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Data Management and Semantic Technologies

Our interest in Data Management dates back to the 80's, when the main research topics addressed by our group were conceptual modeling and schema integration, now evolved into Information Integration and Data Exchange. Information integration is the problem of combining the data residing at different heterogeneous sources, and providing a virtual unified view of these data, called global schema, which can be queried by the users.

Data Exchange focuses instead on the problem of materializing the global schema according to the data retrieved from the sources. Ontology-based data management (OBDM) is a promising direction for addressing the above challenges. The key idea of OBDM is to resort to a three-level architecture, constituted by the ontology, the sources, and the mapping between the two, where the ontology is a formal description of the domain of interest, and is the heart of the whole system. With this approach, the integrated view that the system provides to information consumers is not merely a data structure accommodating the various data at the sources, but a semantically rich description of the relevant concepts in the domain of interest, as well as the relationships between such concepts. Other Data Management topics related to Information Integration are also investigated, including View-based Query Processing, Data Warehousing, Data Quality, and Data Cleaning.

Our research interests include several aspects of Service-Oriented Computing, and its relationship with Data Management. Services in our context are autonomous, platform- independent computational elements that can be described, published, discovered, orchestrated and programmed for the purpose of developing distributed interoperable ap- plications. We are particularly interested in service modeling and automatic service composition. In this area, we proposed what in the community is now known as the “Roman model”, and contributing to one of the first solutions to automated service composition. Since its introduction, the Roman model has been studied by several research groups worldwide, and is one of the key references in the formal approaches to automated service composition. We have also studied Service Synthesis, as well as Process and Workflow Management, with a special focus on principles and techniques for modeling the interaction between processes and data.

Data and Service Integration is considered one of the main challenges that Information Technology (IT) currently faces. It is highly relevant in classical IT applications, such as enterprise information management and data warehousing, as well as in scenarios like scientific computing, e-government, and web data management. Our long-term goal is to lay the foundations of a new generation of information integration and service composition systems, whose main characteristics are:

  1. posing the semantics of the application domain at the center of the scene,
  2. combining the management of data with the management of the processes and ser- vices using such data in the organization, and
  3. shifting the role of the conceptual model from a design-time to a run-time artifact.

In our vision, the functionalities provided by the system include answering queries posed in terms of the conceptual model by suitably accessing the source data, performing updates over the conceptual models by invoking the appropriate updates on the sources, and realizing complex goals expressed by the client by automatically composing available services. The basic idea for realizing this goal is to combine principles, methods and techniques from different areas, namely, Data Management, Service-Oriented Computing, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, and Formal Methods.

In 2019, members of the research group have been invited to organize various events, and to deliver keynote speeches at various conferences and workshops:

Tiziana Catarci is the Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Journal of Data and Information Quality. In 2018 she has been Area chair of IEEE ICDE 2018 and General Chair of AVI 2018. Since 2016 she is member of the prestigious European Academy of Sciences and Arts. Since 2016 she has been included among the “100 Women for Science” project - http://www.100esperte.it/. In 2018 she has been included among the “Inspiring- Fifty”, https://italy.inspiringfifty.org/, the most influential women in the tech world. In 2018 she has been nominated fellow of the EAI - European Alliance for Innovation. She is the co-EiC of the EAI Transactions on Ambient Systems. She is in the Editorial Board of the WWW Journal and in the Editorial Board of the Journal on Data Semantics;

Giuseppe De Giacomo is Review Editor of Artificial Intelligence (Elsevier) and member of the Editorial Board of Acta Informatica, he is an honorary member of the Steering Committee Member of the International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR), he is the Program Chair of the 24th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 2020), and Area Chair of the 34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 2020);

Domenico Lembo is vice-president (2018-2021) of the Steering Committee of the International Conference on Web Reasoning an Rule Systems (RR);

Maurizio Lenzerini is Area Editor of Information Systems - An International Journal for the area of Data Modeling and Knowledge Representation and Reasoning Techniques, Area Editor of Logic Journal of the IGPL (Oxford Journal of the Interest Group in Pure and Applied Logic), for the area of Logic for Knowledge Representation and the Semantic Web, Area Editor of Journal of Applied Logic for the area of Logic for Knowledge Representation and the Semantic Web, in the Editorial Board of the LMCS - Logical Methods in Computer Science, for the areas of Database theory and Logic for knowledge representation, in the Editorial Board of Big Data Research, Elsevier, in the Editorial Board of Intelligenza Artificiale, The International Journal of the AI*IA. He was Program Co-Chair of the The 2nd IEEE International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge Engineering, IEEE AIKE 2019, in the Program Committee of the International Conference on Database Theory, ICDT 2019, in the Senior Program Committee of the Thirty-third AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2019, in the Program Committee of the Extended Semantic Web Conference, ESWC 2019, in the Program Committee of the 32th International Workshop on Description Logics, DL 2019, in the Program Committee of the 13rd International Workshop on Information Search, Integration, and Personalization, ISIP 2019, in the Program Committee of the 17th International Conference on Scientometrics & Informetrics, ISSI 2019, in the Program Committee of the 18th International Semantic Web Conference, ISWC 2019, in the Program Committee of the 3rd International Joint Conference on Rules and Reasoning, RuleML+RR 2019. Since 2005 he is Member of the Sistemi Evoluti di Basi di Dati (SEBD) Steering Committee. He is also Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of BiCi - Bertinoro international Center for Informatics, and Member of the Advisory Board of the European Research Institute in Service Science (ERISS);

Antonella Poggi was Program chair of the First International Workshop on Open Data and Ontologies for Cultural Heritage (ODOCH'19) and Workshops chair of ACM womENcourage 2019. Since 2019, she is in the Steering Committee of the Italian Research Conference on Digital Libraries (IRCDL), for which she has served as Program co-chair in 2013, 2020, and 2021.


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