Dear John, (01)
> Dear Matthew,
> I intended to save the previous note as a draft, which I planned
> to finish later. But I accidentally hit send instead of save.
> In any case, you responded to some important points, which should
> be resolved before we continue.
> JFS>> But for most applications, the most important ontologies are the
> >> low-level ones that are often independent of the upper levels.
> MW> Not between 3D and 4D. It goes all the way down. I only wish
> > that were not so.
> I agree that is true for some applications, but I seriously doubt that
> it is true for a large number of important applications.
> JFS>> For example, an airline schedule has lots of times and places,
> >> but it is irrelevant whether the upper level uses a 3+1D or 4D
> >> axiomatization of space and time or how the upper level defines
> >> objects, people, and events.
> MW> No it is not.
> I very, very, very strongly doubt that the choice of a 3D vs 4D
> upper ontology would have the slightest effect on the design
> of a database for airline schedules, train schedules, and many
> similar applications. (02)
MW: It is precisely when you deal with times and places (individuals
in general) that you get distinctly different results. I have not
modelled the specific examples above, but I have done similar things
that are Oil Industry related. Of course you can MAP between the
sorts of things you find in databases to either 3D or 4D, but that
is not what we are talking about, is it?
> I'd like to hear any arguments to the contrary, but I doubt that
> a strong case can be made that a 4D ontology is a requirement for
> those applications. (03)
MW: Actually, after I replied, I started to remember the last round of
discussions we had on this when we were trying to see if we could find
any minimal upper ontology that was common. I seem to recall it was
just about thing and class that was all I could see. (04)
MW: However, this did remind me of what I thought could be shared in
lower level modules, and that is the sort of stuff that says things
like "centrifugal pumps have impellers as parts". These kinds of
statements at a class level I think it may be possible to merge with
either a 3D or 4D foundation. When you merge it with a 3D foundation
you allow classes to change their membership over time, when you
merge it with 4D ontollogies they become extensional. (05)
MW: It is not clear to me for how much stuff this would work, but I
do think it is worth pursuing to see where the boundaries lie.
> MW> The point I was trying to make is that different peoples mental
> > models are not the same, so there is no reason why they should
> > easily agree on an ontology just because they share a common
> > language to describe their mental models
> I very strongly agree with that point.
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