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Re: [ontolog-forum] orthogonal

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Barker, Sean (UK)" <Sean.Barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2008 18:17:17 -0000
Message-id: <E18F7C3C090D5D40A854F1D080A84CA4C0DE7F@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

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contrary non-withstanding. It is the opinion of the author, and does not
represent an official company view.    (01)

I'm not sure this discussion has illuminated the concept of
orthogonality, as compared to, say, ontology intersection. On the
analogy of linear algebra, I would expect orthogonality to be defined
through a lack of coupling between sub-ontologies. For example, I might
classify <b>product</b> by functional type (specification, part,
document) and by life cycle phase (design, planned-occurrence,
actual-occurrence). I would consider these orthogonal in the sense that
the criteria for classifying by functional type do not intersect with
the criteria for classifying by life cycle phase.    (02)

That is, I would not classify ontologies as orthogonal unless they
describe the same thing in different ways such that knowing the ontology
class of the thing in one ontology does not help identify the class used
in the other.    (03)

The implication of this is that ontology orthogonality is about the
decision criteria for choosing classes, not about the actual classes.
This is not something that is expressed in ontology languages such as
OWL - are there any ontology definition languages which do record the
decision criteria?    (04)

Sean Barker
BAE SYSTEMS - Advanced Technology Centre
Bristol, UK
+44(0) 117 302 8184    (05)

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