I am not sure why we seem to keep missing each other. (02)
Adam Pease wrote: (03)
> It's true that even a formal ontology is created by humans, and that
> the logic may not fully capture the intended meaning of the human.
> It's also true that the results of any automated computation must be
> interpreted somehow. The lack of sufficiency of a technique under all
> possible uses is not an argument against its necessity however.
> Such an argument therefore does not negate the benefits of being
> able to do automated computation. A reasonable analogy might be to
> arithmetic, where although people must interpret the results with
> respect to the real world, and people can do arithmetic by hand, there
> is still great benefit in having a machine do as much automated
> computation as possible. Such computation would not be possible
> without mathematical and computable definitions for the mathematical
> terms and symbols. (04)
I have not argued against the benefits of or the need for automated
> The main point is that without a mathematical definition for the
> symbols, as is the case in a terminological ontology, one can't do (or
> more broadly, can't do the same number or degree of) automated
> computation. (06)
Sigh, but you just conceded above that that meaning of the symbols is
*not* defined by mathematics. True, after defining the symbols by humans
it is possible to define mathematical relationships between the symbols.
But mathematics has done none of the defining. It is a formal expression
of the definitions provided by humans for the symbols and the
relationships between them. (07)
And yes, doing that permits automated computation. (08)
My question, which I don't think you have answered, is why the world
bank can't define its own symbols and relationships between them? (09)
> The fact that an approach under some broad moniker has failed in the
> past doesn't have much bearing on our present case I think.
And why not? How is the present case different from prior attempts? (010)
Hope you are having a great day! (011)
> At 10:00 AM 4/8/2006, Patrick Durusau wrote:
>> Adam Pease wrote:
>>> I think there's a misunderstanding here. It's not just a question
>>> of precision in the conventional sense. Of course we try to make
>>> our documents and laws precise. But the meaning of those texts is
>>> determined with recourse to human interpretation. In a formal
>>> ontology like SUMO, or DOLCE, one could replace all the term names
>>> with arbitrary unique symbols, and an automated deductive system,
>>> following the rules of mathematical logic (in our case, first order
>>> logic) could reach all the same conclusions as it could if those
>>> intelligible labels were present. The meaning of the symbols is
>>> defined mathematically, and no human interpretation is required to
>>> give them meaning.
>> Yes, there is a misunderstanding here.
>> defining a mathematical logic between arbitrary unique symbols !=
>> defining the meaning of arbitrary unique symbols
>> Yes, whatever symbols are substituted, the outcomes of defined
>> operations would be the same.
>> That is not the same as defining the "meaning" of a symbol
>> The "meaning" of a symbol is always determined with recourse to human
>> interpretation. How else would you explain the use of WordNet
>> references in SUMO? Of what possible relevance are WordNet entries if
>> the meaning of symbols is being defined mathematically? The answer is
>> that the "meaning" of the symbols is being defined by making
>> references to something outside of the mathematical definition of
>> relationships between the symbols.
>>> That's relevant because it enables one to do things like prove the
>>> absence of contradictions in the use of these terms with an
>>> automated system. In contrast, without such a property, humans have
>>> to determine whether usage of terminological or linguistic based
>>> standards are compliant. Standards compliance is something I would
>>> think would be relevant to the world bank.
>> Not to put too fine a point on it but you seem to be eliding over the
>> fact that the development of SUMO was based upon human interpretation
>> and construction of the rules that can then be automatically applied.
>> It wasn't simply a matter of putting mathematical rules in a box of
>> symbols and shaking it until the result suddenly appeared.
>> The compliance the world bank (or any other concern) is interested in
>> is compliance with their terms, which may or may not use the same
>> rules for complaince that can be found in SUMO. Yes, logic can prove
>> a lack of contradiction but then so can careful definition of terms
>> and what is or is not considered to be a conflict.
>> Note that I do consider SUMO and similar efforts to be worthwhile.
>> But, I don't think that they divorce the meaning of symbols from
>> human interpretation nor are they the best solutions for all cases.
>> As I noted earlier today, we have been down the road of universal
>> languages before and none has succeeded to date.
>> Hope you are having a great day!
>>> At 03:08 AM 4/8/2006, Patrick Durusau wrote:
>>>> Adam Pease wrote:
>>>>> 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.
>>>> Language and ontology are different???
>>>> Hmmm, well the foundational paper for SUMO states:
>>>> "In order to enable continued progress in ecommerce and software
>>>> integration, we must give
>>>> computers a common language with a richness that more closely
>>>> approaches that of human
>>>> language." http://home.earthlink.net/~adampease/professional/FOIS.pdf
>>>> Granted a great deal of effort has gone into making SUMO precise,
>>>> but the same could be done for any language. It is interesting but
>>>> not persuasive that its terms have been "defined unambigouously in
>>>> first order logic." And that is relevant for what reason? Perhaps
>>>> first order logic is not relevant to all the problems faced by the
>>>> World Bank. Recall that the current fascination with first order
>>>> logic is a repeat of a debate that has ebbed and flowed for many
>>>> years. Justice Holmes wrote in the 1890's that the life of the law
>>>> had been experience and not logic.
>>>> In any event, there is no reason to disenfranchise the World Bank
>>>> from representing their language/ontology in favor of using SUMO.
>>>> There have been any number of attempts to produce universal
>>>> languages, LogLang is one of the more recent ones.
>>>> There are standards that seek to empower users to define their own
>>>> languages/ontologies and yet remain mappable to others. See, for
>>>> example the Topic Maps Reference Model CD draft at:
>>>> Hope you are having a great day!
>>>> Patrick Durusau
>>>> Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
>>>> Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
>>>> Member, Text Encoding Initiative Board of Directors, 2003-2005
>>>> Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!
>>>> Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
>>>> Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
>>>> Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ To Post:
>>> Adam Pease
>>> http://www.ontologyportal.org - Free ontologies and tools
>> Patrick Durusau
>> Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
>> Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
>> Member, Text Encoding Initiative Board of Directors, 2003-2005
>> Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!
> Adam Pease
> http://www.ontologyportal.org - Free ontologies and tools
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
Member, Text Encoding Initiative Board of Directors, 2003-2005 (014)
Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work! (015)
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To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (016)