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

To: <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: <matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2008 00:09:18 -0000
Message-id: <808637A57BC3454FA660801A3995FA8F06A2D118@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Pat,
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 :-) 
MW: I seem to recall that Barwise et al had put together a pretty good argument in his Information Flow book for pretty much just this. Did I misread this, or do you find some fault with his argument (in which case details please)? 


Matthew West
Reference Data Architecture and Standards Manager
Shell International Petroleum Company Limited
Registered in England and Wales
Registered number: 621148
Registered office: Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 20 7934 4490 Mobile: +44 7796 336538
Email: matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx

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