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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology similarity and accurate communication

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2008 15:48:31 -0500
Message-id: <p06230905c400935f81a2@[]>
At 12:33 PM -0500 3/14/08, John F. Sowa wrote:
Dear Matthew,

We seem to have an agreement in principle, but there are many details
to be resolved.  (That, of course, is where the devil is lurking.)

MW> We seem to have reached agreement here, provided compatibility
 > is defined as a mapping being available.

Being available or derivable.

As an example, see slides 9 to 16 of the talk I mentioned in an
earlier note:
    The Goal of Language Understanding

That is just one example, and much more work is needed to develop
the software into a tool that connects smoothly to various kinds
of DBs and KBs.  But it illustrates the point that two accurate
descriptions of the same object or situation should be compatible
and it should be possible to find a mapping between them.

With the greatest respect for the work described, it really does not illustrate that point. What it illustrates is that there are important cases where mappings exist between descriptions. But that is a much more modest claim that yours here, which is that if they both describe the same object or situation then there must be a mapping between them: in other words, that truly incompatible descriptions of a single reality are impossible. That is much closer to Pat Cassidy's position, and I don't think its likely to be true. (One might argue that its a better strategy to assume its true and fail, than to assume its false and never try, however :-)

In that example, both descriptions happened to describe exactly
the same information.  But the mappings may be harder to find
when each description focuses on different aspects and there is
only a partial overlap.

Surely in cases like this, one might expect that no mapping should exist. The informations might be completely independent: one might be about the dimensions of an object, another about its history, say.

I won't claim that it's easy, much more R & D is necessary,
but it should be possible to derive such mappings.

How about: its worth trying hard to derive such mappings. I can agree with that.

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