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Re: [ontolog-forum] Model or Reality

To: "'Pat Hayes'" <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Chris Partridge" <mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 16:57:02 +0100
Message-id: <00c201c7df54$ebc128a0$6400a8c0@Aegir>
Hi Pat,    (01)

Comments below.    (02)

Chris    (03)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@xxxxxxx]
> Sent: 15 August 2007 16:26
> To: Chris Partridge
> Cc: '[ontolog-forum] '
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Model or Reality
> >
> >The reason that this is even worth raising is that when one examines
> >operational systems (systems that do things) one finds that the deontic
> and
> >epistemic elements are key to successful operation - so an implementation
> >process needs to take account of them. (Does this count as "real work"?)
> >
> >I suppose one could argue that these kinds of operational systems are
> >outside the scope of ontological engineering - which then would (I
> suppose)
> >deal with systems that don't do things.
> I think you are here mixing up what the ontology is about, with the
> question of what kind of system is going to be using the ontology.    (04)

I agree there is this distinction.    (05)

My point was related to Chris's comment that "Ontological engineering is the
science of creating, maintaining, sharing, integrating and reasoning upon
large bodies of information represented in computers that are linked
together on high-speed, open networks."    (06)

Roughly speaking:    (07)

1) Is ontological engineering (this discipline that people mention)
concerned with creating these systems - 'creating, maintaining, sharing,
integrating' could be seen, maybe, possibly, as implying this.    (08)

2) Or is it about 'creating, maintaining, sharing, integrating' the
information that these systems use - and, for example, not concerned how
they use it.    (09)

If the scope of the discipline is 1) then the ontology has a (much) bigger
part to play in the development of these systems than if 2) is the scope.    (010)

For my part, these discipline boundaries are a little academic - the systems
need to be built.    (011)

> >But this seems to restrict the scope
> >of application drastically.
> Well, it restricts it to ontological engineering, as opposed to (for
> example) general computer science, control engineering, gear design
> and electrical engineering. When you start making general
> observations about 'systems that do things', you are casting your net
> rather widely.     (012)

I meant information systems that do things. A simple example would be a
banking system that sent payment telexes. If it sent telexes for the wrong
amount, there would soon be some feedback (I speak from personal
experience).    (013)

But in any case, I bet you will have hard time finding
> many engineers who feel a need to take courses in deontic logic
> before considering themselves qualified.    (014)

Agreed. But not my point.    (015)

If one has a simple rule (common in academic textbooks about bank accounts)
that says if the balance goes more that 100USD overdrawn, make an overdraft
charge of 5USD. This is about what the system should do (hence deontology).    (016)

Does representing this fall within the scope of ontological engineering?
Let's say no.    (017)

What about trying to represent a contract? This is a common (almost
universal) feature of commercial systems. Is this in scope? If yes, then one
is modelling what the parties to the contract should do (deontology). And so
on.    (018)

My point is that these are common (almost universal) features of operational
commercial systems - and need to be represented.     (019)

Whether information engineers should then study epistemology, deontology (or
epistemic or deontic logic) or indeed ontology is then a separate question.
I know your answer is no. (I am unsure whether I should ask this, but ...)
If not, then what should they study to understand what their information
represents? Or maybe it is all so obvious that there is no need for further
study.    (020)

> Pat
> --
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> phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us       http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes    (021)

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