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Re: [health-ont] Re: [ontolog-forum] proceedings from the Thu 2005-01-

To: "[health-ont] " <health-ont@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Adam Pease <adampease@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2005 13:41:25 -0800
Message-id: <>
   Nicolas raises an important point about ontology modularity.  There are 
two viewpoints one can take about modularity and both are important.  One, 
from the standpoint of modularity being needed to aid human understanding 
or a large product.  Two, from the standpoint of modularity being needed in 
order to make computer implementation efficient from a space or speed 
   It should be possible for a human to learn only the portions of an 
ontology that are needed for a particular application.  Dependencies should 
be clear, and modules that don't depend on each other should be 
separate.  That is the case in SUMO, which has 11 separable modules and a 
documented dependency structure.  The roughly two dozen different domain 
ontologies and topics which extend SUMO are also provided in separate 
files.  More work does need to be done to document the dependencies of the 
domain ontologies however.
   With regard to implementation we should look at the model of modern 
programming languages such as Java, which provide extensive libraries, but 
only compile into binary form those which are actually used by a particular 
program.  I've taken the same approach in implementing formal ontology 
applications.  While extensive ontology definitions are available, only 
what is actually used gets put into the running application.  The 
availability of resources does not necessarily slow or increase the size of 
a running application which uses those resources.    (01)

Adam Pease
http://www.ontologyportal.org - Free ontologies and tools    (02)

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