FBM 2017: International Workshop on Fact Based Modeling

Modeling for regulation based services


Rhodes, Greece, October 26-27, 2017
Proceedings will be published in the Springer LNCS series




After two successful Fact Based Modeling (FBM) workshop in Rhodes in October 2015 and October 2016 we want to extend this FBM platform for presenting the state-of-the-art in truly conceptual modeling. FBM 2017 will be centered around the presentation of practice reports and theoretical papers on Fact Based Modeling. The focus of this year’s workshop will once again be on versatility of the fact-based approach for conceptualizing knowledge in a broad range of domains, i.e. financial and insurances services,  engineering, governmental agencies,  by offering modeling protocols that are tailored to such a domain. Recent developments have led to the definition of modeling protocols that are  directed towards legislation, regulations, policies and the resulting services, including  compliance and the development of protocols for the engineering domain in ESA.


Facts in a given application domain, i.e. statements about concepts, are encoded in IT systems as statements about representing data elements, often called attributes. Therefore models, including integrity rules, are needed to describe these encoding transformations for new systems to be developed, as well as for the migration or integration of legacy systems.


Many such models, and methods for applying them, exist. Entity-Relationship (ER) modeling is widely used in practice for that perspective. Probably the most widely used modeling language is UML, a language typically supporting the object oriented programming perspective. Many services deployed in commercial practice make use of XML schemas as models or patterns for representation of facts. What is generally lacking in those approaches is a well-engineered domain specific modeling protocol that can guide a conceptual modeler in deriving a semantically validated application model of an application in a given domain.



FBM 2017 Workshop Theme: Versatility in conceptual modeling


Fact Based Modeling emerges as a fundamentally conceptual, deep structure natural-language-based approach to modeling, specifying and querying the information content of business domains by formally identifying and expressing underlying deep structure facts of interest. Such facts and the rules that govern them are to be explicitly agreed within given stakeholder communities and verbalized in a formal language, yet readily understandable by all stakeholders and users operating within those (business) domains. Facts are the understandable encoding of semantics and a fact based model represents the consensus between the various stakeholders. It should be obvious that the correct handling of meaning, or semantics, of concepts and facts is crucial to the success of any modeling methodology for this purpose.

The way to get to the modeling results, i.e. a truly conceptual IT-independent schema for a given application in a given domain (i.e. complex technical projects, administration, compliance, legislation, regulation), however, needs to be the most effective (it leads to complete semantically correct results), and most efficient (it leads to the results with the least possible sacrifices). To achieve this, the FBM community is now developing modeling protocols for different domains, e.g. complex engineering, regulation based services, compliance and administrative business domains.

Fact Based Modeling has been used successfully in industry for over 35 years, and is taught in universities around the world. The University of Maastricht has introduced a FBM Course in 2017 in the department Data Science & Knowledge Engineering. The fact based modeling approach comprises a family of closely related languages and methods, the oldest  being NIAM (Natural language Information Analysis), followed by Object-Role Modeling (ORM), Cognition enhanced NIAM (CogNIAM),  Fully Communication Oriented Information Modeling (FCO-IM), Deploying Ontology-Grounded Methods and Applications (DOGMA) and Grounding Ontologies in Social Process by Language (GOSPL). An important addition to the family of fact based approaches was the adoption in 2007 of the well-known Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Rules (SBVR) proposal by the Object Management Group (OMG).

Commercial tools supporting the fact based approach are also entering the market, yet exchange of professional experience obtained in large scale projects and important fundamental and applied research remains to be done. What is needed are tools that will support a sustainable integrated modeling approach where stakeholders’ individual perspectives are respected, while at the same time becoming part of an integrated model that provides bridges to a stakeholder’s “legacy” systems, such that investments are protected. The workshop organizers therefore posit that e.g. for so-called Big Data services that critically depend on meaningful agreements on heterogeneous and autonomous resources, that methodologies based on Fact Based Modeling will play an increasingly crucial role. The workshop organizers especially look forward to papers and experiences arguing this fact (pro or contra, of course).



Goals and Topics:

The main goal of this workshop is to provide a dynamic forum for professional practitioners, researchers and users interested in exchanging experience with, or aiming to introduce, integrated modeling in organizations, where possible supported by software. This interest may include the languages, methods and protocols used, the exchange of best practices, or merely reports on research and implementation ideas and results. The FBM Workshop provides practitioners, users and researchers have opportunity to present their research papers and best practice reports, and to take part in open discussions and panels, all with the aim to advance a durable approach to customer oriented integrated services. Relevant topics include (but are not limited to) empirical exploration of theoretical and fact based modeling methods, as well as case studies and experience reports related to:
•    Durable integrated conceptual models
•    Domain specific modeling protocols
•    Domain specific languages for regulations based services
•    Legal domain incl. compliance
•    A FBM model of laws, regulations and associated services
•    Theory and principles of fully integrated durable models
•    Theory for the development of interfaces between durable models and IT technologies
•    Theory and principles of fact based modeling, including data, rules and processes
•    Industrial experience with integrated modeling
•    Industrial experience with supporting software for modeling of regulation based services
•    Application of fact based  modeling to data warehousing and business intelligence
•    Fact based integration of business data and information, processes, rules and events, communication and definitions
•    The durable modeling of laws and regulations as a basis for service provision
•    Fact based modeling and ontologies
•    Generic (meta models) for fact based modeling and business practice
•    Fact based meta modeling best practices
•    Textual languages for declaration and/or verbalization of fact based durable models
•    Fact based modeling and validation of rules
•    Fact based application generation
•    Educational experience with fact based modeling
•    Fact based modeling of business processes, workflows and services
•    Temporal issues in fact based modeling (time travel in laws and regulations)
•    Fact based modeling in relation to data quality
•    Agent-oriented extensions to fact based modeling
•    Tools to support fact based modeling and business practice
•    Fact based query languages
•    Transforming fact based models to/from other models



