What about a unyfying layer for the ontology then.
What would it look like?
Shall we start sketchin somethin visually?
A nice unifying layer wrapping around, or at the center of, all the other
slices of the cake (like a topping and a filling of unifying yoke)
talking about overegging the layer cake
On 8/1/07, Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Your remarks are of course well-taken and sum up the issue very
> nicely -- yet another of your many fine contributions to this forum.
> I was, in fact, only half serious. :-) However, while your account
> of model theoretic semantics is formally correct, I would have to say
> that it doesn't do justice to its importance, which was behind the
> genuinely serious half of my post. Typically, or at least often,
> there is a clear *intended* model for an ontology that can be
> expressed very naturally in such terms as "the things we are talking
> about" (rather than the clinical, if correct, phrase "the domain D")
> and their properties and relations (rather than the clinical
> "functions on, and subsets of, D"). When such an intended model for
> an ontology exists, it is important that it be conveyed along with
> the axioms to give users a clear intuitive picture of the subject
> matter the ontology is designed to characterize. In my view, a bare
> collection of axioms with no description of an intended model runs a
> great risk of being "way too abstract".
> On Aug 1, 2007, at 11:26 AM, Kathryn Blackmond Laskey wrote:
> > Chris,
> > Your remark hearkens back to our discussion of what an ontology is
> > really about.
> > Model theoretic semantics says there is a domain D, which is a set,
> > and the objects, attributes and relationships defined in the
> > ontology refer to elements of, functions defined on, and subsets of
> > this set D.
> > Many people feel this is way too abstract. "But my ontology of
> > horse racing is about horses!!! And jockeys and racetracks and
> > betting odds! It emphatically is not about sets!"
> > We have had many heated discussions in this forum about whether
> > sentences in a biology textbook are about cells in the world or
> > about cells in a biological model of cells. Jon suggested maybe
> > they are about both. That they can be about both is why engineering
> > works! It's why you can get up in the morning expecting your car
> > to start, the traffic lights to work, and the bridge not to collapse.
> > Engineers build a computer model of the bridge because there is a
> > great deal less loss of life and a much greater return on the
> > dollar from building computer simulations of cars driving across
> > the bridge and testing out various designs before setting the
> > cement mixers and beam layers to work. We have learned in the
> > school of hard knocks that it is not a good idea to try out a
> > bridge design by building it and seeing whether it collapses under
> > the load we put on it.
> > The equations the engineer programs into the simulation are about
> > the bridge model. The engineer uses this fact to debug her
> > simulation and to test out various bridge designs by changing
> > aspects of the computer model. Because the equations are about the
> > model, she can be confident that changes in parameters of the model
> > will result in changes to the simulation output that accurately
> > reflect her intentions. The equations are also about the actual
> > bridge that is going to be built. Well, to be precise, the
> > equations for the discarded designs are about bridges she is
> > considering building, and the ones in the final design are about
> > the bridge she plans to build, but they will probably be modified
> > somewhat by the time concrete is poured. In any case, because the
> > equations are about both the bridge model and the bridge, she can
> > be confident (if it's a good model) that predictions she makes on
> > the basis of the simulation (such as how much load the bridge can
> > bear) will be true of the actual bridge when it is built. Thus,
> > the fact that the assertions are true both of the bridge model and
> > the real bridge is the reason that engineers can design bridges
> > that can carry the traffic they are designed to carry. Our lives
> > depend on this vital characteristic of models.
> > Some of the very same equations could, under different
> > circumstances, be used to model airplanes or electrical circuits or
> > pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. That is the beauty of
> > mathematics. There are common mathematical structures that are
> > generally useful across a wide variety of problem domains. It is
> > also the bane of students who are interested in nursing or robotics
> > or baseball, but have to sit through a generic mathematics course
> > that either uses almost no examples or requires them to do problems
> > about applications about which they don't care a hoot. This gives
> > rise to frequent turf wars between the math department, which is
> > sure the psychology department or the nursing school is incapable
> > of teaching math the way it ought to be taught, and the nursing
> > school or psychology department, which complains that the
> > mathematicians lose the students by teaching abstractions divorced
> > from applications that would hold the students' interest.
> > Probably, both are right -- that's part of the price we pay for
> > mass-producing education. But that's a different soap-box.
> > Kathy
> > At 10:31 AM -0500 8/1/07, Christopher Menzel wrote:
> >> > The scopes and subject matters of Ontology and Logic shouldn't be
> >> > mixed.
> >> > The real semantics or meanings of any symbolism or notation is
> >> > defined by
> >> > ontology;
> >> Silly me, I've been thinking that the real semantics of any symbolism
> >> is defined by, you know, its *semantics*.
> >> -chris
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Paola Di Maio
School of IT
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