Hi Duane --|
Good question (Is it true that a formal ontology is a circular
That would seem to be true of an ordinary dictionary or thesaurus, and
also of wordnet. Perhaps the semantic-value-add is in the relations
that are established between words, and between sentences.
In wordnet, software can directly use the
specialization-generalization relations between words. But
software can not use the relations between wordnet's example sentences
without first solving the "AI-complete" problem of full natural
language understanding by software.
Turning to ontologies, it looks as though an OWL ontology may be able
to exit any circular reference loop by inventing new terminal strings,
such as the URI
or new literals such as "madeFromGrape". Then I guess some
semantic-value-add happens if different groups of people start to use
the same URI or literal to mean the same thing.
However, I'm uneasy about the lack of relations between English
sentences in OWL. The only place these occur is in comments that
machines don't use, yet the sentences are obviously a rich repository
of real world meaning.
For more semantic-value-add, one can think of syllogisms. A syllogism
can be viewed as an executable rule that establishes a relation
between English sentences -- a relation that the machines can use
Just my 2 cents worth. I hope other folks will dive into this.
Cheers, -- Adrian
Internet Business Logic -- online at www.reengineeringllc.com
Reengineering LLC, PO Box 1412, Bristol, CT 06011-1412, USA
Phone 860 583 9677 Mobile 860 830 2085 Fax 860 314 1029
Duane Nickull wrote:
Thank you for this feedback. I had a thought strike me whilst
reading. Please forgive the naive nature of this question.
Is it true that a formal ontology is a circular reference pattern,
albeit a very indirect, complicated and very large one? Does any
definition assume the knowledge of other axioms in a model, that
themselves may be dependent upon the definition one is trying to
This is probably a newbie question answered in Ontology 101.