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Re: [ontolog-forum] Context, at last!

To: cassidy@xxxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 12:44:22 -0500
Message-id: <2E85E152-14B2-40C2-922E-05030C32083D@xxxxxxxx>
>  Is there any particular theory of context that you find especially  
> convincing?    (01)

Well, "context" itself is such a weasel word that there's no one  
account that does it all.  Various theories have different strengths  
and highlight different aspects of context.  There are several people  
currently doing some very promising work based on McCarthy's original  
ideas (http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/mccarthy93notes.html), but I'm not  
sure anything is available for public consumption yet; I'll pass  
anything on that I hear about.  McCarthy's former students Sasa Buvac  
and Ian Mason did some nice model theoretic work that captures some  
of the more important of McCarthy's intuitions (http:// 
citeseer.ist.psu.edu/buvac93propositional.html; http:// 
citeseer.ist.psu.edu/245732.html; http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/ 
8458.html).  I also like some of the things that Fausto Giunchiglia  
has done quite a lot.  His work stresses  the intentional side of the  
idea of context, where contexts are thought of, roughly, as sets of  
beliefs: http://dit.unitn.it/~fausto.  By contrast, inspired by both  
McCarthy and situation theory, I develop a nonintentional notion of  
context, on which contexts are spatio-temporally extended pieces of  
the world in "The Objective Conception of Context and Its  
Logic" (Minds and Machines 9 (1999) pp. 29-56, online at http:// 
philebus.tamu.edu/cmenzel/Papers/mm-paper.pdf).    (02)

Useful surveys are found in Patrick Brezillon's "Context in  
Artificial Intelligence: I. A Survey of the literature" (http:// 
citeseer.ist.psu.edu/502745.html) and Akman and Surav's "Steps Toward  
Formalizing Context" (http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/akman96steps.html).    (03)

-chris    (04)

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