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Re: [ontolog-forum] Visual Complexity

To: paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2007 13:44:53 -0600
Message-id: <p06230900c1e9146b8075@[192.168.99.63]>
>....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)

Ok, as you wish. I know some folk are reluctant 
to engage in such debates in, er, public; but I 
am game if you are. And I agree that we are both 
playing roles here, and the discussion may be 
useful.    (02)

>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    (03)

I wouldn't claim qualifications in maths: I have 
a first degree and a kind of lingering respect 
for mathematics, but am not really professionally 
qualified. But OK, I represent the math-oriented 
side of many possible debates, let us agree. I'm 
what Roger Schank famously called a Neat as 
opposed to a Scruffy.    (04)

>- 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,    (05)

I entirely agree. But who regards what I say or 
write as a 'ruling'? You pointed the list at your 
preliminary draft of points, with warnings about 
its being preliminary, etc., and (as I understood 
your email) asked for comments. I commented, 
viewing the matter of course from my perspective 
and background (how could I do otherwise?). You 
disagreed. Fine, let us have a debate about the 
substantive points, then. But it seems 
counterproductive to make a disagreement turn 
into a kind of meta-debate about who is entitled 
to disagree, or what our various qualifications 
are for disagreeing or not.    (06)

>.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.    (07)

Well, not *everything*. I hope I didn't ever say that.    (08)

But more usefully: there may be a disconnect 
lurking here about what "ontology" and 
"semantics" mean. Indeed, I do presume that the 
word "ontology" as used in these discussions does 
in fact have a reasonably precise meaning: it 
identifies a field (which, like all research 
fields is constantly changing and adapting, of 
course: its a moving referential target, as it 
were) which is concerned with the representation 
of conceptual knowledge in ways that make it 
amenable to machine processing of some 
'nontrivial' kind (excluding, therefore, such 
ontology-challenged mechanical processes as 
simply sorting or cataloging databases, for 
example.) This is a reasonably well-defined 
technical field, to repeat; it is not a brand-new 
ambition, or a distant goal. And like all such 
fields, it does have a certain degree of 
associated professional expertise and background 
methodological assumptions associated with it, 
and with which its practitioners are expected to 
be acquainted; and these do in fact include such 
topics as formal semantics (that is, 'logical' 
semantic theories such as model theory), issues 
arising in mechanical reasoning, and parts of 
philosophical logic and philosophy of language 
(and others, of course, such as software design). 
Not everyone is equally qualified or competent in 
all these areas, which is why we tend to need 
working groups, but I think there is a general 
mutual recognition that these fields are all 
relevant to ontology design and engineering. (In 
fact, many people in the field have expertise 
crossing these boundaries. Bill Andersen is a 
philosopher and ex-Intelligence operative who 
started a successful software ontology company; 
Chris Menzel is a professor of philosophy and 
computer science, who is an expert on philosophy 
of logic and language and a Unix maven, and there 
are many other examples.)    (09)

Now, one of the wonderful things about working in 
a cutting-edge area like this is that one finds 
people from completely different backgrounds who 
bring a completely fresh point of view. Being on 
a few W3C working groups has made me have to 
learn new stuff faster than at any time since I 
was in graduate school, which is refreshing at my 
age. So by all means, if you feel that you have a 
new perspective on all this stuff from an 
entirely different point of view, and especially 
a different *disciplinary* point of view (social 
science? ethnomethodology?  some part of 
linguistics?) then please don't take my comments 
or their tone as anything other than an opening 
move in a cross-disciplinary bout of (hopefully) 
mutual education.    (010)

>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)    (011)

Oh, no doubt about that, of course. But the other 
side of that coin is that a detailed acquaintance 
with the state of some technical art can 
sometimes give one a more realistic sense of what 
is technically achievable and what is not, if 
that field is central to the goal in question.    (012)

>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.    (013)

I know the feeling :-)    (014)

>  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.    (015)

I think this applies to us all, regrettable 
though it may be. (I take it that, like the rest 
of us, you also do not claim to have a direct 
route to Reality.)    (016)

