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Re: [ontolog-forum] Role of definitions (Remember the poor human)

To: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 14:29:24 -0600
Message-id: <p06230915c1fa7138e060@[]>
>JFS>> As Kathy has emphasized, probabilistic statements are extremely
>>>  important for many domains, especially medicine.  They can be
>>>  accommodated by one or more levels that are below the facts in
>>>  entrenchment.
>PH> Hmm, that is an extremely doubtful claim.
>Which points are you doubting?    (01)

Sorry. The last sentence above.    (02)

>   That probabilistic statements are
>important for many domains?  That there is a similarity between
>defaults and statements of probability?  That they can be considered
>below factual statements in strength of entrenchment?    (03)

Right, that.    (04)

>That they
>should be accommodated by ontologies?
>How would you suggest that probabilities be used in conjunction
>with ontologies?    (05)

I wouldn't make any suggestions along these lines. I see very little 
connection between the two topics. Creating probabilistic ontologies 
seems like an open research problem rather than a coherent field at 
present, so I suggest we ignore it until something gets done. As a 
short-stop way of handling probabilities, I would treat them as part 
of the ontological content itself, by assertions which relate numbers 
to propositions or sentences. This requires some mechanism for 
identifying propositions or sentences as objects, but that doesn't 
seem too hard to do.    (06)

>PH> If we say ANYTHING about this stuff, we are interfering with
>>  someone's ability to experiment.  Unless we can say something that
>>  (a) is widely agreed throughout a large community and (b) requires
>>  uniformity of use in order to achieve interoperability of some kind,
>>  then our only responsible action is to keep silent about it.
>There is an enormous difference between expressing an opinion, making
>a recommendation, and legislating an official standard.    (07)

Actually I suggest there isn't very much difference in practice. If 
the opinion or recommendation is made by an influential or respected 
person or body, it tends to achieve de facto recognition.    (08)

>PH> I strongly suggest that neither of these criteria are met by this
>>  talk of entrenchment levels.
>Entrenchment levels have been implemented in de facto standards
>for the past 30 years.  The theoretical issues that underlie the
>constraints and updates of a relational DB and the T-box and A-box
>of KLONE and other DLs are very closely related.    (09)

The trouble with claims like this, John, is that they are the result 
of *your* interpretation of this old work, not of the work itself. 
And with the utmost respect, your views can sometimes be 
controversial or subject to debate or further discussion.    (010)

>The word "entrenchment" and its application to belief revision
>systems and other approaches to nonmonotonic reasoning goes back
>to R & D from the mid 1980s to the present.    (011)

Can you cite any of this work? I only know the AI part of it at all well.    (012)

>  There's a lot of good
>work that has been done to explore the issues and test them in
>Implementers have a right to ignore anybody's recommendations.
>But often, they can benefit from helpful suggestions.    (013)

True, true.    (014)

Pat    (015)

>John    (016)

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