Conceptualisations formalised in ontologies provide an interface between people (e.g. between modellers and stakeholders), people and computers (e.g. data entry), and help to ensure interoperability between software elements (e.g. communication between agents). As such, ontologies are useful for modelling purposes: with a formal definition of concepts no misunderstanding about the intended meaning is possible. This is in particular important for models developed by people with various backgrounds, when combining models of different domains and when incorporating multiple data sources. Koen van Dam and James Keirstead will talk about a number of agent-based models of energy systems and supply chains and the role of building blocks and interoperability in the model development. Furthermore, the question whether a shared ontology of energy systems is desirable and/or feasible will be addressed.
Koen van Dam is a post-doc in the Energy & Industry group at the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management of the University of Technology in Delft (TU Delft). He received his MSc degree in Artificial Intelligence from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and a PhD degree from TU Delft for his thesis "Capturing socio-technical systems with agent-based modelling" on the use of ontologies for modelling infrastructures. He currently works as visiting researcher in the Urban Energy Systems project at Imperial College in London.
Dr James Keirstead is a Research Fellow and Team Leader with the BP Urban Energy Systems project at Imperial College London. His research focuses on the integrated modelling of urban energy systems, as well as urban energy policy issues. He received a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2006 for his thesis on consumer behaviour and microgeneration.