>But reality rearely corresponds to an opinion.
>
>Let me get back to (some of) your points below, with additional
>references - I will then hurry back to my deadlines
>
>first - my use of the word 'ontology'
>
>I dont consider OWL as the archetype of ontology. ontology is not just OWL    (017)

I couldn't agree more. (In fact, many on this 
list will be chortling at the idea of my treating 
OWL as an archetype.) I used OWL in my response 
simply as a convenient example of current state 
of the ontology art, as it were.    (018)

>I refere to ontology as conceptual frameworks,  Gruber's first definition.    (019)

Gruber was (and still is) talking about 
formalized conceptual frameworks, and he was at 
the time talking specifically about such 
frameworks in the context of knowledge 
representation in AI (though the scope has since 
broadened, the technology and theory used in the 
field has all been inherited from AI/KR work.)    (020)

>From http://www-ksl.stanford.edu/kst/what-is-an-ontology.html (emphasis added)    (021)

"A body of FORMALLY REPRESENTED knowledge is 
based on a conceptualization: the objects, 
concepts, and other entities that are assumed to 
exist in some area of interest and the 
relationships that hold among them (Genesereth & 
Nilsson, 1987) . A conceptualization is an 
abstract, simplified view of the world that we 
wish to represent for some purpose. Every 
knowledge base, knowledge-based system, or 
knowledge-level agent is committed to some 
conceptualization, explicitly or implicitly.    (022)

An ontology is an EXPLICIT SPECIFICATION of a 
conceptualization. ... For AI systems, what 
"exists" is that which can be represented. When 
the knowledge of a domain is represented in a 
declarative formalism, the set of objects that 
can be represented is called the universe of 
discourse. This set of objects, and the 
describable relationships among them, are 
reflected in the representational vocabulary with 
which a knowledge-based program represents 
knowledge. Thus, in the context of AI, we can 
describe the ontology of a program by defining a 
set of representational terms. In such an 
ontology, definitions associate the names of 
entities in the universe of discourse (e.g., 
classes, relations, functions, or other objects) 
with human-readable text describing what the 
names mean, AND FORMAL AXIOMS that constrain the 
interpretation and well-formed use of these 
terms. Formally, AN ONTOLOGY IS THE STATEMENT OF 
A LOGICAL THEORY."    (023)

>An ontology is first formed at conceptual level (design)  being
>inmplemented is the last step.    (024)

What do you mean by "implemented"? A 
formalization (eg, in OWL, or IKL if you prefer a 
more exotic notation) is not an implementation of 
anything in the usual sense. Ontologies are not 
software! (BTW, I think that this is not widely 
recognized enough. Thinking of ontologies as 
software is one of the recurrent motivations for 
applying software engineering principles to 
ontology design, which may be a mistake. Or not, 
of course.)    (025)

>So i refer to ontology as 'conceptual
>and semantic references (set of terms, not just words)    (026)

Clearly, any ontology does define a set of terms, 
yes. But a set of terms alone does not constitute 
an ontology, except in a very trivial sense. 
[Later: I see that with your nonstandard usage of 
"term", in fact it does.]    (027)

BTW - this might be central - what do you mean here by a "semantic reference"?    (028)

>PH. Overall, as stated, it is an odd
>>  combination of asking for technology which is
>>  already routinely deployed, and asking for the
>>  impossible.
>
>routinely deployed does not mean 'good' satisfactory, nor effective.    (029)

Indeed not. But my point was not that these 
aspects were desirable: that was your decision, 
since you listed them as requirements. It was 
that they already exist in widely used present 
technology, so these requirements are already 
satisfied. [But, apparently I misunderstood some 
of what you meant, see later.]    (030)

>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?    (031)

