Mark S. Fox Seminar: The PolisGnosis Project Enabling the Computational Analysis of City Performance

Monday, 8th June, 2015
5:15pm - 7:00pm
Yudowitz Seminar Room, Wolfson Medical School Building, University of Glasgow

Cities use a variety of metrics to evaluate and compare their performance.  

With the introduction of ISO 37120, which contains over 100 indicators for measuring a city’s quality of life and sustainability, it is now possible to consistently measure and compare cities, assuming they adhere to the standard. The goal of this research is to develop theories, embodied in software, to perform longitudinal analysis (i.e., how and why a city’s indicators change over time) and transversal analysis (i.e., how and why cities differ from each other), in order to discover the root causes of differences. The first phase of this project focuses on the creation of standard representations of city knowledge (i.e., Vocabularies and Ontologies) that can be used to represent indicators and their supporting data and publish them on the Semantic Web. The second phase focuses on the development of consistencyn axioms that automate the determination of whether a city's indicators and supporting data are consistent with the ISO 37120 definitions, and whether they are longitudinally and transversally consistent. The third phase focuses on the development of diagnostic algorithms that identify the root causes of longitudinal and transversal differences. Due to the heterogeneity of the supporting data, the applicability of classical diagnostic techniques is limited. This seminar will summarize the progress to date of all three phases.


Dr Mark S. 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 CMU Robotics Institute as well as the founding Director of the Institute's Intelligent Systems Laboratory. He co-founded Carnegie Group Inc. in 1984, a software company that specialized in Artificial Intelligence-based systems. He was Associate Professor of Computer Science and Robotics at CMU from in 1987 to 1991, In 1988 he was the founding Director of the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Decision Systems in CMU's Robotics Institute. 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 1993, Dr Fox co-founded and was CEO of Novator Systems Ltd., a pioneer in E-Retail software and services. In 2014 he became the founding director of the Center for Social Services Engineering.

Dr Fox pioneered the field of Constraint-Directed Scheduling within Artificial Intelligence and played a significant role in the development of Ontologies for modelling Enterprises. He was the designer of one of the first commercial industrial applications of expert systems: PDS/GENAID, a steam turbine and generator diagnostic system for Westinghouse, which was a recipient of the IR100 in 1985 and is still in commercial use at Siemens today. He was the co-creator of the Knowledge Representation SRL from which Knowledge Craft™ and ROCK™, commercial knowledge engineering tools, were derived, and KBS from which several commercial knowledge based simulation tools were derived. His current research focuses on the ontologies, common sense reasoning and their application to Smart Cities.

Dr Fox was elected a Fellow of Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence in 1991, a Joint Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and PRECARN in 1992, and a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada in 2009. Dr Fox has published over 150 papers.


  • 5:25pm – 6:15pm - Dr Mark S. Fox: The PolisGnosis Project Enabling the Computational Analysis of City Performance
  • 6:15pm – 6:30pm - Q&A
  • 6:30pm – 7:00pm - Drinks and canapés reception