Hay Pat (01)
Thanks a lot for the great discussion
I really appreciate you interest in my argumentation although not all
of it is clear or acceptable to you, as we obviously do not speak the
same language (read metaphorically please) It looks like is going to
take some time before I can
articulate my thinking in a form that is understendable/acceptable to
you. But I am sure we'll get there (02)
just a few very shorts
- the approprateness of the term 'term' as first proposed in
describing ontology, and its usage in maths and logic - your fields
I gather - has been demonstrated in a related thread - but if you
need futher 'proof' surely you'll find plenty in specialized
dictionaries to help you appreciate my choice of wording further (03)
- 'requirements' are not solutions, are more like desirables (from
the software engineering point of view). They may benefit from
rephrasing, or rescoping, but they do not need to be approved
-validated - , they are either met, or not met by a specification
I would say that to my knowledge, to date, only some of the proposed
requirements are met by current specifications
and if you dont feel that they are 'valid'/ at this stage it does not
By opening this discussion I was simply bringing up some issues that
have come up in recent projects, glad by now you accept some of them (04)
- knowledge abstraction is a widely relied upon notion (05)
although not sure if taken into account by the state of the art in web ontology
these days (06)
- we can drop any requirement that you like, it will come up hopefully
again the future more clearly expressed/acceptable, (07)
Lets work on other issues as they come up,
Will look at your KL work with interest
thanks again for elaborating on the stuff (08)
> >>>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
> >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.
> >>>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.) <<There is a wider argument there, later-PDM>>
> >'implemented' is the physical dimension of a conceptual/knowledge formalism
> >a formalisation is still implementation independent
> >I think we learn this when we study systems engineering
> >a system has a functional desgin, a logical design and an implementation
> >I can implement a formalisation using different languages, owl being just one
> Please explain how your "formalisation" is written or specified
> without using a formal language.
> It sounds as though you may be suffering from the misapprehension I
> tried to describe in my last message. An OWL ontology (for example)
> is not an OWL implementation of something else. It *is* the
> formalisation. It is not itself an implementation of anything, as it
> does not "run" or specify any kind of algorithm or behavior. It is
> data, intended to be used by things that run (and themselves are
> written in LISP, Java, Perl, etc.)
> >>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
> >yes I intended the entire apparatus, (was trying to use generally understood
> >'term' but onvious that does not work with the very clever people)
> Your sarcasm or irony here is misplaced. This usage of "term" is not
> widely used in the field (and in fact, not even in my native English
> dialect, to tell you the truth: I can recall my English teacher
> shouting at me to "clarify our terms", and he meant the word in the
> first sense.)
> >>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.
> >well, I think that is the general, overall scope of an ontology
> >If I want to create a system for the red cross to use, then I need to
> >develop an ontology that reflects the red cross view of the world
> >but if I want to create a system that works for 'any' emergency
> >response, then I have to
> >create a new, more neutral ontology. my problem is to reconcile
> >different points of views
> >to create a common language, in terms of conceptual as well a
> >semantic reference
> OK, I see. We are using 'language' differently. I am using it refer
> to the notation in which the ontology is written; you are using it
> more to indicate the concepts, presumptions etc,. which the ontology
> sets out to describe and define, the 'conceptual framework'. Again,
> apparently a miscommunication.
> >>Im really not sure what would count as "declaring
> >for example:
> >I mean that today, when we (attempt) to design a system that can be synched
> >with emergency providers, we are told by the experts (some experts ,
> >the most experts that we can put our hands on) that the best knowledge
> >source to date is the red cross, which has the most complete set of
> >conceptual and sematic definitions in the world
> >But I have a problem with that
> Well, I might well have a problem with the 'in the world' part, but I
> see no problem with at least starting with those concepts, and
> modifying them if necessary.
> >1) the red cross ontology is not publicly accessible, and if is, it is
> >not visible (could not find it online)
> Which is exactly the situation that the SWeb may in future prevent,
> one hopes, or at least discourage. Have you asked the RC if you can
> see their ontology?
> >2) assuming I can find it, the red cross operations are not smooth,
> >and not transparent, and not necessarily efficient .
> Do you KNOW this, or are you extrapolating from some experience or data?
> >This is (I
> >argue) also because their ontology has been developed top down, nor
> >allows anyone to provide feedback. there could be intrisic bias,
> >and knowledge misrepresentation due to the point of view represented
> >not being a collectivee one, of diverse communities, but a 'standard'
> >one, that may not rflect the reality of an emergency.
> Well, possibly: but on the other hand, one could say the same for any
> ontology or indeed almost any repository of knowledge in any form.
> Has the RC behaved in a way which would lead you to think that its
> ontologies are broken?
> >I am studying this a little, and I have reason to believe that what I
> >say above is true, aldthough do have results to share as such.
> >So, the red cross ontology may well be the best ontology in emergency
> >today, but we dont know on what assumptions it was developed (racial,
> >gender, age and clas discrimination for example? may all be built
> >into the system
> Indeed. But now, ask yourself: suppose this is true; is it likely
> that there will be a declaration at the top, along the lines of
> "Advised by the KKK", or "based on non-PC eugenic prejudices"? Of
> course not.