No. It is a more informed 'impossible' that 
people say when they work closely with people 
whose lifetime research ambition is to achieve 
this goal, and have a keen sense of how hard it 
is, and how far beyond the present state of the 
art; and have taken part of DARPA-funded research 
competitive tests in which the best natural 
language question-answering systems have failed 
miserably when tested against other kinds of 
query interfaces (such as GUIs based on 
conceptual maps). Now, of course, many of the 
best experts at the time thought that flight was 
impossible, too, and maybe the entire AI/NL field 
is stuck in a mental box. But there is a 
recurring history here of optimism being replaced 
again and again by a more cautious assessment of 
progress, so I want to see something more 
positive than optimistic rhetoric, before 
agreeing to accept success in this area as a 
*requirement*.    (032)

>I
>would be very careful in defining 'possible' and 'impossible' these
>days    (033)

Perhaps I should clarify that I did not mean 
impossible in principle: only well beyond the 
state of the technological art, so best not 
considered a requirement.    (034)

>  > 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.
>
>for you, Pat. For me, it is possible . I say ' all available and valid
>knowledge'
>I dont have a problem compiling such directories.    (035)

They I guess I will just wish you luck, and let 
us talk again when you have succeeded. I know you 
are concerned with disaster relief. I would have 
guessed that might be an area where to claim to 
have ALL relevant knowledge might be a particular 
overstatement. But I bow to your expertise in 
this matter.    (036)

>  > 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.
>
>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'    (037)

Well, that rather begs the question. Of course we 
can get all that we can get. Yes, let us agree on 
that.    (038)

>  >
>>  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'    (039)

Terms alone do not assert or claim anything about 
the world: they are just linguistic labels which 
refer to things. To assert anything, you have to 
say something ABOUT the referents of the terms. 
[See ** below]    (040)

>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
>to
>your conclusions. A term is many things. look it up.    (041)

[**] I did look it up on Wordnet (as I presume 
your URI pointer was supposed to indicate) and I 
find the main meaning given there to be    (042)

     * S: (n) term (a word or expression used for 
some particular thing) "he learned many medical 
terms"
  ††
Verb    (043)

     * S: (v) term (name formally or designate with a term)
"
Which is the sense I use it in, where it is linked in meaning to "terminology".    (044)

I see (reading ahead) that you are using the 
third sense, as in "terms of the treaty", where 
it means roughly the propositions contained in 
the treaty (or ontology). That is not 
conventional usage in the field, so you run the 
risk (as we are here illustrating) of being 
seriously misunderstood; but OK, yes of course if 
you include the entire apparatus of the ontology 
under the phrase "terms of the ontology" then 
defining the terms indeed amounts to creating the 
ontology.    (045)

>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.
>
>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    (046)

Thanks for the clarification, indeed it helps a 
lot. I think I will not be the only one who 
misunderstood you here. I'd suggest using a less 
misleading terminology if you possibly can.    (047)

>  >
>>  2. Just an aside, but this sentence seems to
>>  indicate a misunderstanding about how ontologies
>>  are actually built these days:
>
>Please note, that ontologies these days are not built very well    (048)

Possibly; but the point you were making implied a 
particular social/methodological 
division/distinction which I think is not 
actually very strong or germane. There may well 
be others, of course, which are.    (049)

>  > "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."
>
>I am referring specifically to some realities in current environments
>- distributed knowledge
>- distributed organisations
>- collective decision making
>- collective knowledge building    (050)

"Collective and distributed" is one matter. The 
existence of a particular social barrier between 
"academics" and "experts" is another claim. I do 
not dispute the importance of providing 
distributed means for collective ontology 
creation. I do however resist (and have seen no 
evidence supporting) a claim that there is an 
important [academic]/[implementors+users] 
cultural 'gap' that needs to be bridged.    (051)

>see here
>
>ntology-Driven Intelligent Decision Support of OOTW Operations,
>Alexander Smirnov, Michael Pashkin, Nikolai Chilov,
>
>Tatiana Levashova, St.Petersburg Institute for Informatics and
>Automation of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
>
>ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel5/9771/30814/01427137.pdf    (052)

Unfortunately I do not have access to 
IEEEexplore. Is there an openly readable copy, do 
you know?    (053)

