first call of paper (Second International Workshop on

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Second International Workshop on

held in conjunction with
III International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC-04)

November 8, 2004, Hiroshima, Japan


One of the key challenges in the development of open distributed
systems -- like the Semantic Web -- is enabling the exchange of
meaningful information across applications which may use autonomously
developed models/schemas for organizing locally available data, and
need to interact/collaborate to achieve their users' goals. Typical
examples are databases using different schemas, document repositories
using different classification structures or annotated with respect to
different ontologies, file systems, poorly annotated multimedia

One possible approach to this problem is that of creating global
schemas (or shared models) onto which local schemas are mapped and
thus interoperated. This "centralized" approach may work in restricted
environments, like a small corporate Intranet. However, in open
environments (like the Web), it does not seem a viable solution, as it
can be very difficult to reconciliate/integrate schemas/models that
suit different needs in a single shared model; in addition, it would
be almost impossible to maintain such a shared model in a highly
dynamic environment.

The aim of this workshop is to investigate an alternative approach to
semantic interoperation, namely an approach in which no global schemas
are presupposed, and schemas/models are directly mapped onto each
other in a "peer-to-peer" spirit. A requirement of the proposed
approach is that it must be applicable to scenarios where peers that
cannot assess semantic problems by "looking into each other's head",
like humans or software agents (what we call semantically autonomous

In this approach, it is possible to distinguish between two different

  - a process of meaning coordination, through which the involved
parties try to establish mappings between the meaning of a collection
of expressions. Such an agreement could result, for example, in a
collection of mappings between their ontologies/schemas;

  - a process of meaning negotiation, namely the process of solving
semantic conflicts among parties when a direct mapping is not possible
(e.g., different parties adopt with different ontological assumptions,
and this makes impossible for them to find a correspondence between
the meaning of what they say).

In game theoretic terms, the first is a coordination problem, as (i)
all parties have a common interest in achieving such an agreement, but
(ii) there are many possible solutions to the problem, and thus the
selection of one of these solutions can be problematic; the second is
a negotiation problem, as (i) an agreement is valuable for all
parties, but (ii) parties may have conflicting preferences over which
solution should be selected, so that every agreement implies that at
least someone has to concede to some extent to other party.

The problem of meaning coordination and negotiation can be addressed
from many different perspectives, using different conceptual and
technological tools, and with different motivations in mind. So we
expect that the workshop will attract people from very different
fields, such as knowledge representation, ontology engineering,
agents, databases, natural language processing, machine learning, game
theory, philosophy of language, cognitive linguistics.


Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  * formal, computational, game-theoretic, cognitive, epistemological,
    social models of meaning coordination and negotiation (MCN);
  * multi-agent communication languages and protocols for MCN;
  * role of mental attitudes (e.g., beliefs, intentions);
  * ontology alignment/integration/mapping;
  * alignment/integration/matching of structured and semi-structured
  * context-based approaches for MCN;
  * natural language processing techniques for MCN;
  * innovative scenarios for MCN (e.g., Semantic Web, Knowledge
    Management, E-business, Marketplaces, Personal Digital Assistants,
    mobile applications);
  * business cases.

Format of the workshop

The workshop will be a full day event, in which oral presentations
will be integrated with plenary discussions. Depending on the
availability of funds, we are considering the possibility of inviting
a keynote speaker.


Oral presentations will be selected from the papers submitted to the
organizers. The selected paper will be included in the workshop
working notes.

Criteria for acceptance include: relevance to the topic, significance
of the contribution, inter-disciplinarity, presentation of interesting
applications, accessibility to a multi-disciplinary audience. POSITION
or FOUNDATIONAL papers are also very welcome.

Submission requirements

We encourage submissions from researchers and practitioners in
academia, industry, government, and consulting. Students, researchers
and practitioners are invited to submit a full paper (max. 12 pages in
LNCS format) describing original, novel, and inspirational
work. Accepted formats are Postscript and PDF. The abstracts will be
reviewed by an international group of researchers and practitioners.
Submissions should be sent by e-mail to Paolo Bouquet at

Important Dates

July 16, 2004:      Deadline for WS submissions
September 10, 2004: Notification of acceptance to authors
September 24, 2004: Camera-ready version of accepted papers due
November 8, 2004:   Workshop on Meaning Coordination and Negotiation

Workshop Committee

Paolo Bouquet (Chair and contact)
  Department of Information and Communication Technologies
  University of Trento (Italy)
  Phone: +39-0461-882088/2164   Fax: +39-0461-882093
Luciano Serafini, co-chair (ITC-IRST, Italy)

Ludger van Elst, co-organizer (German Research Center for Artificial
Intelligence, DFKI, Germany)
Nicola Guarino, co-organizer (Laboratory of Applied Ontology (CNR),
R.V. Guha, co-organizer (IBM Research, USA)
Yiannis Kompatsiaris, co-organizer (Informatics and Telematics
Institute, Greece)

Publicity Chair

Stefano Zanobini (University of Trento, Italy)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Stefano Z.
  UniversitÓ di Trento
  Dipartimento di Informatica

Received on Wednesday, 9 June 2004 03:19:57 UTC