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Re: [ontolog-forum] April 20 session on tagging ontolog content

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Adam Pease <apease@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006 09:15:42 -0700
Message-id: <>
   For what it's worth, I think there is a common problem surfacing 
here, that Bill has tried to point out.  Language and ontology are 
different.  Human language (and any given word in a human language) 
is ambiguous and highly contextual.  Terms in an ontology are not 
ambiguous (or at least, shouldn't be if they are properly and 
formally defined).
   Typically, this has been a problem, because computational 
linguists have often used linguistic elements as pseudo-logical terms 
in semantic forms.  Ontology builders often use linguistic elements 
as proxies for doing a full semantic definition, leaving much of the 
interpretation embedded in the conventional meaning of the 
linguistic-based term.
   The approach we've taken in SUMO is to make this distinction 
explicit, and to address language and ontology in separate but 
related products.  SUMO is the formal ontology with terms defined 
unambiguously in first order logic.  Those terms are related through 
semi-formal links to the word senses in Princeton's WordNet.    (01)

Adam    (02)

At 08:58 AM 4/7/2006, dbedford@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
>This is exactly a point I will illustrate in the approach to building an
>ontology next week.   The context is critical.  You will never solve the
>semantic problems unless you can contextualize.  And, we will forever argue
>about words and ideas and concepts - and never make any substantial progress.
>This is why you cannot really tackle the semantic problems from the top down -
>it will never work except at such a primitive level that the results are
>Entity here is being used in the context of a reference model.   It is a
>representation or data structure which includes attributes and can 
>be decomposed
>into elements.   If I were to use the concept entity as a descriptor within an
>attribute that context would give it a different meaning.
>We must expect multiple meanings, and not assume that without 
>there can be any resolution.   This is simply the way the human brain works -
>and it is the way that an ontology needs to work, too.
>Best regards,
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>    (03)

Adam Pease
http://www.ontologyportal.org - Free ontologies and tools    (04)

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