The Semantics Technology and Applications Research Laboratory (VUB STARLab), founded by Prof. Dr. Robert Meersman, has been VUB's focal point in research on databases and semantics. STARLab contributes to a new state of the art in information-based technologies, both with research and development, and by applying our expertise to real-life situations.

SCIE Test bed meeting@ STARLab

27/03/2008 - 15:00
28/03/2008 - 11:00

Goal: To find out the ontology-based use cases of SCIE.


The Birth of the 1st Int'l Workshop on Community-Based Evolution of Knowledge-Intensive Systems (COMBEK 2008)

The COMBEK 2008 workshop will be organised by Pieter De Leenheer, Martin Hepp, and Amit Sheth, and will be co-located with the OnTheMove Federated Conferences in Monterrey, Mexico. For more info we refer to the workshop web site.

COMBEK 2008 seeks to address the need for research that explores and embraces the novel, difficult but crucial issue of adapting knowledge resources to their user communities, and vice versa, as a fundamental property of knowledge-intensive internet systems. Through a deep understanding of the real-time, community-driven, evolution of so-called ontologies, a knowledge-intensive system can be made operationally relevant and sustainable over long periods of time.

"Decision Tables and Business Rules" - a seminar by Prof. Dr. Jan Vanthienen

24/04/2008 - 13:30
24/04/2008 - 16:30

A Seminar by Prof. Dr. Jan Vanthienen
Speech title: Decision Tables and Business Rules
When: 24th April, 2008, 13:30 ~ 16:30

Prolix test beds meeting (Geno and Klett)

20/02/2008 - 13:00
21/02/2008 - 12:00

This meeting faces to two test beds in Prolix project: Geno banking and Klett publishing co.

People attended: Cylvia (from Geno), Wolfgang (from Klett), Gang, Yan, Stijn, Christophe,

Content: to assist ontology creation for test beds and to know their needs.

for more pictures, check: this album

3D - Anatomical Human Collaboration Days

06/02/2008 - 18:10
09/02/2008 - 18:10

Christmas 2007

21/12/2007 - 16:27

Dr. Aggelos Liapis!

Our latest STAR has reached maturity level: we just received an exciting phone call from Aberdeen, UK, that Aggelos Liapis now needs to be called doctor Liapis. Hats off to you, Aggelos!

OOA Workshop: Ontology-Based Competency Frameworks

At the Maastricht HCSIT Summit, on October 17, the OOA presented an industrial workshop to interactively establish common aspects between various proposed competency modeling frameworks and evolving industry standards from IMS and HR-XML. You can find a wrap-up of the workshop at the web site of the Ontology Outreach Advisory.

OnTheMove 2007: larger than ever

OnTheMove (OTM) in Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal in 2007 co-locates five successful related and complementary conferences. Each conference covers multiple research vectors, viz. theory (e.g. underlying formalisms), conceptual (e.g. technical designs and conceptual solutions) and applications (e.g. case studies and industrial best practices).

Next to the main conference, a very interesting set of workshops will be presented. A few of them directly touch upon STARLab core research topics, with the top scorer being OnToContent '07. This workshop, organized by the Ontology Outreach Advisory OOA, aims to focus on content issues.

These include methodologies and tools concerned with modeling good ontologies, approaches to ontology content evaluation, quality measures, ontology content management (e.g. metadata, libraries, and registration), ontology documentation, etc.

The workshop also aims to give a special attention to ontology content issues in two industrial sectors: human resources and employment, and healthcare and life sciences.

Springer book on Ontology Management for the Semantic Web, Semantic Web Services, & Business Applications

This book, forthcoming in January 2008, is co-edited by Pieter De Leenheer (STARLab), Martin Hepp (DERI Innsbruck), Aldo de Moor (CommunitySense, former STARLab member), and York Sure (SAP Research), to be published in the Springer Series "Semantic Web and Beyond: Computing for Human Experience" (Type 2: Edited books on time emerging topics and hot area).

The book includes two chapters on ontology evolution and a business use case, authored by STARLab members Stijn Christiaens, Pieter De Leenheer, and Robert Meersman.

