ontolog-forum
[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer pizza (was ckae)

To: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Barker, Sean (UK)" <Sean.Barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 09:11:37 +0100
Message-id: <E18F7C3C090D5D40A854F1D080A84CA449818E@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

John,
        Thanks for your helpful distinction between Semantics and Pragmatics. I 
shall keep to Pragmatics in future, believing as I do that Semantics is a 
useful heuristic, but only when you know is a mistake :-).  (Is there an 
emoticon for waving a red rag at a bull?).    (01)

        The reason for raising the question about risk is precisely because of 
the need for due diligence. Due diligence is a cost, and one needs to know how 
much one needs to spend to bring the level of risk down to an acceptable level. 
Even ten years ago, a single pop rivet for an aircraft could cost as much as 
80 ($160) as opposed to, say, 50 for a 1 for domestic use, and much of the 
cost can be in certifying the supplier.    (02)

        This question could be rephrased in terms of trust (as a heuristic, one 
could take trust as the reciprocal of risk). In this case, it is trust of the 
pragmatics of a term, however a very similar question arises in the security 
world - I am also currently looking at what we would need to do to trust a grid 
computing environment to be secure.    (03)

        I agree the problem is non-trivial, which is why I asked the question, 
did you of a methodology for doing it. I guess the answer is no. That, at 
least, is a result.    (04)

Sean Barker
0117 302 8184    (05)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: John F. Sowa [mailto:sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx] 
> Sent: 28 August 2007 19:22
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Cc: Barker, Sean (UK)
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer pizza 
> (was ckae)
> 
> 
>                *** WARNING ***
> 
> This mail has originated outside your organization, either 
> from an external partner or the Global Internet. 
>      Keep this in mind if you answer this message. 
> 
> Sean and Pat,
> 
> You both have valid points.  To clarify the issues, I suggest 
> that we adopt some terms that are common in discussions of 
> meaning in languages, both natural and artificial:
> 
>   - *Syntax* addresses the grammatical form of any notation,
>     independent of any question of what those forms mean.
> 
>   - *Semantics* addresses the relationship between any
>     notation and the things or events that the notation
>     refers to.  It includes both reference (what the names
>     and variables refer to in the domain of interest) and
>     truth (whether the patterns expressed by the notation
>     correctly characterize the patterns in the domain).
> 
>   - *Pragmatics* addresses the purpose of the notation
>     and how it relates to the behavior of the people and
>     other agents (including computers) that use the notation.
> 
> SB>> The meaning of a computer system is always the behaviour
>  >> of the organization that uses it.
> 
> PH> ... that is rather a stretch. The meaning IS the behavior??
>  > No, the behavior depends (in part) on the meaning: but the 
>  > meaning is what it is even if nobody acts on the information.
> 
> That is why the word 'meaning' is confusing.  Sean is talking 
> about pragmatics, and Pat is talking about semantics.  I 
> suggest that we avoid the word 'meaning' and discuss the 
> issues in terms of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.
> 
> SB>> If I have a collection of designs for an aircraft, a set of
>  >> orders for parts and a stock of material, I expect to 
> come in  >> the following day to have a set of appropriately 
> shaped lumps  >> of metal, not a print out saying 'the 
> machine could in theory  >> make the parts you require'.
> 
> That is a valid goal.  But it is a matter of pragmatics (what 
> the system is supposed to do), which depends critically on 
> the semantics (what are the specified patterns for the lumps) 
> and the syntax (what is the grammar for specifying lumps).
> 
> PH> I doubt if it is possible to quantify this or even define
>  > it reasonably, as it will depend so heavily on what use is 
>  > made of the information in the ontology.
> 
> My revision of Pat's point:
> 
>     I doubt if it is possible to quantify [the pragmatics] or
>     even define it reasonably, as it will depend so heavily on
>     what use is made of the [semantic] information in the ontology.
> 
> I certainly agree that the pragmatics depends on the 
> semantics, but I also believe that it is possible to define 
> procedures that would determine the pragmatics -- i.e., how a 
> computerized machine should respond to the semantics by 
> making the desired products.
> 
> SB>> Perhaps a more useful question is not whether the ontology
>  >> corresponds (or what ever phrase does not upset the 
> philosophers)  >> to reality, but what is the risk that I run 
> if I assume you mean  >> the same thing that I do when we use 
> a term from an ontology.
> 
> PH> I doubt if it is possible to quantify this or even define it
>  > reasonably, as it will depend so heavily on what use is 
> made of  > the information in the ontology.
> 
> I agree that Sean's point is important, and I agree with Pat 
> that more information (i.e., pragmatics and a lot of related 
> background about engineering practice) is needed before 
> Sean's point can be suitably defined and quantified.
> 
> SB> Unless I can quantify these risk factors, then I will not trust
>  > the Semantic Web for anything other than low impact actions.
> 
> I agree that engineers are expected to quantify the risk 
> factors, but the information needed to do so depends on many 
> more issues than just the ontology.
> 
> PH> I am confident that the Sweb will survive being un-trusted
>  > by conservative engineers for a while.
> 
> If I were a physician or an engineer who hoped to avoid a 
> malpractice suit, I would not use *anything* I found on the 
> WWW (semantic or not) without doing a great deal of "due 
> diligence" on where that data came from, how it was derived, 
> what are the previous experiences of using it, etc.
> 
> I take my life in my hands whenever I drive my car or fly in 
> a plane, and I'm willing to continue doing so.  But there is 
> no currently available ontology (not CYC, SUMO, DOLCE, BFO, 
> or anything else I have seen so far), which I would trust 
> with my own life or anybody else's (especially if they might 
> have survivors who could sue me).
> 
> John
> 
> 
>     (06)

********************************************************************
This email and any attachments are confidential to the intended
recipient and may also be privileged. If you are not the intended
recipient please delete it from your system and notify the sender.
You should not copy it or use it for any purpose nor disclose or
distribute its contents to any other person.
********************************************************************    (07)


_________________________________________________________________
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (08)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>