RCIS'09   Research Challenges in Information Science - 2009
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Keynote Speakers Abstracts

Keynote Speaker : John MYLOPOULOS - University of Toronto, Canada

Presentation : Tropos : An agent-oriented software development methodology (Presentation Slides)

Abstract :

The last fifteen years have seen the rise of a new phase in software development which is concerned with the acquisition, modelling and analysis of stakeholder purposes ("goals") in order to derive functional and non-functional requirements. We review the history of ideas and research results for this new phase (Early Requirements) and sketch on-going research on the topic. Specifically, we discuss an agent-oriented software development methodology -- called Tropos -- that is founded on the concepts of goal, actor as well as inter-actor dependencies. We also present our latest work on the topic that broadens the scope of early requirements to support modelling and analysis of optional requirements and preferences.

The research reported is the result of collaborations with colleagues at the Universities of Toronto and Trento.

John Mylopoulos earned a PhD degree from Princeton University in 1970 and has been professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto since that year. His research interests include conceptual modelling, requirements engineering, data semantics and knowledge management. Mylopoulos is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI, aka American Association for Artificial Intelligence) and the Royal Society of Canada (Academy of Sciences). He has served as programme/general chair of international conferences in Artificial Intelligence, Databases and Software Engineering, including IJCAI (1991), Requirements Engineering (1997), and VLDB (2004). He is currently serving as series co-editor of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing (LNBIP) series published by Springer-Verlag. Since September 2005 Mylopoulos holds a distinguished professorship (chiara fama) of Science at the University of Trento.

Keynote Speaker : Aris OUKSEL - University of Illinois, USA

Presentation : Ontologies : Creating Order out of Chaos, State of the Art and Challenges

Abstract :

Ontologies are nowadays ubiquitous in many enterprise systems, they form the backbone of the Semantic Web, they are used in electronic commerce, and other applications such as bioinformatics and medicine. As a result, system designers have developed a large number of ontologies using a variety of tools and languages. These ontologies cover several disjoint or partially-overlapping domains, at different levels of detail and granularity. A main objective of this talk is to discuss the state of the art and the semantic challenges in constructing ontologies. Further, the vast exploitation of ontologies unavoidably raised the challenging problem of how to manage ontologies in a dynamic environment, and in turn resulted in the necessity to develop tools for: the discovery of ontologies on the Web, their comparison, their fusion, their whole or partial reuse, their management in multiple versions, and finally, the construction of best-fit ontologies. Another objective of this talk is to present some of the techniques currently in use or being developed to deal with these challenges.

Keynote Speaker : Oscar PASTOR - Technical University of Valencia, Spain

Presentation : A Conceptual Model of the Human Genome: Why Is It Really Worth? (Presentation Slides)

Abstract :

If Conceptual Modeling is seen as a basic component of a sound Software Production Process, we could wonder why Conceptual Modeling is not playing a more prominent role in the challenging problem of interpreting and understanding the Human Genome. Research in the Bioinformatics domain is mainly centered on the Solution Space, exploring tons of data to try to discover patterns of behaviour represented in those data. It is reasonable to conclude that, working at the Problem Space level, the understanding of the human genome would advance much faster. This is the central topic of this talk. The analogy with Software Engineering principles provides some interesting insights. If we try to find a simple concept as a foreig key looking at the millions of 0s and 1s that constitute a binary program, we can easily conclude that it would be an almost impossible mission. But foreign keys are a very precise, clear and easy-to-identify concept when we deal with models! Following this line of argumentation, the talk will analyze the benefits that working with Conceptual Models can provide to the Genomic domain. In particular, a precise ER model will be introduced, distinguishing among the different relevant views of genome, transcriptome and proteom, in order to characterize them in detail. The corresponging Genomic Data Base will be presented, together with those data capture mechanisms that are intended to use the heterogeneous set of data made currently available by different biological data banks. How to assure that the database is kept consistent will be explored. Additionally, how to exploit it and its potential practical applications will be discussed.

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