker-Pechau (University of Hamburg)
Pierre Grenon (University of Leipzig)
Mark Lycett (Brunel University)
Chris Partridge (Brunel University)
Joerg Pechau (CoreMedia AG)
Dirk Siebert (University of Leipzig)


Positions Papers in PDF, PS or MS Word format are to be sent to Dirk Siebert ( by April 5, 2004.

Important Dates

Deadline for submission: April 5, 2004
Notification: April 26, 2004
Workshop: June 15, 2004

Further information will be posted on the workshop page:

For travel Information and accomodation, consult the ECOOP website:

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