[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Search engine for the ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 15:47:37 -0500
Message-id: <47C5CC69.2070801@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

That is the central issue about the words in any natural language:    (02)

 > The concept of nucleus for example has a lot in common between
 > biology, atomic physics, astronomy and linguistics, but all these
 > fields use the term with different exact meanings and emphases.    (03)

The linguist Alan Cruse coined the term 'microsense' and pointed out
that nearly every word in every language has an open-ended range of
fine distinctions that can vary from one use to another, even within
the same text.  The list of word senses in any dictionary is just
one particular grouping of a finite set of citations.    (04)

 > Simply distinguishing bio-nucleus from physics-nucleus, etc., as
 > distinct concepts, loses the commonality; treating them all as
 > instances of one super-concept leads to confusion and inconsistency.    (05)

I agree.  Unfortunately, requiring a precise formal definition for
every microsense does not guarantee that the human users will have
any clue about which of the many microsenses is appropriate for
any particular application.    (06)

 > We (a university-based consortium led by SRI) also beat Cyc in the
 > RKF competition, largely because we used a graphical human interface
 > rather then a text-based one. Natural language, it turns out, is a
 > lousy way to communicate with a computer.    (07)

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all interface that is good
for all possible uses.  For any particular special case, it is possible
to develop a notation that far exceeds NL for that purpose.  But then
there is the problem of teaching that notation to the people who have
to use it.    (08)

And that leads to a nugget of wisdom that I heard from a programmer
who was commenting on all the many tools for enhancing productivity:    (09)

    For any particular problem, any one of those tools is an enormous
    aid to productivity.  But any two of them together will kill you.    (010)

John    (011)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (012)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>