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Re: [ontolog-forum] Visual Complexity

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2007 10:58:57 +0700
Message-id: <c09b00eb0702011958j71451071ua147ec073435ea3c@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Pat,
before I start my reply (set aside chunk of day) let me just say what
I said to all your good friends who wrote to me  yesterday and what we
have already cleared off list- this is not strictly a personal
exchange, and should not be, rather you and I are playing roles in
this debate. The virtual amphitheater. Our statements  are bold, and
call for bold replies.    (01)

I have actually seen your profile the first day that you sent a reply
to one of my posts, and I have seen that you are senior researcher
with qualifications and experience in maths and AI - both of which I
have limited knowledge  about - When I said 'i dont know who Pat is -
I was referring to the fact that I do not see how maths and AI
expertise qualify  someone to rule on everything that there is the
world of knowledge today,.It may sound like a joke but it's true, I
dont  think that the fact that you are a clever and nice guy - as you
certainly are - means that you understand everything about ontology
and semantics. I would actually quite argue the contrary, that set
preconceived knowledge in one particular
area of science sometimes restricts our perspective. (thats what I
mean by narrow)    (02)

I am definitely learning things on this list, although it is proving a
very intensive task and I may have to switch to digest  mode.  I just
fear that people who have so much knowledge in one field , and rely
heavily on it and base the rest of their reasoning solely on their
perspective inevitably find it impossible to see reality detached from
their opinions.
But reality rearely corresponds to an opinion.    (03)

Let me get back to (some of) your points below, with additional
references - I will then hurry back to my deadlines    (04)

first - my use of the word 'ontology'    (05)

I dont consider OWL as the archetype of ontology. ontology is not just OWL
I refere to ontology as conceptual frameworks,  Gruber's first definition.
An ontology is first formed at conceptual level (design)  being
inmplemented is the last step. So i refer to ontology as 'conceptual
and semantic references (set of terms, not just words)    (06)

PH. Overall, as stated, it is an odd
> combination of asking for technology which is
> already routinely deployed, and asking for the
> impossible.    (07)

routinely deployed does not mean 'good' satisfactory, nor effective.
Impossible? Is this the same 'impossible' that people said when people
wanted to cross the sky, or go to the moon, or develop the internet? I
would be very careful in defining 'possible' and 'impossible' these
days    (08)

> 1. I really don't think it makes sense to ask for
> "a ... set of agreed terms... that embodies and
> represents and synthesizes all available, valid
> knowledge that is deemed to pertain to a given
> domain"
> It is the 'all's here that make this impossible.    (09)

for you, Pat. For me, it is possible . I say ' all available and valid
I dont have a problem compiling such directories.    (010)

> One can never get ALL the available, valid
> knowledge about anything. One can only hope to
> get a workable amount, and attempt to keep it
> unpolluted by falsehood and reasonably up to date
> and so forth.    (011)

I agree we may have restrict the set, but I insist that we have the
capabilities today to be ambitious and the only limit to such ambition
is the limit of our vision. How far can you see Pat?
okay 'all available'= 'all available knowledge that can be put
together within given constraints'
> Second, though, what does it mean to say that a
> set of terms - what I would call a vocabulary -
> can "embody" knowledge?
Not just vocabulary - terms as 'conditions' , things which are 'true'
Again, you seem to infer that your interpretation of a meaning is the
only one. Your interpetation is correct, but there are wider
interpretations out there that I beg you to consider before you come
your conclusions. A term is many things. look it up.    (012)

Terms are just, well,
> terms. The knowledge is represented by larger
> structures - axioms, sentences, diagrams, texts,
> ontologies, topic maps, whatever - which
> themselves contain and use the terms and, in the
> final analysis, give the terms meaning.    (013)

They are all simply 'terms' as agreed convention. A term is an agreed
convention Pat
what you name above are all terms. so maybe i need to clarify what is
'terms of an ontology' are not just the words, but all the knowledge
representation artifacts used
to define the ontology    (014)

wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn    (015)

> 2. Just an aside, but this sentence seems to
> indicate a misunderstanding about how ontologies
> are actually built these days:    (016)

Please note, that ontologies these days are not built very well    (017)

> "Among the barrier to adoption for Ontology,
> current research identifies not only different
> linguistic, conceptual and cultural differences,
> but also knowledge and point of view differences
> that set apart academics  who generally develop
> ontologies and related tools and methodologies 
> from experts  who understand lingo and the
> dynamics - system developers  programmers,
> systems designers and end users at large."    (018)