> >, and the people would never know. why on eearth FEMA
> >and Red Cross operate they way they do) It could be because their
> >information system is designed to reflects very partial knowledge.
> Again, is this likely to be part of a declaration by the authors?
> "Based on incomplete information" ??
> >I think that in order to be useful and widely adopted, an ontology
> >should be accessible
> >visible and transparent in the sense of declaring explicitly what
> >assumptions it is based on
> >I hope we are still talking about the same thing at this stage
> I'm really not sure. I am still very unclear quite what it is that
> you have in mind. I can't think of a more explicit declaration of the
> assumptions on which an ontology is based, than the actual ontology
> itself. That, after all, *is* the assumptions made by the ontology.
> >>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?
> >havent worked it out yet
> >you tell me
> Hey, you are the one who wants it to be a requirement. I didn't know
> what you meant, and it seems that you don't know what you meant
> either. I suggest we just drop this requirement, as nobody seems to
> know what it means.
> >>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.
> >also knowing the hidden agendas of an organisation
> But again: if an organization has *hidden* agendas, is it likely that
> it will publish them in an open declaration?
> >"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.
> >I consider my knowledge queries on search engines a good example
> >I type everyday define:natural language or what is: bla bla
> >I get a set of documents written in natural language
> >by natural language I mean 'not code' am wrong?
> OK, I guess I was taking NL to mean that one can have something like
> a genuine conversation with the machine all conducted in, say,
> English. This is often cited as the goal of a NL interface/query
> service. It amounts to passing a limited form of the famous Turing
> Test. And this is what we aren't likely to have in the forseeable
> future. If you count Google-style predefined-phrase style
> interactions (and indeed considerably better, eg a smallish grammar
> for query sentences) then yes, that is feasible. But IMO it is often
> not as useful an interface as is often assumed (especially for lay
> users), because users have great trouble staying within the limited
> grammar, and these systems tend to fail suddenly, which is very
> destructive for the naturalness of the interaction.
> >Okay, to learn OWL you need to have some prior knowledge (be skilled
> >at some things) or undergo the expensive training at stanford (2500
> >usd) .
> No, nothing like. I'm not sure, but I bet one can teach the core
> notions of OWL (which account for about 90% of the published OWL
> content) to, say, bright middle school kids in about a day, and they
> would have fun learning it. My granddaughter (age 7) understands it
> reasonably well, though she has trouble understanding why anyone
> would bother, and I havn't tried to explain 'subproperty' to her.
> Now, the OWL/RDF/XML *syntax* is another matter altogether, but
> nobody, even its designers, intended that to be for human use. For a
> (still imperfect, but) much easier representation, take a look for
> example at the OWL CMaps that COE produces. Download it from
> For a very simple brief survey of OWL, try reading the COE manual ,
> section "COE notation and conventions", page 12 et. seq. . Or have
> you tried the OWL tutorial, available on the W3C website?
> >>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
> > - I think grammars, and logical diagrams, e/r notation, plus
> >controlled vocabularies
> >do the trick to represent ontology from the KR point of view
> >choice of formalism is personal
> Not if we wish to have our systems interact. The formalism in which
> ontologies are written is in fact better thought of as an interchange
> language than a personal, local "interior" choice. It is how
> ontologies are transmitted from place to place on the Web, to be used
> at the point of reception.
> >, 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 dont have any feelings towards OWL, other than I am looking for
> >someone who can teach me ohw to use it and I have not succeeded yet.
> I'm sure it would not be hard to get you to the level of an OWL user
> reasonably quickly. If you like I can try to do it by email (though
> off-list, I think :-) You might find the experience frustrating, but
> join the club.
> >can learn chinese over here, but OWL
> >cant. I have also tried to use the protege tutorial, and havent
> >gotten anywhere
> >also asked around 'can you teach me owl' no luck yet. I can go to the
> >protege training at stanford this spring but do you know what that
> >means? Long distance travel, plus tuition fees, plus a new passport
> >and the risk of being sent back on entry cause I am threat to national
> >But I can understand any/most knowledge in plain language, so maybe
> >owl should not be a reuquirement for knowledge representation on the
> >web. I guess thats the point of that requirement.
> If by KR you mean represented in a form humans can read, then the Web
> does that already. The idea of the SWeb (and of ontologies more
> generally) is to provide KR which *machines* can utilize without
> human intervention. For that, it must be formalized, and it must use
> publicly agreed formal conventions.
> >I am advocating 'clear abstraction'.
> >I can understant if abstraction can be alienating for some, and that
> >abstract does not mean anything to you, and that you cannot visualise
> >'abstract knowledge'.
> I would certainly welcome some exposition of what you mean by this.
> >>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 ..
> >let me look at it, references? we can always work on it
> You can find a slideshow with many further pointers in it at
> The most useful is probably the guide, obtainable at
> IHMC (850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973 home
> 40 South Alcaniz St. (850)202 4416 office
> Pensacola (850)202 4440 fax
> FL 32502 (850)291 0667 cell
> phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes
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