ArgO: An Ontology of Arguments
(with Brian Donohue, Francesco Franda, Jean-Baptiste Guillon, J. Neil Otte, Alan Ruttenberg, and Yonatan Schreiber)

Although the last decade has seen a proliferation of ontologies of arguments, many lack semantic interoperability, are either too wide or too narrow in scope, or employ unprincipled solutions to argument representation. In contrast, we present the Arguments Ontology (ArgO), a modest mid-level ontology of arguments designed to be easily imported and extended by researchers working within an upper-level ontology framework, with logics outside the classical tradition, and with different approaches to argument evaluation. Unlike previous ontologies of arguments, ArgO is designed as an extension of the widely-used Information Artifact Ontology (IAO), itself an extension of the upper-level Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), thus ensuring semantic interoperability with a range of existing ontologies. Moreover, our treatment of arguments as involving premises which provide support for a single conclusion believed to follow from said premises, bridged by cognitive acts of inference, is the appropriate scope for the domain, ruling out, e.g. mere legal principles, while ruling in what intuitively count as arguments. Finally, our proposal is principled, based on rigorous definitions and formal axioms out of which characterizations of arguments naturally fall.

Basic Formal Ontology as an ISO-Standard

The Basic Formal Ontology is currently in the review process for becoming an ISO-Standard. I was fortunate enough to present my work on the first-order axiomatization and the meta-theoretic properties of this top-level ontology at a workshop held by the UB Ontology Research Group. You can find my slides from the talk (as well as slides from Barry Smith's talk and Michael Gruninger's talk) here.

Basic Formal Ontology and Automated Theorem Proving

I've been working on a First-Order Logic axiomatization of the latest version of the Basic Formal Ontology (2.0). You can find out more information about this project in the accompanying hilarious, yet informative, video.

Two of my peers, Brian Donohue and Neil Otte, are working on related applied ontology projects. We are part of an already large community of applied ontologists in the Buffalo area. A good place to find more information about applied ontology would be the website of UB's own Barry Smith.