>Ontology Engineering: A Reality Check. Elena Paslaru Bontas Simperl.
>1. and Christoph Tempich. 2. 1. Free University
>
>of Berlin, Takustr. ...ontocom.ag-nbi.de/docs/odbase2006.pdf    (054)

An excellent paper, I agree, which everyone should read.    (055)

...
>
>  > 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?
>
>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    (056)

Yes, and I stand corrected on this point. Others 
have pointed out to me that free access (as on 
the Web) does not automatically give for example 
rights to copy, for example. So open licencing is 
indeed an issue.    (057)

>
>>
>>  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?)
>
>i am not thinking upper ontology here, but domain ontology    (058)

I also was referring to domain rather than upper.    (059)

>
>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
>
>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.    (060)

OK, I see you were using 'source of knowledge' 
far more broadly. OK, I will agree then with your 
requirement. But we must recognize that many 
ontologies have no such 'source' in this sense, 
or may represent a distillation from many such 
sources. I look forward to a future in which 
ontologies themselves are considered to be 
definitive sources of knowledge, so that your 
'broad' view and my 'narrow' view may become 
closer in scope.    (061)

>
>>  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.
>
>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    (062)

OK, I think I see what you mean, kinda, more or 
less. We were at cross purposes. But I don't 
think you are describing it properly (or at any 
rate, your usage here is likely to be 
misunderstood by more people than just me.) It 
isn't at all clear that these various doctors are 
REASONING differently, in the sense of using 
different logical principles. In fact it is 
likely they are not. They are however reasoning 
from different sets of assumptions, and reasoning 
about different concepts and using different 
views of what is important or salient. In other 
words, they are using different ontologies :-)    (063)

>
>unfortunately, often we are imposes as 'given' that a) is the
>reasoning, to the point that the reasoning is not even
>
>declared    (064)

Im really not sure what would count as "declaring 
reasoning". Take your example of the various 
doctors, and suppose each of them writes an 
ontology. What would you accept as a reasonable 
declaration of the reasoning in each case? Not 
the ontology itself, but the reasoning associated 
with (what? Behind? Giving rise to? to be used in 
the context of?) the ontology. Just in broad 
outline, to give an idea of what you mean.    (065)

>
>>  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.
>
>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    (066)

Declare how? What would one say? Would a 
reference to a cultural tradition do? Or are you 
asking for a formalized logic to be used on the 
ontology (as I was presuming)? Or something in 
between? What?    (067)

What is the purpose of this declaration? Will it 
influence how the ontology is to be processed by 
machines? (I presume not.) Knowing the purpose 
might help answer the above questions.    (068)

>  > 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.
>
>I am not doing present, I am doing future here.    (069)

So am I, but I am considering near or forseeable future.    (070)

>I already try this everyday on google
>'who is pat hayes' is natural language.    (071)

Not as understood by Google, its not. "Who is" 
simply tells Google to use a specialized set of 
criteria in its next retrieval. And what you get 
back certainly isn't natural language.    (072)

>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    (073)

Well, allow me in turn to ask that your ambition 
is based on some acquaintance with the state of 
this particular art. People have been trying to 
do this since the beginning of AI, and more 
recently under huge commercial pressure and with 
large resources, with very limited success.    (074)

>
>At
>>  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.
>
>no - I insist Pat - I can is it not far    (075)

And I insist that it is. My insistence is based 
on a fairly close contact with people actively 
working in the field. What is yours based on?    (076)

>  >
>>  (By the way, what exactly do you mean by "machine
>>  language" here? Do you mean formal language?
>>  Humans can learn to use formal notations.)
>
>I mean that can be parsed by a computer    (077)

OK, thanks.    (078)

>  >
>>  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.
>
>
>yes, sure Pat
>but again. ask a russian undergraduate student, and he will give you a
>different view
>wont't he?    (079)

But he might find OWL easier than English. My 
point is merely that NL is not automatically more 
humanly usable than what are often called 
'formal' notations.    (080)

>p
>
>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.    (081)

