From ontology to practical applications

Emanuele Ghedini

University of Bologna, Italy


Associate Professor at the University of Bologna in Nuclear Reactor Physics.

His research fields includes the calculation of transport properties of plasma mixtures, modelling of plasma sources devices, multi-scale modelling nanomaterial synthesis and development of formal ontologies for plasma applications in the field of materials and modelling.

He is one of the main developers of the European Materials Modelling Ontology (EMMO) under the umbrella of the EMMC.

He participated to several national and international research projects in materials modelling, he's been from 2015 to 2018 the Project Coordinator of H2020-NMP-20-2014 NanoDome, and since 1st January 2019 he is Project Coordinator of H2020-DT-NMBP-09-2018 SimDOME, Digital Ontology-based Modelling Environment for Simulation of materials.

He is also partner of several other H2020 initiatives in which he is in charge of the development on ontologies for applied science and industrial applications: DOME 4.0, OntoTrans, OpenModel and OntoCommons.

Author of about 70 papers on international journals with referee.


From ontology to practical applications

Everybody who wants to be initiated into the field of ontologies should be ready to embrace a wide range of disciplines that blatantly clashes against the actual tendency towards hyper specialisation of competencies.

Developing effective ontologies to support digitalization of the European industry requires skills spanning through philosophy and logics (for the epistemological approach and ontological formalization), computer sciences (for the tools to exploit ontologies in practice) and the domain experts (such as physicists, engineers, manufacturers), the latter providing the actual knowledge to be ontologised.

This multi-disciplinarity requirement is maybe one of the strongest barrier to be overcome for the effective usage of ontologies, together with the development of tools that will enable the exploitation of the knowledge condensed in ontologies by the largest audience possible.

During the lecture I’ll go through the challenge of defining what is an ontology, the ways in which it can be formalized, its potential and limitations, the tools required for its exploitation and some example of usage in practice. But most important, I will try to convey the enthusiasm that this enterprise has generated in the EMMO development group to which I belong!