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Re: [ontolog-forum] Time representation

To: edbark@xxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2008 10:56:05 +0700
Message-id: <c09b00eb0801251956u45e547c4wa586d0c0e0a308c2@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>


of all the good contributions that I have been reading of yours, this is to date the most important from my perspective .  - thanks for pulling the thread back in from the vastity of universe of discourse
(I have just noticed a blue line on the left of this text, is it my email client or yours?)

In my view, a software system is a "device" (a machine), or in the
abstract a "design" (for a machine).  A software system is *not* a
theory.  It follows that the development of software systems is an
"engineering" task, not a "scientific" task.  (One needs the scientific
knowledge to best perform the engineering task, but the engineering task
is not to *develop* the knowledge, it is rather to *use* it in creating
the design.)  If we disagree on this point, and it appears that we do,
we will be unable to communicate, or at best unable to reach anything
like consensus.

I dont see how anyone could disagree with this. Unfortunately,  some scientists
think that whatever is not classified as science (in their understanding of it, which is partial to most humans) is nothing to do with ontology.  This is very central, because all information and knowledge today, exists (and is made useful and accessible and applicable for human progress) thanks to information systems which have been designed thanks to soft eng (which is a not a science?!). Ontology, has become so important today because information systems have become important to scientific and human progress today. Just some people have tunnel vision, and claim that science is this, and not that.

However let me say: knowledge is not finite. By using it, (access, mix, reuse, categorize according to different critera etc) we are likely to also develop new understanding, the quality (completeness, accuracy, currency) of knowledge can improve when it is extendend and complemented by other knowledge

this is the challenge of inter- and trans- disciplinarity, which can be met only by
advanced information systems design

Further, I would say that the design of an "IT ontology" is an effort to
capture knowledge in a way that makes is useful to a certain kind of
reasoning machine in fulfilling certain functions.  It is an engineering
task.  It is not about further developing the knowledge base itself, nor
is it about developing a theory for reasoning from it, and it is not
only about what that knowledge *is*.  It is about what part of that
knowledge you *need* to perform the envisaged functions, and what part
of it can be expressed in a way that is useful to the reasoning machine.
 That is, it is a part/component of a software device/system that
includes the reasoner.

Some people say that software engineering is not real engineering either because the people who do it dont wear a hard hat.

My excuse for continuing this discussion is that we do need some kind of
guidelines for development of ontologies.  We don't need to define
"elegant" or "fruitful".  But we need to separate the ideas
 - "ontology to be used for a particular project"
 - "ontology to be used for several known and expected projects"
 - "ontology to be published on the Web for general reference"

- ontology for ontology's sake, as it incidentally seems to happen a
lot (by trickin naive public research funding bodies into believe that ontology is very important today, and that ontology is what they say it is, because they know it all)

(One of the Cyc problems was that the major funding source had some very
unusual knowledge concepts and concerns that resulted in some rather
special-purpose ontologies, and some unusual twists on general concepts.)

I have a serious problem with funding agencies, and what knowledge they apply, with what logic etc

The (a)  purpose of Ontology , is  to represent Knowledge so that it can be access, used and applied

what about time representation then? we lost that part of the thread

Paola Di Maio
School of IT

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