Well I will agree with that 'should', and I 
didn't mean to imply that any of the  current 
interfaces are ideal. We have been working to 
improve this situation ourselves. But I think 
there is an important methodological point here. 
If one looks at a system consisting of a human or 
humans interacting with 'formal' editor/composer 
software, the human is by far the more adaptable 
component in the system. It is often good 
engineering to require the humans to do some 
limited adaptation to the machine, if that can be 
done at relatively low cost, than to think of the 
'naive human user' as a fixed target to which the 
machine must, at any cost, be made to conform. So 
just a bit of training to use an ontology editor 
might be acceptable, if the resulting combination 
of user+editor is more effective than forcing 
users to interview a near-dyslexic NL interface 
to find out what it 'knows'.    (082)

>  >
>>  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.)
>
>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)    (083)

Yes, I agree, though Im not sure they need 
simplification so much as re-description. In fact 
I think OWL, the current standard, can be made 
pretty easy for lay users to understand. Most of 
the trip-up issues have to do with making clear 
the limitations of the notation rather than the 
basic concepts, and many limitations can be 
imposed (and hidden) by good interface design.    (084)

>  >
>>  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    (085)

You couldn't be more wrong, believe me. But in 
the actual world, this is more true than I wish 
it were.    (086)

But my point is that any particular ontology is 
going to be represented in SOMETHING: it might be 
OWL or CL or GOFOL or Prolog or RDF or Concept 
Graphs or CGIF or who knows what. But it can't be 
represented in nothing, and it can't be 
represented in some kind of supervening 
‹bernotation, because there is no such universal 
notation. So what does it mean to require that 
ontologies be "implementation independent" (by 
which I presume you mean, (formal) notation 
independent)?    (087)

>
>in my world ontology=knowledge representation (owl independent)
>
>I am advocating freedom from OWL Pat,    (088)

Oh, so am I! I *detest* OWL. I think adopting OWL 
as a Web standard was a huge mistake. 
Nevertheless, here it is, being used, and we all 
have to get used to it. But not being OWL is one 
thing, and being "independent" of all formal 
notations is quite another.    (089)

BTW, if I may blow a different trumpet for a 
second, the best candidate so far for a single 
overarching KR notation is I think the IKL 
language Chris Menzel and I recently developed 
(closely modelled on KIF). An ontology written in 
IKL can for example describe concepts defined in 
most other formal languages and in other 
ontologies, referring to those languages and 
ontologies by name, and relate their meanings to 
one another in ways that are sensitive to the 
local context, if required. But IKL in its 
current incarnation is probably too 'logicky' for 
widespread use, and there are not as yet any 
complete formal reasoners for IKL.    (090)

>  >
>>  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.
>
>
>Pat, an ontology is simply a view of the world.    (091)

A formalized view of the world, or part of it. Yes.    (092)

>I am saying that
>models of reality are more
>useful and more faithful to the real world when they model more than one view    (093)

That sounds like multiple ontologies. I agree 
they can be important. But they can also be a 
damn nuisance. How many different views of time 
do we need? How many different ontologies of 
geographical space?    (094)

However I note you speak of a single model 
modelling more than one view, rather than 
multiple models. Well, again I will express 
limited agreement but with cautionary notes. 
Sometimes the multiplicity can be harmful or 
obstructive. Sometimes it is better to use a 
particular view for a particular purpose. And 
there is a huge caution to insist on here with 
regard to including multiple 'views' in a single 
formalization. It is very easy to get confusions 
and inconsistencies unless great care is taken to 
keep divergent concepts separated from one 
another. You might find the literature of 
contextual reasoning and the use of 
'microtheories' in Cyc illuminating in this 
regard.    (095)

>Impossible? I would reconsider that statement soon Pat...    (096)

Check more carefully what I said was impossible. 
Of course we can have multiple views of things. 
We have that now, and it is a major source of 
problems.    (097)

>thanks again for giving me the opportunity to clarify further where I
>am coming from    (098)

Yes, the clarifications were extremely helpful. I 
hope I have managed to make my points clearer 
also.    (099)

Pat    (0100)


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