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Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology

To: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Avril Styrman <Avril.Styrman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 20:38:51 +0200
Message-id: <1201804731.47a215bb922e9@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

I had similar thoughts than Rob here:    (02)

Rob Freeman:
> I don't see why it should not prove possible to reason with classes so
> defined. I believe indeed that natural language can be thought of as a
> formal system over such classes (a formal system as distinct from a
> grammar.)    (03)

Comments below.    (04)

Lainaus Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
> >1:
> >Human is a mammal
> >
> >2:
> ><class> Mammal </class>
> ><class subClassOf:Mammal> Human </class>
> >
> >A NL parser can extract the same information (human is
> >a mammal) from NL that can also be given in a formal ontology.
> NL parsers cannot extract information. One needs 
> also NL semantics. Which of course amounts to an 
> ontology. This whole topic of NL understanding 
> belongs in AI. One needs a basic acquaintance 
> with the subject before forming a useful opinion.    (05)

Take an RDF Schema. The class and property structure 
is usually in one file, and the instances in another 
file. You say that the instance-file is not a part 
of the ontology, but it is only a knowledge repository. 
Ok, I can go with that.     (06)

But, the is-a relationships between the classes surely
must be parts of the genuine ontology, isn't this what
you say?    (07)

It does not require millions of dollars to implement
a NL parser that searches "X is Y" phrases from the 
web. All the parsed results can be compared, and 
probablilities given to each individual X and Y in
"X is Y". And this is exactly the same as making 
a 'genuine' ontology with the subclass relations.
It is only a domain-independent way to do it, 
when hard-coding is not, unless you hard-code the 
whole world in that box.    (08)

If you do not consider that even the subclass
relations are parts of a genuine ontology, then 
you seem to identify ontology with very general
relations that are used e.g. by humans when we 
reason about things. Do you ask what sorts of
relational structures these are? Is-a is one of
these for sure.    (09)

There are problems with similarizing ontology with 
very general ''talking about relations'', like, 
having any entities x,y, there are possible 
relations R between x and y: R(x,y). In this case, 
you wouldn't call the is-a relations part of 
ontology, because these are too 'simple' for 
you. Even Cyc would not be an ontology, since 
the is-a structures are in the heart of Cyc too.    (010)

> Your comparison above is childishly simple, and 
> does not properly reflect the real problem, which 
> has remained intractable for several decades with 
> many very clever, highly motivated, people and 
> with millions of dollars in funding, trying their 
> very best to solve it.    (011)

The is-a relationship is a part of the solution. 
If you don't agree, then I don't know what is your 
position.     (012)

A complete solution would of course be a machine 
that gives an answer to any question that has 
an answer. Are you asking now how the solution
can be programmed? I can give some very general
guidelines, such as Zadeh's PNL.    (013)

> The Web is NOT an ontology. If you think I am 
> wrong, don't argue with me: go ahead and 
> implement a tiny fraction of the needed 
> functionality, and you will be richer than 
> Croesus.
> >
> >E.g. Lotfi Zadeh's Precisiated Natural Language PNL
> >is all about using the internet as the source of
> >knowledge, and turning it into a formalized form.
> As are many other projects, including IBM's 
> multimillion-dollar WebFountain project. None of 
> them will ever come remotely close to being able 
> to extract coherent structured ontological 
> content from free text. The best one can do is to 
> 'scrape' some approximate shallow, very 
> unreliable, propositions and to identify things 
> like proper names of people and cities. This is 
> of course extremely useful, but it does not come 
> anywhere near being able to treat the Web as an 
> ontology.    (014)

PNL is a general scheme. It does not solve all the 
problems of AI, but it is a good suggestion of 
the general guidelines.    (015)

> >This way, the naturally evolving internet contains
> >similar sort of information than that what is
> >inserted into Cyc by hand.
> No, it does not. If only because the Web does not 
> comprise simple declarative sentences of the kind 
> found in reading primers.    (016)

One of Zadeh's ideas was to convert NL into PNL.
I suggest you read the article:    (017)

AI Magazine  archive
Volume 25 ,  Issue 3  (Fall 2004) table of contents
Pages: 74 - 91  
Year of Publication: 2004
ISSN:0738-4602     (018)

Avril    (019)

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