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Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology

To: Avril Styrman <Avril.Styrman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 16:39:57 -0600
Message-id: <p0623090dc3c7f98580bf@[]>
At 10:30 PM +0200 1/31/08, Avril Styrman wrote:
Lainaus Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>:
> >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.
> No, it is absolutely nothing like making a genuine ontology.

We have reached the not-too, not-too situation.

But - and I'm sorry to pull rank on you here, but I don't have time to do anything more collegial - I do know something about what Im talking about, and it is quite apparent that you don't. (Attended one seminar?? Give me a break. If you had read one textbook I might be more impressed. NLP isn't my main field, but I work alongside people who wrote most of the main textbooks, and Ive chaired more research meetings on NLP and Meaning than I can now recall.)

> >The is-a relationship is a part of the solution.
> No, the problem is to find the ontological content in the free NL
> text. Such text contains all sorts of information, some of which can
> be possibly expressed as subclass relations, and a much smaller
> fraction of which can be usefully so expressed. But there are no
> simple heuristics for reliably recognizing such information based on
> the form of the NL sentences.

If is-a is not one sort of ontological content, then what is?

Of course subclass information is ontological content. Nothing I have said even suggests that I would say it was not.

A large number of simple "X is Y" NL sentences gives a quite
good approximation that "X is a subclass of Y"

OK, if you believe this, find me some. Actual examples from the Web.

Here are a few sentences I found starting from the Google news page that match your pattern.

He is a great American hero and an extraordinary leader.
California is the largest prize among the 24 states that hold nominating contests on "Super Tuesday," February 5
The Air is 0.16 of an inch thick at its thinnest point.
Activiation of the phones is crucial to Apple's bottom line because it gets a 10 percent of the cut in monthly fees charged by AT&T.
Calendar year '08 is what Steve referenced in his keynote.
The point that he made was that the worldwide market for total cell phones is somewhere around 1 billion and our objective of getting 1% of it would yield 10 million units across the calendar year,
A price cut is a possibility, agrees Mike Abramsky, an analyst with RBC Capital

, similarly as
using Google as means to separate which one is the right word:
'successor' of 'sucesor'. Of course there are more complex
tasks too.

> I'm sorry, but it is clear that you know almost nothing about the
> actual NLP field. There is no point in continuing this discussion.
> Read some textbooks on the state of the art on NL comprehension
> systems.

> >PNL is a general scheme. It does not solve all the
> >problems of AI, but it is a good suggestion of
> >the general guidelines.
> The general guidelines for solving all the problems of AI?? I'm
> afraid I am simply laughing at this point.

The general guideline is: use web as the source of information
instead of hard-coding it, which is done with Cyc.

That is not a research guideline. If you knew anything about AI you not make such foolish observations.

> >One of Zadeh's ideas was to convert NL into PNL.
> And the best of luck to you and to Lotfi in actually managing to do
> this.

It doesn't take a Phd in NLP to understand that NLP is the
the right way to do the conversion.

NLP is not a method or a technique, it is the name of an open research problem area.

 I've only been to one
seminar about NLP, but reading many books doesn't change
the points made above.

It might inform them past the point where they are totally disconnected from the real world, however.

The main point was the web is more
likely to be the repository of common sense than Cyc.

This is false on many grounds. First, common sense is not commonly written down, even in English. Some of it may *never* be written down because we all learn it (or are born with it) before becoming literate. Second, it is not currently or for the forseeable future possible to extract meaning from free NL text without already having a CYC-scale ontology to help one comprehend the NL sentences with. Third, although there may indeed be a great deal of information on the Web, there is no way to distinguish facts from opinion or sense from nonsense, unless one already has a great deal of common sense (more than many adult humans) to help one do the sorting out.

this doesn't change the fact that the internal model
of a NL parser can be called an ontology too.

You can call a horse a car, but that has nothing to do with the facts. Parsers do not include ontologies.



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