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Re: [ontolog-forum] Visual Complexity

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Patrick Durusau <patrick@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 06 Feb 2007 06:47:45 -0500
Message-id: <45C86AE1.4050204@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

A rather truncated reply on two of your points:    (02)

Pat Hayes wrote:    (03)

>Highly snipped reply, still long though :-)
>>>>An ontology is first formed at conceptual level (design)  being
>>>>inmplemented is the last step.
>>>What do you mean by "implemented"?
>>I mean that the LOGICAL THEORY does not have a single  language attached to it
>>You can express a logica theory using a language, but the theory IS NOT
>>the language.
>The theory is not the language, but it is (and now I am quoting an 
>almost universally accepted technical usage of 'logical theory') a 
>set of sentences in some formal language. So any such logical theory 
>has a single language associated with it, to wit, the formal language 
>it is written in. So the idea of a theory which is somehow 
>independent of a formal language, is (literally) meaningless. If you 
>mean something else by "logical theory", it would help if you could 
>explain what you mean.
I think the point was the superclass/subclass and a relationship between 
the two is independent of the language in which those are expressed.    (04)

If that is not the case, then there can't be any mapping between formal 
languages and perhaps the "my ontology first and last" crowd has a 
point. If we don't simply all use the same one, then integration is 
simply not possible. Reasoning that if we can't go beyond the formal 
language, there is no basis for comparison.    (05)

But, if you accept the notion that languages, formal and otherwise, 
contain representatives that are not co-extensive with the subjects they 
represented, then integration is possible (I won't say likely or easy).    (06)

<snip>    (07)

>>>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
>>my point is that knowledge in any domain is first represented by concepts and
>Not always. While this may be true for many cases, there is a great 
>deal of knowledge which is necessary for use by reasoners but is 
>rarely put into words in NL, because all adult human speakers already 
>know it, so they never have to say it to one another. And there are 
>distinctions which are central to ontology engineering decisions 
>which are almost never put into words, except by rather obscure 
You may have a point that ontologists skip over what they assume is 
universal knowledge or assumptions and therein lies part of the 
difficulty in integrating ontologies, particularly since they can't see 
beyond their formal languages, cf. your earlier point.    (08)

BTW, I am intrigued that here you make the rather remarkable claim 
about  "...all adult human speakers already know it...." and yet deride 
a similar claim below with reference to "common sense knowledge."    (09)

<snip>    (010)

>>, and knowledge representation shold be
>>as as independent as possble from formalisms to be widely usable
>Well, we really do disagree about this. First, I don't even accept 
>that KR without formalism is really worth being called KR. Second, I 
>don't think unformalized knowledge is actually much use in building 
>ontologies. So-called "common sense' knowledge is supposed to be 
>universally shared among competent adult human beings, but even if 
>that is true, it has not been of much use in the task of formalizing 
>it. And third, I don't think it is even meaningful to speak of 
>representing knowledge independently of any formalism or notation for 
>representing it. That is, unrepresented representation is an oxymoron.
I think you are reading the original post too narrowly. Sure, to speak 
of representation is to presume some notation, no doubt about that. But, 
should the notation be confused with what it purports to represent?    (011)

I think the original post meant to refer to how the same subject could 
in fact be represented by any number of notations.    (012)

Unless, of course, you wish to deny that superclass/subclass in SUMO is 
the same as superclass/subclass in OWL or CYC or some other logical 
notation because it is "meaningless" to try to look beyond those formal 
languages. From a topic maps perspective, if you say they are "same as" 
then there was some basis on which you made that assessment. Why not 
simply make that explicit?    (013)

Hope you are having a great day!    (014)

Patrick    (015)

Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
Member, Text Encoding Initiative Board of Directors, 2003-2005    (016)

Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!     (017)

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