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[ontolog-forum] Common semantics? (was Topic Maps etc.)

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Andreas Tolk <atolk@xxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 13:26:04 -0400
Message-id: <OF766CAB6E.CB304173-ON852572CF.005EBD09-852572CF.005FC537@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>The term "possible world", as used by Kripke, means nothing
>more nor less than an element of an undefined set W.  The
>real semantics lies in the accessibility relation R, which
>links pairs of elements in W.    (01)

I hope this is not too contaminated with practical applications, but this
discussion points to an expectation challenge of many users of ontology.
The assumption or expectation of many users and some researchers is that
ontology will point them finally to common semantics, ending the Babel of
current information interpretations in the relevant participating systems.
What many don't see yet is that ontological means can become the key to
manage heterogeneity of syntax, semantics, structure, and pragmatics by
storing the set W plus all applicable relations R representing the
interpretation of information elements in participating systems. While many
users expect that they will receive a common view of the world, we can
support them with the means to capture, manage, and evaluate all currently
applied (system centric) views of the world. This allows us to deal with
challenges like homonyms, synonyms, different resolution and partial
mapping of information elements, but it doesn't make them superfluous. As a
good friend of me said when asked for the support provided by a technical
interoperability standard: "Sorry, you still have to think!" Maybe some
expectation management is appropriate here.
Have a great day,
============================== ;-)
Andreas Tolk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor/Engineering Management & Systems Engineering
242B Kaufman Hall
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529    (02)

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