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Re: [ontolog-forum] Avoiding Hobson's Choice In Choosing An ntology

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Chris Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 19:10:42 -0500
Message-id: <20060430001042.GR96390@xxxxxxxx>
On Sat, Apr 29, 2006 at 11:19:55AM -0400, Patrick Durusau wrote:
> ...Finally, it is FOL that imposes limitations on mapping.
> Assume that we have an experienced analyst that is reviewing
> information that has been recorded in a subject map using subject
> proxies. Due to their experience, they have reached a conclusion that
> what appears to be two distinct individuals is actually one. A
> conclusion that would result in merging proxies that represent the
> purchaser of weaponized anthrax and a recent entry into the US.
> They may not have an articulable basis for that conclusion and so FOL
> is not going to be of any use.     (01)

I'm not at all sure what an "articulable basis for a conclusion" is, but
why does one need such a basis any more in the case of an identity
assertion than in any other case?  If the analyst comes to believe that
S1 is in Afghanistan, she writes: In(Afghanistan,S1).  If she comes to
believe that individuals S1 and S2 are one and the same, she writes: 
S1 = S2.    (02)

> Should they simply not request merging the proxies on the basis of
> their judgment (assume the analyst is also identified as a subject)
> since they have no way to express it in FOL?  Hardly, one has a
> merging rule that says Analyst X says proxy A and proxy B represent
> the same subject. Utterly outside of FOL.     (03)

Not at all, though of course you need to use first-order theories that
enable you to express information about the appropriate objects,
properties, and relations.  In particular, your rule above is easily
formalized in a first-order theory that contains appropriate operators
and terms to represent beliefs and/or assertions.  There are numerous
first-order frameworks in which this is possible.    (04)

> Apologies for the length to anyone who has gotten this far. I deeply
> respect the power of FOL and think it should be used whenever
> appropriate. But the key word in that statement is *appropriate.*    (05)

Seems to me it is *always* appropriate when the point is representation;
I mean, why tie your hands expressively if the point is to get the
nature and structure of the relevant information right?  That said, of
course, one might well use a weaker logic, or a non-classical logic, if,
say tractable or defeasible reasoning is needed.    (06)

Chris Menzel    (07)

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