A focal point of KNOESI (2019-2023) lies at the intersection of embodied cognition, the ontology of affordance, and knowledge-enhanced frameworks for simulations in robotics: here, the whole pipeline from a simulation of physics, to event or activity recognition and interpretation, to planning and agency, come into play. Some of the main challenges that are encountered here are (1) how to provide systematic and ontologically sound bridges from physics simulations to affordances and abstract ontological analysis, (2) how to reason logically with common-sense abstractions derived from interactions in a simulation, and (3) how to validate the fruitfulness of enhancing the knowledge layer in a simulation.


The core aim of the STELLA (Spatio-Temporal Logics for Cognitive Artificial Intelligence) project (2018-2020) is to initiate a systematic study into the formal logical modelling of the building blocks of human conceptual thinking, focusing on the deeply interlinked notions of affordance and image schema. The main challenge here is that the common-sense abstractions of these notions deviate significantly from the typical spatial and temporal models found in contemporary mainstream knowledge representation. To this end, we will study novel conbinations and variations of models of time and space, and devise corresponding cognitively motivated spatio-temporal logics.


The project SCORE (2018-20) (From Image Schemas to Cognitive Robotics - A formal framework and computational models for embodied simulations) is a DAAD-MIUR funded exchange programme between the University of Bremen, specifically the newly established large-scale cooperative research centre on robotics at Bremen University which focuses specifically on augmenting cognitive models of everyday situations, and the Conceptual and Cognitive Modelling Group CORE at unibz. The specific goals that the project sets out to achieve concern the formalization of the theoretical and descriptive proposals made in the literature concerning image schema in a manner that both supports and is complemented by computational models of embodied simulation.
The PIs are Oliver Kutz (Bolzano) and John Bateman (Bremen).


The COCO project, running between 2016-18, focuses on two open problems in computational approaches to conceptual blending: searching for the shared semantic structure between concepts—the so-called generic space in conceptual blending— and concept evaluation. The first problem will be investigated on the theoretical and computational level, following up on the results of the LOGIS project, to use image schemas as semantic structures that can ease the process of looking for a generic space. To address the second problem, we will use and adapt ontology debugging techniques as a means to repair blends of ontologies. Particularly, we will be taking approaches of abstract/social argumentation and formal coherence into account to devise a computational model of concept evaluation.
The COCO project cooperates with Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (Spain), University of Osnabrueck (Germany), University of Nis (Serbia), University of Magdeburg (Germany), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), and University College Dublin (Ireland).


The LOGIS project, running between 2015-17, focuses on reaching out into a core topic in cognition: the logic of image schemas. The theory of image schemas was developed within cognitive linguistics, and has been extremely influential since Lakoff & Johnson’s work in the late 1980s. Although often acknowledged as central for the realisation of artificial creative systems, the difficult interplay between the deep roots of image schemas in human cognition and the necessity to (logically) formalise them for computational systems, is largely unexplored. This problem is investigated on the theoretical, logical level, and extensive empirical work will be carried out to verify the viability of certain formal distinctions. The LOGIS project is co-ordinated with University College Dublin (Ireland) and the University of Nis (Serbia). Experiments and field trips are carried out in the multi-lingual regions of Alto-Adige as well as Nis.


COINVENT is a high-profile international research project funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme, and starting October 2013. It aims at advancing the formal understanding of creativity by developing a computationally feasible, cognitively-inspired formal model of concept invention, drawing from interdisciplinary research results from cognitive science, artificial intelligence, formal methods and computational creativity, and validating it for mathematical reasoning and melodic harmonisation. The project is coordinated by Dr. Marco Schorlemmer at IIIA-CSIC Barcelona.

My responsibility as PI in the COINVENT project is to help provide a general formalisation of the Unified Concept Theory proposed by the late Joseph Goguen, to develop a logical framework for the highly influential idea of conceptual blending as introduced by Fauconnier and Turner in the 1990s, and to advance the understanding and to study the heuristics of selecting ‘good’ concepts. COINVENT will also use the Distributed Ontology Language DOL (visit and build a collection of (common-sense) ontologies to steer conceptual blending, deploying them in, a node in the federated repository (see below).


The OntoSpace project is being conducted as a part of the interdisciplinary Transregional Collaborative Research Center on Spatial Cognition SFB/TR 8 at the Universities of Bremen and Freiburg.

The project's main aims are to develop a toolbox of ontology-based methods, and to develop linguistic and spatial ontologies for the SFB/TR 8. Major outcomes of the project are the working group developing the DOL language, as well as the Ontohub platform that will allow to host and formally relate heterogeneous ontologies.

The working group is an international collaboration of more than 40 researchers to create and standardise the distributed ontology language DOL, a meta language for ontology engineering that will incorporate existing ontology languages and which will add meta constructs to relate, combine and link ontologies written in different formal languages. The DOL language will have formal, model-theoretic semantics (and institution-theoretic semantics for certain features).
OntoIOp is led by Till Mossakowski as project leader, myself and Michael Gruninger as co-project leaders, as well as Christoph Lange as assisting project leader.

Ontohub is a repository engine for managing distributed heterogeneous ontologies. The distributed nature enables communities to share and exchange their contributions easily. The heterogeneous nature makes it possible to integrate ontologies written in various ontology languages.
It supports a wide range of formal logical and ontology languages building on the project and will allow for complex inter-theory (concept) mappings and relationships with formal semantics.

Ontohub will be one of the platforms participating in the upcoming FOIS 2014 ontology competition, chaired by Till Mossakowski.

More information about Ontohub and people involved can be found here.

The initiative is a Special Interest Group within the International Association for Ontology and its Applications IAOA, and is headed by Mehul Bhatt and John Bateman.

My main involvement within this project is the co-organisation of the workshop series "SHAPES - The Shape of Things": visit the webpages for 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0. is envisaged to be the next generation semantic repository for spatial ontologies. It supports the full range of ontology languages building on the project, implements the technology for the spatial domain, and supports complex inter-ontology mappings and relationships with formal semantics.
Aleksandra Sojic was working on this project, collecting relevant spatial ontologies.