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Re: [ontolog-forum] Heterarchy & Hierarchy, oh my my

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 01 May 2008 22:58:04 -0400
Message-id: <481A833C.7030908@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Folks,    (01)

First of all, there is no need for the word 'heterarchy',
since any realistic ontology would, of course, support multiple
inheritance.  That would be the default.    (02)

In fact, the widely-used method of Formal Concept Analysis (FCA)
automatically generates a lattice, which is a very elegant kind
of multiple-inheritance system that is *proved* to be consistent.    (03)

PC> Another tactic to avoid multiple inheritance is to use
 > properties to....    (04)

In object-oriented programming languages, multiple inheritance
creates problems because most programs are not formally defined,
and nobody knows whether or not the system as a whole is
consistent.    (05)

But any ontology derived by the FCA method (or other reasonable
approaches) is *guaranteed* to be consistent and all the possible
inheritances along multiple paths that reach any given point must
produce consistent results.    (06)

John Sowa    (07)

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