Hi Bill, (01)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Bill Andersen
> Sent: 13 June 2007 17:15
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Two ontologies that are inconsistent but
> Hi Chris.
> On Jun 13, 2007, at 11:57 , Chris Partridge wrote:
> > Barry,
> > I'd like to believe this is true, but, I am not quite sure it is.
> > I was at an conference a few years back with some engineers doing
> > the safety
> > critical work (including simulation) for the Paris Metro - and what
> > intrigued me that there were more concerned that the model of what
> > they were
> > going to implement had an easy to check structure than a close
> > match to
> > reality. I suppose as they were going to impose this reality, they
> > felt a
> > simpler structure was safer.
> > I agree there is a stronger argument when you are trying to model
> > natural
> > structures - but even here I suspect the civil engineers building the
> > nuclear power station use Newtonian rather than quantum mechanics.
> > The engineering question is how useful is to understand the underlying
> > reality. And I think we are still waiting for a good argument.
> Yes - the question of what is good engineering wrt ontology is
> certainly an open one. It seems obvious to me, however, that a
> mutual understanding of reality (to the extent that that can be
> provided by science) is precisely what allowed the engineers working
> on the Paris Metro to do what they did. If one group, however,
> believed Newton's laws would do the job for them, and the other group
> believed the spirit of Napoleon moves the cars on schedule, it'd be
> unlikely they'd come to an agreement. (02)
I think you may be mixing up my examples. (03)
In the Paris Metro simulation they had (for example) a three-level
stratified notion of process - with a tree structure. Their definition of
process and entity was also similarly constrained. The reason for this was
that most of the process were controlled by people (rather than be nature).
With my ontologist hat on, I thought their notion of process/entity was as
bizarre as thinking that the spirit of Napoleon moves the cars on schedule.
Hence, why I raised this. It seems to me that one may be able to take more
ontological liberties with intentional objects. Whereas Barry works more
with natural objects - so may have a different experience. (04)
> I'll pose this question to the list as I've posed it before to many
> others, most of whom have failed to give a satisfactory reply - if
> ontology-building is an exercise in application-specific modeling
> among a constrained group of users, then why is it not just a variant
> on what we already do with UML which goes under the more pedestrian
> name of data modeling? Surely it cannot be the use of this or that
> formalism which delivers the desired interoperability properties.
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