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Re: [ontolog-forum] Visual Complexity

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 22:58:39 +0700
Message-id: <c09b00eb0702070758t6a50cd90xda0c9cf3623fcd25@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Hi John    (01)

I am so glad that you share excitement for abstraction (KAb?)    (02)

As confirmed by this thread, knowledge cannot be easily envisaged
separately from its representation by the many practically minded
fellows - and I am sure you are among the few who do not have a
problem grasping the issue.    (03)

Could  the process of decoupling K from KR  be called KAb?    (04)

> My only criticism is to note the statement in one of the
> papers you cited:  "knowledge representation and abstraction
> are not independent."    (05)

I am sure that sometime during discourse some mixup occurs, so not
sure who said that
in what context, and I think it has been well argued elsewhere that
abstraction and representation are two different phases of the
knowledge cycle.    (06)

>From what I have seen, there has been little or no work in this
critical area in the past twenty years, and it shows    (07)

In addition to appointing a new term, we may also have to work on the
technique itself, especially applied to semantic web context    (08)

This is  partly what I was trying to express with that requirement '
an ontology should be implementation independent, and not just
expressed in OWL'    (09)

So let's have a go at a  definition: (Not even Abbot has come up with
a neat one yet, that I can find)    (010)

Knowledge Abstraction is the process of    (011)

a) representing K independently from  formalism
b) capturing K in a form that cane be easily represented by diferent formalisms
c) representing K with the minimal and least formalised representation    (012)

(have your say)    (013)

My bottom line is: in order to enable knowledge to be accessible and
readily usable by different systems and architectures, it should exist
as independent as possible from the constraints of a formalisation
(could be any formal language, or OWL for example),
(probably more to say there)    (014)

Then is the question , how can K be expressed with precision in its
abstract form?    (015)

I suspect Natural Language and XML  structure is the first thing that
comes to mind,    (016)

That's my claim for semantic technologies potential to support
knowledge based reasoning in open, dynamic environments    (017)

Or maybe mindmaps? (mind map concept is highly abstract in itself)
But also  UML?
Are ER diagrams and inference networks the most abstract form of K
that we are capable of to date?    (018)

Not sure if I see the knowledge abstraction to be the role of a single
person, I see it more as a process of distillation, the result of a
method that needs to be developed maybe, the knowledge development
lifecycle I think, of which abstraction could be the last refinement    (019)

I am sure there is a lot to argue, and a lot to unpack, and a lot of
possibilities there    (020)

Tomorrow I ll put it in the wiki for the Summit perhaps, and wait to
hear what you have in mind.    (021)

Paola Di Maio    (022)

On 2/7/07, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Paola,
> I very strongly agree that abstraction is extremely important
> and that it should be recognized as a valuable technique
> that is applicable to subject matter of any kind.
>    (023)

> People have been using abstraction techniques together
> with knowledge representation since the time of Aristotle.
> To avoid multiplying different fields, I suggest that one
> term be used as the overall umbrella word that covers all
> the others.
> I really don't care whether the overall term is called
> "knowledge representation", "conceptual analysis", or
> whatever.  But it's important to have an umbrella term
> for all the cases.  Then you can have parallel terminology:
>     knowledge representation -- the task of analyzing the
>        concepts in any body of knowledge, defining appropriate
>        abstractions, and mapping the results to a logic-based
>        notation.
>     knowledge engineer -- one who does knowledge representation.
> If you have too many terms at the top level, you get a
> combinatorial explosion:
>     knowledge engineer -- one who does KR
>     abstraction engineer -- one who abstracts
>     ontological engineer -- one who develops ontologies
>     conceptual engineer -- one who analyzes concepts
> And all the possible combinations:
>     knowledge & abstraction engineer
>     ontology & abstraction & conceptual engineer
>     knowledge & ontology & abstraction engineer
>     etc.
> If the same person is expected to do all these things, we need
> a single term for the subject and the person who works on it.
> John Sowa
>    (024)

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