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FOCA (Formal Ontologies for Communicating Agents) at ESSLLI 2006, Malaga, Spain

Date: July 31 - August 4, 2006
Location: Malaga, Spain
Deadline: 8 March 2006

In recent years lots of efforts have been devoted to formal studies of human and artificial agent communication. Research advancements have been achieved along three main lines: (i) agent's internal states and dynamics, (ii) social interaction and conventional communicative patterns, (iii) semantics-pragmatics interface - especially in the dialogue context (i.e. the interplay between the semantic content of messages and the communicative acts themselves). There is a recent trend of studies trying to integrate these approaches in many ways. On the other hand, formal ontology has been consecrated as a good solution for comparing and integrating information and thus its application to this specific domain is very promising . More precisely, an ontological analysis of the fundamental ingredients of interaction and communication will make explicit the hidden ontological assumptions underlying all these proposals.

Ontology has also proven to be a very powerful means to address issues related to the exchange of meaningful communication across autonomous entities, which can organize and use information heterogeneously.

The purpose of the workshop is therefore to gather contributions that (i) take seriously into account the ontological aspects of communication and interaction and (ii) use formal ontologies for achieving a better semantic coordination between interacting and communicating agents.


We encourage contributions concerning the two main areas listed below with a particular attention to explore the interplay between ontological analysis and its applications in practical cases.

  • Ontological aspects of interaction and communication
    • Ontological analysis of interaction and communication
    • Studies of the structure and coherence of interaction
    • Logical models for communicative acts
    • Primitives of interaction and communication
    • Formal semantics of dialogue
  • Semantic coordination through formal ontologies
    • Dialogue semantics and formal ontology
    • Dynamic ontology sharing
    • Ontological primitives for meaning negotiation, ontological alignment and semantic interoperability
    • Ontology evolution through communication
    • Concrete problems and experiences about terminological disambiguation and integration

Submission Details

Authors are invited to submit an extended abstract describing original contributions to the workshop topics. Submissions should range between 3 and 5 pages. The following formats are accepted: .doc, .tex, .pdf (please always include source files). Please send your submission electronically to by March 8, 2006. The submissions will be reviewed by the workshop's programme committee and additional reviewers. The accepted papers will appear in the workshop proceedings published by ESSLLI. The format for the final version will be pdf. A selection of the best papers accepted at the workshop will be considered for publication in the international journal 'Applied Ontology' (

Workshop Format

The workshop is part of ESSLLI and is open to all ESSLLI participants. It will consist of five 90-minute sessions held over five consecutive days in the first week of ESSLLI. There will be 2 or 3 slots for paper presentation and discussion per session. On the first day the workshop organizers will give an introduction to the topic or, if the topic is relatively new, an extended lecture to familiarize the audience with the topic.

For more information, see

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