Knowledge Systems, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Stanford University


Deborah L. McGuinness

Contact Information:

353 Serra Hall
Gates Building 2A

Room 241, M/C 9020 
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305 
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Tel: (650) 723-9770 
Stanford Fax: (650) 725-5850 
Home Office Fax: (650) 852 9096 
Email: d l m at k s l dot stanford dot edu 

Dr. Deborah McGuinness is the acting director and senior research scientist at the Knowledge Systems, (KSL) Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Stanford University. She is a leading expert in knowledge representation and reasoning languages and systems and has worked in ontology creation and evolution environments for over 20 years. Most recently, Deborah is best known for her leadership role in semantic web research, and for her work on explanation, trust, and applications of semantic web technology, particularly for scientific applications. Deborah is co-editor of the Ontology Web Language which has emerged from web ontology working group of the World Wide Web (W3C) semantic web activity and has now achieved W3C Recommendation status. She helped start the web ontology working group out of work as a co-author of the DARPA Agent Markup Language program's DAML language. She helped form the Joint EU/US Agent Markup Language Committee which evolved the DAML language into the DAML+OIL description logic-based ontology language. She is a co-author of one of the more widely used long-lived description logic systems (CLASSIC) from Bell Laboratories. Her work on languages (including OWL, DAML+OIL, OIL, CLASSIC, etc.) is aimed at providing languages that enable the next generation of web applications moving from a web aimed at human consumption to the semantic web aimed at machine consumption in support of intelligent assistants and web agents. Deborah is a leader in ontology-based tools and applications. She is a co-author and technical leader of the Stanford KSL ontology evolution environment. She also consulted to help VerticalNet design and build its Ontobuilder/Ontoserver ontology evolution environment. She also provided technical leadership for the Stanford project to help Cisco systems form its ontology evolution plan for its meta data formation work.
Deborah's main research thrusts are in languages, tools, and environments for the semantic web. Deborah leads the Stanford Inference Web (IW) effort. IW provides a framework for increasing trust in answers from heterogeneous systems by explaining how the answers were derived and what they depended on. Inference Web supports this goal by providing infrastructure and an implemented web-based environment for storing, exchanging, combining, annotating, comparing, search for, validating, and rendering proofs and proof fragments provided by reasoners and query answering systems. Inference web is being used as an infrastructure for explanations in a number of DARPA, DTO, and NSF projects and in a few demonstration systems including the Explainable Semantic Discovery Service and the KSL wine agent. Deborah led the wine agent project as an early semantic web services demonstration system that integrates explanation (via Inference web), semantic web languages (via DAML+OIL and OWL), semantic web query languages (via OWL-QL), and web services (via OWL-S).

Selected Funded Research Efforts:

Deborah plays a leading role in some government-funded research programs for Stanford KSL including:
  • Co-Investigator and project lead for the Stanford Knowledge Systems effort on the DARPA Integrated Learning (IL) program. The project is called GILA and it is a joint effort with Lockheed Martin. Deborah leads the explanation and ontology work.
  • Co-Investigator and project lead for Stanford Knowledge Systems effort on the DARPA Personalized Assistant that Learns (PAL) program. The project is called CALO and it is a joint effort with SRI. Deborah leads the explanation effort.
  • Co-Investigator and project lead for Stanford Knowledge Systems effort on the NSF Cybertrust program. The Transparent Accountable Data Mining project is a joint effort with MIT/W3C.
  • Co-Investigator and project lead for the Stanford Knowledge Systems effort on DARPA Agent Markup Language program. The project is called Tools for DAML-Based Services, Document Templates, and Query Answering . That project's goal is to create technologies that will enable software agents to dynamically identify and understand information sources, and to provide interoperability between agents in a semantic manner.

