Role of Ontologies in Measuring Supply Chain Performance

When and Where

Monday, January 25, 2021 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm


Professor Mark Fox, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Computer Science Associate Director (Research), School of Cities Distinguished Professor of Urban Systems Engineering Founding Director, Centre for Social Services Engineering Head,


Supply chains are complex, dynamic, global systems whose operational management requires the realtime integration of information from a plethora of sources. This gives rise to a multitude of data issues, the foremost being semantic interoperability, and others including traceability of resources and measurement of system performance. This presentation will provide an introduction to Ontologies and provide examples of their application to supply chains drawn from 30 years of research in the Enterprise Integration Lab at UofT.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Fox received his BSc in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 1975, and his PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1983. In 1979 he was a founding member of the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University as well as the founding Director of the Intelligent Systems Laboratory within the Institute. He co-founded Carnegie Group Inc. in 1984, a software company that specialized in Artificial Intelligence-based systems for solving engineering, manufacturing, and telecommunications problems, and was its Vice-President of Engineering and President/CEO. Carnegie Mellon University appointed him Associate Professor of Computer Science and Robotics in 1987 (with tenure in 1991). In 1988 he was the founding Director of the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Decision Systems at Carnegie Mellon. In 1991, Dr. Fox returned to the University of Toronto where he was appointed the NSERC Research Chairholder in Enterprise Integration, and Professor of Industrial Engineering and Computer Science. In 1992, he was appointed Director of the Collaborative Program in Integrated Manufacturing. In 1993, Dr. Fox co-founded and was CEO Novator Systems Ltd., a pioneer in E-Retail software and services. From 1994-98 is represented Canada on the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Global Program Scientific Committee. In 2013 he was appointed a Senior Fellow of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, and an Academic Advisor to the iCity Lab, Singapore Management University. In 2014, he was the founding director of the Centre for Social Services Engineering in the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering who goal is to apply engineering principles to the design and delivery of social services to the vulnerable in our society.In 2015 he was named a University of Toronto Distinguished Professor of Urban Systems Engineering.

Watch the recording of the webinar below


This is a School of Cities Seminar Series "Building Resilience in Food and Health Supply Chains"

Supply chains are the primary societal infrastructure for the production, delivery, and recycling of goods and services. Though sometimes invisible, supply chains are the systems that ensure that flour is available in your grocery store, that hospitals have sufficient personal protective equipment, and that there are enough trained staff to administer medical tests, deliver babies, and check-out your groceries. While much of the effort in supply chains over the past 50 years has been to make them agile, fast, and cheap, there is a growing realization that supply chains must be able to adapt to disruptions from local events such as the inability for a plane to land due to weather to global changes such as the closing of the US-Canada border due to COVID-19. 

This seminar series seeks to develop a multi-disciplinary understanding of resilient supply chains by examining two which are of critical importance to everyday life: food and health supply chains. The talks in this series look at these supply chains, both independently and together, through the inclusion of diverse speakers representing at least the following perspectives:

  • Supply Chain Optimization
  • Northern and Remote Food and Health Security
  • Urban Food Systems
  • Systems of Food Production
  • Healthcare Systems