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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology vs OWL implementation

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 16:44:15 -0500
Message-id: <D61EAFDE-C8E1-4657-A0E6-5222C387B96E@xxxxxxxx>
On May 2, 2008, at 10:40 AM, Ed Barkmeyer wrote:
> ...
> I have yet to see a definition of "ontology" that everyone who  
> thinks s/he is developing one, or tools for one, agrees with. If we  
> take the loose definition: "a set of terms and definitions using a  
> machine-interpretable language with a formally defined semantics" or  
> the even looser definition: "any formal structure of terms and  
> definitions", one can argue that any OWL model is an "ontology"  
> because it is a representation of a set of related terms using "a  
> machine-interpretable language with a formally defined semantics".
> My personal preference is a much stronger definition:    (01)

I'm not sure it's stronger.    (02)

> A formal language that provides a means of definition of a term  
> using a syntax with a well-defined semantics that supports  
> (automated) reasoning is an "ontology language".    (03)

Ok, let's say KIF, which is supported by the Schulz/Halcomb Tau  
reasoner.    (04)

> A model...    (05)

I assume you really mean a set of sentences, and not a model in the  
model theoretic sense.    (06)

> ...captured in that language is an "ontology" if and only if most of  
> the terms it introduces are defined in the model using the  
> definition mechanisms of the formal language (possibly including  
> references to terms that are formally defined elsewhere).    (07)

Ok, let's suppose our specific KIF language has the predicates P and  
Q.  I define them thus:    (08)

(forall (x y) (iff (P x y) (= x y)))    (09)

(forall (x y) (iff (Q x y) (not (P x y))))    (010)

By your definition, this is an ontology.  (Call it the "Identity and  
Difference (I&D)" ontology. :-)  Maybe that's ok with you -- it's  
certainly ok with me.  But I got the impression you had something more  
discriminating in mind.    (011)

-chris    (012)

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