    A few past large research efforts include:
  • Co-Investigator and technical lead for the explanation component of the DARPA seedling effort on Explainable Knowledge Aggregation.
  • Technical lead for explanation in Stanford's Novel Intelligence for Massive Data project for ARDA.
  • Co-Investigator and project lead for Rapid Knowledge Formation effort . The project's goal was to allow distributed teams of subject matter experts to quickly and easily generate, use, and modify knowledge bases without the aid of knowledge representation and reasoning experts.
  • Technical lead for explanation in Stanford's Advanced Question and Answering for Intelligence project for ARDA .
  • Project lead for the KSL High Performance Knowledge Base project . This program was aimed at improving how computers acquire, represent, and manipulate knowledge. Stanford's focus in this program was on building, distributing, and evolving collaborative and individual knowledge bases and in building rich environments for manipulating knowledge. One technical effort she led was the Chimaera Ontology Environment that focuses on ontology evolution with special emphasis on merging ontologies and analyzing ontologies for possible or provable problems.
  • Co-Investigator and project lead for the Stanford Knowledge Systems Laboratory Cisco project which resulted in the ontology-enhanced site.
  • Co-Investigator and project lead for the Stanford Knowledge Systems Laboratory Vertical Net project which resulted in the Vertical Net Ontology Evolution Environment (OntoBuilder / OntoServer).

    Research and Application Areas:

    Deborah's main application areas have included:

    Education and Research Lab History:

    Deborah holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from Duke University, a M.S in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rutgers University. She joined Stanford in 1998 after having spent 18 years at AT&T Labs--Research (previously AT&T Bell Laboratories).

    Publications, Patents, and Talks:

    Deborah has published over 100 papers. For a list of publications, lectures, and patents click here .
    Deborah's citations are also listed according to:
    Google Scholar

    A few recent or upcoming invited talks include: Many more invited talks and links are included on Deborah's cv.

    Professional Activities:

    Deborah continues her thrust of helping to form community around semantic integration of scientific information by co-organizing meetings and workshops on the topic. The latest one will be held at the the American Geophysical Union fall meeting (a meeting attended by over 10,000 natural scientists) with a workshop on cyberinfrastructure. She co-organized a workshop on Earth and Space Science Ontologies at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab on May 26, 2006 and a workshop session of the 2006 AGU spring meeting on Semantic Scientific Data Integration on May 25, 2006. Deborah convened a workshop session of the 2005 fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union on Ontologies for Earth and Space Sciences in San Francisco in December, 2005. Deborah delivered a tutorial on Ontologies 101 Revisited for the Semantic Technology Conference 2006 and on the semantic web at the 2005 National Conference for the Artificial Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) in Pittsburgh. She also co-chaired a workshop on Contexts and Ontologies also at AAAI2005.
    Deborah was program chair at the 2004 meeting of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. Some past community service includes being program chair for the Eighth International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR2002) , co-host of the July 2002 working group meeting of the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Ontology Working Group, sponsor chair of the International Semantic Web Conference, cochair for the International Workshop on Description Logics 2001, cochair for the first International Semantic Web Workshop . At this international semantic web meeting, we formed the International Semantic Web Science Foundation and also started the internal semantic web conference series.

    Deborah is on the executive steering board for Semantic Web Science Foundation and the Oregon State University Ecosystem Informatics Division. She served previous terms on the executive boards of International Description Logics, American Association for Artificial Intelligence, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning , and
    Deborah is an associate editor of the ACM Transactions on Internet Technology. She is also an area editor for a journal on Modeling Semantics of Web Information: Theory, Methods, and Applications. It is part of ETAI (Electronic Transactions on Artificial Intelligence) . She is also on the editorial board for ICCS. She co-edited a book on description logics now available from Cambridge University Press and the book entitled The Emerging Semantic Web.

    She also consults in the areas of the semantic web, scientific data integration, ontologies and ontology environments, AI for e-commerce, knowledge organization and management, internet AI applications, and configuration. She is on the technical advisory board for a few startup companies including Buildfolio, Katalytik , Radar Networks, and Sandpiper Software. She served on the technology advisory boards of three companies and helped them through acquisition: Applied Semantics ( acquired by Google), Guru (acquired by Unicru), and Cerebra, whose assets were acquired by WebMethods.

    Curriculum Vitae:

    Academic resume is available. A short description is available for publicity from here .

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