I am fine with what you say below with one small quibble perhaps :-) (01)
Non quantifiable aspects of reality are best captured with heuristics and
qualitative statements, other than quants - or at least with a
variety of formalisms that can be translated into other quantitative
formalisms as needed (02)
thats from what I see at least
On 8/18/07, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Adrian and Paola,
> That is a critical issue that we must face:
> AW> On the one hand, a useful ontology is supposed to be "right",
> > in the sense that it will not be necessary or desirable to change
> > it much. On the other hand, an ontology is supposed to capture
> > some aspects of the changeable real world. But, if an ontology
> > is used to support, say, interoperation of 100 legacy systems
> > in an SOA architecture, then making a change could break many
> > of the interoperations.
> Any proposed ontology, no matter how good, will never be adopted
> unless it can accommodate legacy systems and support a smooth
> transition from where we are to where we want to go.
> AW> So, a key aspect of using ontologies in practical situation
> > would appear to be to have some reliable change management method
> > or better, change management software. The software would have to
> > be able to run automated regression tests over the entire collection
> > of SOA of legacy systems after each change to the ontology.
> Something along those lines is essential. The task of a standards
> body is not to implement the software, but to define an agreed
> methodology with firm interfaces. Ideally, the definition should
> be a refinement and extension of an already implemented prototype
> that has proved to be useful for a wide range of applications.
> AW> Also, the software would need a user interface that business
> > folks could understand, without mediation by IT specialists.
> That would be highly desirable. But that would not be something
> that should be in the standard, because good human factors are
> extremely difficult to do well, and they can be revolutionized
> overnight by a brilliant innovation -- just consider what the
> Wii, the iPod, and the iPhone did to those industries.
> For the standard, I believe that we should build on existing
> standards, such as the Metadata Registry, and on well defined
> mathematical systems. Robert Kent's IFF system, for example,
> has been suggested, and I believe that it would be an excellent
> basis. However, the full details of category theory, etc., are
> more than even IT specialists should have to learn.
> That is why I believe some agency should sponsor efforts to build
> prototypes that include the high-powered math under the covers.
> And those prototypes (preferably in a design competition) should
> be built as open-source *research* projects. Then any commercial
> vendor could adopt and adapt the winning system in an industrial-
> strength version.
> For example, relational databases use very sophisticated indexing
> mechanisms, but the IT specialist can ask a question in SQL and
> a non-specialist could use an English-like interface without
> being aware of the underlying math.
> PDM> reality is made of quantifiable and not quantifiable subsets
> > therefore
> > a better (less fictional) model of reality would include the
> > product of calculus, as well as some representation of what cannot
> > be quantified and a possible model of the interaction between the two
> What I would recommend is that the ontology include a library of
> mathematical theories, any of which could be used to support any
> ontology. For things that aren't quantifiable, such as feelings
> and taste, very simple math might be used, such as saying "62% of
> the respondents said they prefer chocolate ice cream to strawberry."
> For subjects that can support detailed calculations, different
> mathematical theories might be used for different applications.
> Ordinary Euclidean geometry, for example, is sufficiently accurate
> for any measurements on earth. But the gravity of the sun warps
> the space nearby, and the theory of general relativity is necessary
> to compute the orbit of Mercury.
> The library of mathematical theories would therefore include all
> the versions of geometry (and many other branches of math), and
> any particular version could be used as appropriate.
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Paola Di Maio
School of IT
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