I am referring specifically to some realities in current environments
- distributed knowledge
- distributed organisations
- collective decision making
- collective knowledge building    (019)

see here    (020)

ntology-Driven Intelligent Decision Support of OOTW Operations,
Alexander Smirnov, Michael Pashkin, Nikolai Chilov,    (021)

Tatiana Levashova, St.Petersburg Institute for Informatics and
Automation of the Russian Academy of Sciences,    (022)

ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel5/9771/30814/01427137.pdf    (023)

Holger Knublauch, Ramblings on Agile Methodologies and Ontology-Driven
Software Development, Position Paper for    (024)

the Workshop on Semantic Web Enabled Software Engineering, 2005    (025)

Ontology Engineering: A Reality Check. Elena Paslaru Bontas Simperl.
1. and Christoph Tempich. 2. 1. Free University    (026)

of Berlin, Takustr. ...ontocom.ag-nbi.de/docs/odbase2006.pdf    (027)

Exploring Balkanet Shared Ontology for Multilingual Conceptual,
Stamou, Nenadic, Christodoulakis,    (028)

www.ceid.upatras.gr/Balkanet/pubs/lrec2004.pdf    (029)

check out all the proceedings here:
International Workshop on Social and Collaborative Ontology,
km.aifb.uni-karlsruhe.de/ws/ckc2007    (030)

and here
First International Workshop on Modular Ontologies,
www.cild.iastate.edu/events/womo.html -    (031)

(there also Ernesto Jimenez Ruiz, Multiple Views Ontology (Jaume I
University of Castellon, Spain, unpubolished thesis)    (032)

(there is more)    (033)

> Some of the most widely used ontologies are
> entirely the work of 'domain experts'. In any
> case, the boundaries between the academy,
> business enterprise and 'end users' such as
> medical researchers, the intelligence community
> or weather forecasters is increasingly blurred
> and indeterminate, and people move back and forth
> across it with ease. So I think this particular
> 'barrier' is a figment of your imagination,
> frankly.
see 'reality check paper'
> Back to the details.
> 3. You want GPL or public licencing. But semantic
> web ontologies are just like Web pages: they are
> open to all. You can copy them using HTTP. Why do
> you think that licencing is even an issue on the
> Web?    (034)

This was not one of my original requirements, and someone added it in,
I think under GPL one can transform things, but the original version
retains original attribution
so it is useful to track the evolution of the thing    (035)

> 4. Ontologies should "declare what high-level
> knowledge it references". Again, this is a
> non-issue. By design, OWL ontologies may
> reference ("import") other ontologies, and these
> references are part of the ontology, by
> definition. So yes, of course they "declare" in
> this way. Do you have some other mechanism in
> mind? (The "named graph" proposal allows
> ontologies to make explicit assertions about
> other ontologies, such as agreeing with it,
> disagreeing, basing itself on it, warranting the
> truth of it, etc.. ; is this what you have in
> mind?)    (036)

i am not thinking upper ontology here, but domain ontology    (037)

No,for example
in defining an open ontology for Emergency Response, (purpose: build
os software to be used in emergency)
 it is necessary to make statements as to what things are (what
entities are being referenced, for example) and what words are used to
described them
(controlled vocabulary).  We have some experts that have a lot of
knowledge, who ahve worked for red cross for    (038)

example, for many years, who tell us that such and such are the
entities and such and such the terminologies to be used. 1. other
experts with other backgrounds disagree  2.if an expert references 'A'
should also declare the source of his knowledge that is being
referenced.    (039)

> 5. It should "declare what kind of
> reasoning/inference supports/it is based on" .
> Again, a non-issue. This is like asking that a
> bridge should have a label on it saying what kind
> of bridge it is. Of *course* any ontology will be
> written in some language which supports some
> kinds of inference. That is why such language
> specifications include a detailed semantics.    (040)

no. I mean, for example:
in diagnosing a patient's disease, which reasoning do I follow?
a) allopatic doctor follows one reasoning, and gives treatment a
b) allopatic doctor 2 follows another reasoning and gives treatment b
b) homeopatic doctor follows homeopatic reasoning and gives totally
different treatment
c) chinese doctor has another view of the illness altogether (wind,
air excess) therefore his treatment is totally different    (041)

unfortunately, often we are imposes as 'given' that a) is the
reasoning, to the point that the reasoning is not even    (042)

declared    (043)

