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Re: [ontolog-forum] Visual Complexity

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx
Cc: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Rex Brooks <rexb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 05:05:32 -0800
Message-id: <p06240509c1e795b723df@[]>
Thanks Kathryn,    (01)

Well said for wee hours rambling, and I hope we hear more from you.    (02)

Rex    (03)

At 1:06 AM -0500 2/1/07, Kathryn Blackmond Laskey wrote:
>  >...there are the basic quality principles:
>>   >
>>>A quality ontology is "fit for purpose".
>As a decision theorist, I'm hearing utility.
>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.
>An ontology may be more or less useful to different people, depending
>on which uses is more important to each.
>>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'.
>Ontologies support interoperability of systems.
>Ontologies provide reference vocabularies that allow different groups
>of people to understand each other's terminology and communicate
>their ideas to each other.
>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.
>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.
>Ontologies provide a vocabulary for describing the data in your
>database, the capabilities of your software, the kinds of analyses
>you can do.
>Ontologies support maintainability and reusability of code, by
>explicitly representing semantic information that formerly was buried
>in undocumented data structures.
>Ontologies support understandability, transparency, and
>accountability  of software by opening up formerly buried aspects of
>algorithms to the light of scientific debate.
>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.
>>OK. Can I translate 'support a purpose' into
>>'entails a set of sentences'?
>Only by doing some degree of violence to the intent.
>>...so a good ontology provides
>>insight as well as mere description?
>Oh, YES!!!
>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.
>Same goes for ontologies.
>Enough of these wee-hours ramblings.
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>    (04)

Rex Brooks
President, CEO
Starbourne Communications Design
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison
Berkeley, CA 94702
Tel: 510-849-2309    (05)

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