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Re: [ontolog-forum] Visual Complexity

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx
Cc: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Kathryn Blackmond Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2007 01:06:25 -0500
Message-id: <p06110437c1e72ed25a62@[]>
>...there are the basic quality principles:
>  >
>>A quality ontology is "fit for purpose".    (01)

As a decision theorist, I'm hearing utility.    (02)

We have some uses in mind when we build an ontology.  We measure how 
well it performs for the uses we have in mind.  Its overall utility 
is some form of aggregation of these metrics.    (03)

An ontology may be more or less useful to different people, depending 
on which uses is more important to each.    (04)

>Great. Chris Menzel said something like this
>also. Now I want to know what a purpose is. Not a
>definition, but some entries in a list of 'uses
>for ontologies'.    (05)

Ontologies support interoperability of systems.    (06)

Ontologies provide reference vocabularies that allow different groups 
of people to understand each other's terminology and communicate 
their ideas to each other.    (07)

Ontologies provide precise (more or less depending on degree of 
formalization) definitions for terms, and thus help communities to 
develop a clearer understanding of the theories and concepts that 
underly their domains.    (08)

Ontologies provide vocabularies for consumers to search on to 
identify providers who can meet their needs. Ontologies provide 
vocabularies for providers to advertise their capabilities.  You 
might consider this a special case of interoperation, but I think 
it's worth calling out separately.    (09)

Ontologies provide a vocabulary for describing the data in your 
database, the capabilities of your software, the kinds of analyses 
you can do.    (010)

Ontologies support maintainability and reusability of code, by 
explicitly representing semantic information that formerly was buried 
in undocumented data structures.    (011)

Ontologies support understandability, transparency, and 
accountability  of software by opening up formerly buried aspects of 
algorithms to the light of scientific debate.    (012)

That's a few off the top of my head.  There are more, but it's bed 
time on the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S.    (013)

>OK. Can I translate 'support a purpose' into
>'entails a set of sentences'?    (014)

Only by doing some degree of violence to the intent.    (015)

>...so a good ontology provides
>insight as well as mere description?    (016)

Oh, YES!!!    (017)

It is common wisdom in the operations research and decision support 
communities that the purpose of a model is insight, not an answer. 
Giving the answer (42, of course!) without insight about what it 
MEANS in the context of the problem faced by the model's consumer is 
worse than useless.    (018)

Same goes for ontologies.    (019)

Enough of these wee-hours ramblings.    (020)

Kathy    (021)

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