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Re: [ontolog-forum] Legacy systems

To: "Barker, Sean (UK)" <Sean.Barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Rex Brooks" <rexb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Rex Brooks <rexb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 05:53:55 -0800
Message-id: <a06240814c36745c2ef33@[]>
Hi Sean,

I replied at length to Paola DiMaio's reply to this message. I tend to work from the bottom up my email list in the morning.


At 10:47 AM +0000 11/19/07, Barker, Sean (UK) wrote:
    I tried to get a similar approach going in the EU project OASIS (no relation) for a tactical situation object for emergency response, but although we agreed on using a sort-of-taxonomy, an ontology was a step to far.
    I say sort-of-taxonomy. It was clear that with some twenty different sorts of emergency responder to inform, and with different breakdowns of responsibility between the member countries (there are some 20+ to consider), that no classification single system would be used consistently and even basic categories vary between service, location and country. Consequently, in several areas, particularly that for identifying the type of incident, we used an "anti-taxonomy", which identified multiple classes of classification factors and provided a classification system for each factor, but which did not identify an overall class. Consequently, there is no classification "major-warehouse-fire", but separate classifications for scale, site, and incident type (fire/flood/earthquake...).
    One of the problems is that each responder has their own "legacy" classification system, which cannot be easily replaced, since it is built into the procedures and culture of the responding organization. Rather like the Edison problem, the best we can do is pipe emergency situation messages to each responder, and let them convert it into something that they can consume. The critical problem is to ensure that the conversion process does not lose too much of the original - in the case of emergency situation messages, misunderstand does not create a significant risk to the lives or health of the responders.
Sean Barker
Bristol, UK

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