Intended Audience:

The workshop is primarily aimed at practitioners, researchers and users interested in true conceptual modeling approaches for the analysis and design of information systems and ontologies, including modeling of data, processes and events, rules, communication and concept definitions. Attendees have the opportunity to update and deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area, as well as attending any of the other workshops of OTM 2016. Attendees less familiar with integrated approaches have an ideal opportunity to learn about the FBM approaches from world experts in the area, and evaluate its benefits.

Workshop co-chairs:

Robert Meersman, T.U. Graz, Austria    
Peter Bollen, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands    
Hans Mulder, University of Antwerp, Belgium     
Maurice Nijssen, PNA, The Netherlands



Important Dates:

Workshop Abstract Submission Deadline: July 25, 2017
Full Paper Submission Deadline: August 01, 2017
Acceptance Notification:  Aug 21, 2017
Camera Ready Due:  Aug 30, 2017
Registration Due: Aug 30, 2017
Second Camera Ready Upload (optional): 1st December 2017



Submission Guidelines:

Submitted papers will be evaluated by at least three program committee members, based on practical relevance, contribution to durable integrated modeling, significance, technical soundness, and clarity of expression. Submissions must be in English. The first page should begin with the paper title followed by author names and affiliations and an abstract of at most 150 words. Papers may discuss practical experience and/or academic research, should be of at most 5,000 words (excluding references), and should not exceed 10 pages in the final camera-ready format. Typically, standard papers are allocated 45 minutes for presentation. Accepted papers will be included in the Springer proceedings.


Only electronic submissions in Adobe PDF format are acceptable. Abstracts and papers should be submitted to the following site:


The proceedings will be published in Springer’s LNCS (Lecture Notes in Computer Science) series. The final paper format is the Springer LNCS style, as described at Failure to commit to presentation at the workshop automatically excludes a paper from the proceedings.

Program committee (Invited and/or accepted):


Ed Barkmeyer, NIST, USA
Roel Baardman, Independent consultant, The Netherlands
Herman Balsters, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Hans van Bommel, Oelan, The Netherlands
Peter Bollen, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Cory Casanave, Model Driven Solutions, USA
Matthew Curland, ORM Solutions, USA
David Cuyler, Sandia National Laboratories, USA
Robert van Doesburg, Immigration and Naturalisation Service, The Netherlands

Harald Eisenmann, Airbus Defence & Space, Germany
Tom van Engers, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Gordon Everest, University of Minnesota, USA
William Frank, FIBO
Pat Hallock, InConcept, USA
Terry Halpin, Australia

Clifford Heath, Data Constellation, Australia
Stijn Hoppenbrouwers, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Arnhem, The Netherlands
Paul Iske, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Mustafa Jarrar, Birzeit University, Palestine
Inge Lemmens, PNA, The Netherlands
Dirk van der Linden, Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology
Mariette Lokin, Ministry of Finance, The Netherlands
Robert Meersman, TU Graz, Austria
Tony Morgan, INTI International University, Malaysia
Hans Mulder, University of Antwerp, the Netherlands

Ellen Munthe-Kaas, University of Oslo, Norway
David Newman, Wells Fargo, USA
Maurice Nijssen, PNA, The Netherlands
Sjir Nijssen, PNA, The Netherlands
Leo Obrst, MITRE, USA
Baba Piprani, Meta Global Systems, Canada

Erik Proper, Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology
Mark von Rosing, Global University Alliance
Jos Rozendaal, Braincap, The Netherlands

Pierre Schlag, Professor of Law, University of Colorado
Robert Schmaal, The Netherlands

John Sowa, USA
Peter Spyns, Flemish Authority, Dept. of Economy, Scinece & Innovation, Belgium
Peter Straatsma, Taxation Office, The Netherlands
Serge Valera, European Space Agency, The Netherlands
Jan Vanthienen, University of Leuven, Belgium
Jos Vos, ABP/AMC, Heerlen, The Netherlands
Adrian Walker, Executable Open English, USA

For more information on the workshop, please contact:
Prof. dr. Robert Meersman ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Dr. Peter Bollen ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Maurice Nijssen, MSc (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Prof. dr. Hans Mulder (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)