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[ontolog-forum] Ontolog Invited Speakers - Mr. Jack Park & Mr. Patrick

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Peter P. Yim" <peter.yim@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 00:50:42 -0700
Message-id: <44488ED2.7040700@xxxxxxxx>

We are pleased to announce that Mr. Jack Park (SRI) and Mr. 
Patrick Durusau (NCITS/V1) will be presenting to the community on 
Thursday, April 27, 2006. Their talk is entitled: "Avoiding 
Hobson's Choice In Choosing An Ontology"    (02)

This is the 3rd event in our series of talks and discussions the 
revolve around the topic: "Ontologizing the Ontolog Body of 
Knowledge" during which this community will explore the "what's" 
and "how's" to the development of a semantically interoperable 
application, using the improved access to the content of Ontolog 
as a case in point.    (03)

*Conference call-in details*:    (04)

Date: Thursday, Apr. 27, 2006
Start Time:  10:30 AM PDT / 1:30 PM EDT / 17:30 UTC
   (World Time:
Session Duration: ~2 Hours
Dial-in Number: +1-641-696-6600 (Iowa)
Participant Access Code: "686564#"
VNC shared-screen support available    (05)

Topic: *Avoiding Hobson's Choice In Choosing An Ontology*    (06)

*Abstract*: (by Jack Park & Patrick Durusau)    (07)

Most users of ontologies have either participated in the 
development of the ontology they use and/or have used it for such 
a period of time that they have taken ownership of it. Like a 
hand that grows to fit a tool, users grow comfortable with 
"their" ontology and can use another only with difficulty and 
possibly high error rates.    (08)

When agencies discuss sharing information, the tendency is to 
offer other participants a "Hobson's Choice" of ontologies. "Of 
course we will use ontology X." which just happens to be the 
ontology of the speaker. Others make similar offers. Much 
discussion follows. But not very often effective integration of 
information.    (09)

In all fairness to the imagined participants in such a 
discussion, unfamiliar ontologies can lead to errors and/or 
misunderstandings that may actually impede the interchange, 
pardon, the accurate interchange information. Super-ontologies 
don't help much when they lack the granularity needed for real 
tasks and simply put off the day of reckoning when actual data 
has to move between agencies.    (010)

The Topic Maps Reference Model is a paradigm for constructing a 
mapping of ontologies that enables users to use "their" 
ontologies while integrating information that may have originated 
in ontologies that are completely foreign or even unknown to the 
user. Such mappings can support full auditing of the process of 
integrating information to enable users to develop a high degree 
of confidence in the mapping.    (011)

Topic maps rely upon the fact that every part of an ontology is 
in fact representing a subject. And the subject that is being 
represented is known from the properties of those 
representatives. Such representatives are called subject proxies 
in the Topic Maps Reference Model. Those properties are used as 
the basis for determining when two or more subject proxies 
represent the same subject. Information from two or more 
representatives of the same subject can be merged together, 
providing users with information about a subject that may not 
have been known in their ontology.    (012)

Park and Durusau explore the philosophical, theoretical and 
practical steps needed to avoid a Hobson's Choice in ontology 
discussions and to use the Topic Maps Reference Model to 
effectively integrate information with a high degree of 
confidence in the results. All while enabling users to use the 
ontology that is most familiar and comfortable for them.    (013)

*About the Speakers*:    (014)

*Mr. Jack Park* is a research scientist in the AI Laboratory at 
SRI, International in Menlo Park. He works with Adam Cheyer's 
integration team on the DARPA-funded CALO project, where he 
created the prototype from which the team evolved the IRIS 
desktop knowledge workstation. During employment with 
VerticalNet, Park served on the XTM Authoring Committee which 
created the XTM topic maps specification, now a part of the ISO 
13250 Topic Maps standard. In a former life, while serving as the 
president of the American Wind Energy Association, Park was 
constructing microprocessor-based weather stations used for 
siting wind energy farms and in agricultural applications. The 
massive amounts of data being collected by those stations led to 
investigations into AI applications in data mining and data 
organization. Ontologies and inference engines naturally 
followed. Park has crafted Java-based inference engines for a 
large banking enterprise, a clinical informatics enterprise, and 
participated in the construction of the VerticalNet B2B ontology 
editor. Park authored _The Wind Power Book_ in 1981, and 
co-authored and edited _XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic 
Maps for the Web_, published in 2002. He has taught university 
courses in renewable energy resources in the U.S., and lectured 
on those subjects in the U.S., parts of Europe and Africa. He 
spends most of his time now evolving applications for subject 
maps related to the Douglas Engelbart call for continuous 
improvement of human capabilities.    (015)

*Mr. Patrick Durusau* is the Chair of V1, the US Technical 
Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34, the committee 
responsible for the development of the Topic Maps family of 
standards. He is a co-editor of ISO 13250-5, the Topic Maps 
Reference Model. . . . In the Fall of 2006 he will be teaching 
what is thought to be the first graduate course devoted 
exclusively to topic maps at the School of Library and 
Information Science at the University of Illinois at 
Urbana-Champaign. . . . He is deeply interested in the 
integration diverse information systems (including ontologies) 
while preserving the ability of users to identify the subjects of 
their conversations in ways that work best for them.    (016)

*Refer to details on the session wiki page at*:
http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?ConferenceCall_2006_04_27    (017)

This will be a virtual session over an augmented conference call. 
The session is expected to start with 45 min. ~ 1 Hour 
presentation followed by an extended discussion between the 
participants and the speaker. The entire session will be recorded 
and made available as open content under the prevailing Ontolog 
IPR policy (see: 
http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid32).    (018)

As usual, this Ontolog event is open to all. I look forward to 
having you at this session. Please pass the announcement along to 
those who might be interested to join us too.    (019)

*RSVP* by by emailing me at <peter.yim@xxxxxxxx> offline.    (020)

Regards. =ppy    (021)

Peter P. Yim
Co-convener, Ontolog
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