> Given this, then, what this amounts to is that
> the ontology should identify what language it is
> written in. Which is a good idea, but again a
> solved problem, so a non-issue, at least if it is
> written using XML; since the XML spec provides
> for just such declarations using the XML header.    (044)

not just language, but what 'theory', philosophy is behind the reasoning
. see the doctors example above
they are all doctors, yet they all prescribe different medicines and treatments
is this the scientific method?  then declare what scientific method
you are referring to    (045)

> 6. It should "support queries via natural
> language as well as machine language" Whoah
> there. Supporting queries in natural language is,
> at the present time, close to science fiction.    (046)

I am not doing present, I am doing future here.
I already try this everyday on google
'who is pat hayes' is natural language.
i agree that the result I get is not as good as it should yet, but
allow me to be ambitious
we should be able to improve on that if we designed ontologies that
can be queried
by search interfaces    (047)

> best it is a research ambition which is at the
> cutting edge of AI research. And in practice, it
> doesn't work very well (ask CyCorp about their
> experiences.) It is, in any case, well beyond
> what it is reasonable to ask of any kind of
> standardized protocols. This is way too ambitious.    (048)

no - I insist Pat - I can is it not far
> (By the way, what exactly do you mean by "machine
> language" here? Do you mean formal language?
> Humans can learn to use formal notations.)    (049)

I mean that can be parsed by a computer
> 7. "It should be 'easy to understand' by generic
> users without specialized skills"  Again, way too
> ambitious. I'm not sure it even makes sense. If
> you can't read or understand L, you won't be able
> to read a text written in L. This seems obvious
> whether L is English, Spanish or OWL. Is having a
> grasp of Spanish a 'specialized skill'?
> Personally I find OWL easier than, say, Russian.    (050)

yes, sure Pat
but again. ask a russian undergraduate student, and he will give you a
different view
wont't he? p    (051)

I mean that my developers are brilliant, and may be skilled at php,
but not at emergency nor at whatever other domain.  a php developer
writing a software today should be able to reference existing
knowledge (what rex has picked up on in separate thread) by using an
open ontology without being neither a domain expert, nor trained in
protege or other ontology editor.
> But the central point is that an ontology, by its
> very nature, is ultimately a text written in some
> language; and so to understand it, you have to
> know that language. (And to ward off possible
> misunderstanding, I'm here using 'language'
> broadly to include, eg, map-making and
> diagrammatic conventions; so that for example
> circuit diagrams or flowcharts or social networks
> displayed as graphs are all kinds of language.
> The basic point still applies.)    (052)

i think diagrams and vocabularies should be sufficient - I think we
should be able to simplify
our standards so that they are accessible, see some of the papers
reference in the list above (not just my idea)
> So trying to draw a contrast between 'generic
> users' and 'academics' or whatever isn't helpful,
> seems to me. What might be more use is to ask,
> how long does it take to learn the relevant
> language? Can we find ways of displaying
> ontological content to make it easier to learn?
also that for sure
> (We have been trying to do this in the COE system
> for OWL, for example, and VivoMind are focusing
> on CLSE 'structured English'. But you still have
> to learn to use COE - it takes about a day - and
> its a lot easier to read CLSE than to write it.)
> 9.  "It should be implementation independent;
> this means not only usable by OWL/DAML model but
> also reusable by alternative ontology languages"
> What does this even mean?
it means that I am not talking about 'domain knowledge' being expressed  in
OWL  - I can see that in your world ontology=owl    (053)

in my world ontology=knowledge representation (owl independent)    (054)

I am advocating freedom from OWL Pat,    (055)

> 10."it should support one view of the world if
> required, and allow for simultaneous multiple
> views, meaning that it should aim to be perfectly
> elastic, flexible and adaptable,"
> I'm not sure what this means, but it sounds
> either trivial or impossible.    (056)

Pat, an ontology is simply a view of the world. I am saying that
models of reality are more
useful and more faithful to the real world when they model more than one view
Impossible? I would reconsider that statement soon Pat...    (057)

thanks again for giving me the opportunity to clarify further where I
am coming from
Paola Di Maio    (058)

> --------
> In spite of all the above, I think it is a very
> good idea to try to get the requirements clear,
> and that this is a good start: thanks!    (059)

thanks to you, please open up a child page and start writing your
requirements...    (060)

Paola Di Maio    (061)

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