The full reference of the book:

Hepp, M., De Leenheer, P., de Moor, A., and Sure, Y. (eds.) Ontology Management for the Semantic Web, Semantic Web Services, and Business Applications. Springer Series "Semantic Web and Beyond: Computing for Human Experience" (Type 2: Edited books on time emerging topics and hot area). ISBN: 978-0-387-69899-1, forthcoming November 2007.

You can order it via Amazon or directly via Springer Verlag.

Why A Data Model Does Not An Ontology Make

On 2007-08-02, Robert Meersman gave a lecture at SUNY in Buffalo, at the Center of Excellence for BioInformatics and Life Sciences, led by directors Barry Smith, Lew Goldberg and Werner Ceusters. He addressed an active audience of philosophers, computer and AI scientists, biologists, and bio-engineers. The talk was scheduled for 1 hour but developed into a lively discussion lasting 2 1/4 hours. The presentation slides are available online.

Towards a Scalable and Collaborative Information Integration Platform and Methodology

Felix van de Maele completed his Master's Thesis (PDF).

The need to integrate heterogeneous and distributed data sources and models is a problem that is faced in almost any area of computer science. In our global, real-time, and constantly changing information society this need is growing fast. In this thesis, we identify a number of limitation of existing work on information integration. Furthermore, the recent trend towards and acceptance of the need for collaboration have led us to propose a novel methodology and platform to address the increased need for information integration.

In this thesis, we present a two-step methodology that splits up the traditional integration process
into two completely separated phases. In the first phase, the Mapping phase, heterogeneous
models are matched and mappings are created between the corresponding entities. The mappings
are stored on a remote server in an application-neutral manner. We further introduce a
community and contextual dimension for each mapping. In the second phase of our methodology,
the Commitment phase, a final, application-specific alignment is created in a certain integration
format or model.

We argue that this methodology enables a more scalable, efficient and collaborative integration
process. We develop a platform that allows a user to integrate heterogeneous models using this
methodology. We furthermore present a preliminary evaluation of our work by going through
a real use case: Using our tool, we integrate two real ontologies by following our methodology.

AmIE Project Started

AmIE illustrationAmIE is a European ITEA project, which will develop a distributed, intelligent and predictive system for the monitoring, the daily life support, and the revision of problems of the older and disabled people.

This system will provide an intelligent and friendly ambience at home and outdoors, where the users can develop their daily and social life in an independent and autonomous way, allowing to extend their stay at home.

The project involves 24 partners from 6 countries and runs from May 2007 until October 2009. The leaflet for the project is in attachment.

Higher Creativity for Virtual Teams

dr. Aggelos Liapis (STARLab) has been co-authoring another book in the IGI Publishing series: Higher Creativity for Virtual Teams (Developing Platforms for Co-Creation). With this publication, he takes a headstart on his valuable contributions to STARLab, as he will be focussing on extending our DOGMA-MESS method and tool chest for the 3D Anatomical Human Project.

Ontology Outreach Advisory has a new web site

OOA LogoThe Ontology Outreach Advisory (OOA), a non-profit organisation co-founded by STARLab, got a new Drupal-based web site. As the OOA community grows, it will become the major connection point for all OOA activities.

Handbook of Research on Open Source Software: Technological, Economic, and Social Perspectives

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers (STARLab) co-authored this book with a chapter contribution about Community Customers, outlining the role that corporate entities should play in the OpenSource community when seriously using one of the many OpenSource products.

2007/11/25: OnTheMove Conference, Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal

25/11/2007 - 02:00

OnTheMove (OTM) in Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal in 2007 co-locates five successful related and complementary conferences: DOA = infrastructure, ODBASE = meaning of data, CoopIS = application in organizations, GADA = grid computing, high-performance and distributed applications, IS = information security. Each conference covers multiple research vectors, viz. theory (e.g. underlying formalisms), conceptual (e.g. technical designs and conceptual solutions) and applications (e.g.


In the beginning there was database

Databases have become the hugely successful tools they are mostly because they implement so-called "data independence", which for the sake of simplicity one may call the ability to specify and manage data structures outside application programs, and consequently to allow management of the (usually large) "populations" of those data structures by specialized, highly efficient software tools.


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