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Re: [ontolog-forum] Start thinking about the 2008 Ontology Summit

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Patrick Cassidy" <pat@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 11:13:45 -0500
Message-id: <028b01c843ec$765a4770$630ed650$@com>

Hi Steve,

    I won’t be able to participate in the Jan 3 call, I have  a conflict.

    For the next ontology summit I would like to once again see if there is a path we can take to get agreement on some common foundation ontology. The first step is to identify some significant part of the ontology community that will make a serious proposal to a funding agency to support the efforts of an effective cross-section of the community of those who have worked on foundation ontologies and those who are building applications that require the reasoning capabilities that a FOL-based  ontology can provide.  I think it would be particularly helpful to have representation from those who are exploring the use of ontologies for natural language understanding in such a project.   We have discussed this issue before, and at this time it would probably take over 5 million to support a basic effort of that kind.  To get that kind of money we will need more of a consensus than has been visible up to now.   But we have learned a lot in the past five years, and the time may be ripe for another attempt.

     The tactic I now think may have the best chance of moving forward is to structure the common foundation ontology as a ‘conceptual defining vocabulary’ that will have all the primitive concept representations necessary to create ontologies in any specialized area, with each element in each domain ontology specified as a combination of the primitive elements.  That’s the goal, and it will be approached incrementally over time as the foundation ontology expands to meet the needs of new applications.  By viewing the foundation ontology in this way, I think it will be possible to keep  the size at a level where it will not be too difficult to master.  Wherever there is some disagreement on how to represent some particular idea, the disagreeing parties effort could focus on describing the differences in terms of formal representations  – and the concept representations they agree on to describe the differences would then be candidates for inclusion in the foundation ontology, with the different views pushed out into extensions (or, if one prefers, different dependent ontologies in a “lattice of ontologies”).    This tactic may increase the ability to agree on the most fundamental concept representations.


   The problem of interoperability is still facing us, and from the perspective of getting semantic interoperability at a level that can support automated decisions in a mission-critical application, I don’t perceive any significant progress outside of the limited communities that each have fixed on some common upper ontology.  I think we can do better to move toward a critical mass that attracts vendors of utilities and applications.  As a scientific/engineering community it may be appropriate for us to feel an obligation to seriously explore all the possible ways to improve the utility of our ontologies.  My suggestion is to explore the “conceptual defining vocabulary” tactic, and I hope we can have at least a few hour session at the Ontology Summit (or perhaps at FOIS, or both) for discussing that .


   If there is anyone else interested in exploring this approach, we can start discussions in this forum to identify the issues in this approach that need to be clarified, so that some portion of our community might be able to come to a consensus on whether or not to make a formal funding proposal.


   Meanwhile, have yourselves a Merry Little Christmas.




Patrick Cassidy



cell: 908-565-4053



From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Peter F Brown
Sent: Friday, December 21, 2007 9:54 AM
To: ray@xxxxxxxx
Cc: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Start thinking about the 2008 Ontology Summit


Hi Steve:

I look forward to it, and hope to join the call on Jan 3 and submit some ideas then or before…


As regards the dates, you might want to take account of the fact that OASIS have their AGM, Symposium and Board meeting in Santa Clara during the week 28 April to 2 May, so the Mon/Tue following would be ideal, at least for me who will be involved in all three, but also many potential participants who may well be at the Symposium at least.

That said, I know from experience that trying to find available time windows is a nightmare….






From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Steve Ray
Sent: 21 December 2007 15:45
To: '[ontolog-forum] '
Subject: [ontolog-forum] Start thinking about the 2008 Ontology Summit


As we have for the past two years, we are planning on holding a face-to-face meeting of the ontology community at NIST in the spring of 2008. We are ironing out some logistic details, but it is looking like a likely date is late April.


The purpose of this email is to solicit ideas for the topic we tackle this year, and then undertake an online discussion culminating in the meeting. One possibility is to arrive at a resolution by the community to support an online ontology repository somewhere. This topic is going to be discussed anyway at the January 3rd Ontolog Forum conference call – you may want to call in. There are numerous other possibilities for the Ontology Summit – please submit your favorites.


Steven R. Ray, Chief

Manufacturing Systems Integration Division

National Institute of Standards & Technology

Phone: (301) 975-3524

Fax: (301) 258-9749

Email: ray@xxxxxxxx

Web: http://www.nist.gov/msid



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