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

To: Bill Andersen <andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 09:53:13 -0400
Message-id: <p06230902c444bfd69d3f@[]>
At 8:25 AM -0400 5/5/08, Bill Andersen wrote:
>Hi John.
>On May 4, 2008, at 23:06 , John F. Sowa wrote:
>>  Bill,
>>  That can also be restated as the refrigerator principle:
>>>  Everyone ought to agree on a principle of least commitment.
>>  Restatement:  "When in doubt, throw it out."
>Huzzah for that.
>>>  To distinguish, say, between universal and particular, has
>>>  paid dividends in actual applications I've worked on
>>>  where these were conflated.
>>  The useful distinction can be stated in other terms, such
>>  as types and instances.  Or even predicates and instances.
>That's not the same distinction.  You're speaking only of roles wrt an 
>instantiation relation
>(x,y) (instance(x) & type(y)) <-> instantiates(x,y)
>I don't find that very useful at all.  The distinction I'm talking 
>about is between two classes
>(x) (Type(x) <-> ~Indiv(x))
>       ... (if you don't like the word 'Universal')    (01)

Apparently that isnt what OBO means by 
'universal', since (for example) MarriedMan isn't 
a universal, and for sure it isn't an Indiv, 
right? Which to my mind only gives extra force to 
John's point: people are using this word to mean 
all kinds of different things. So its doing more 
harm than good.    (02)

>>  My complaint about the terms 'universal' and 'particular'
>>  can be seen in the enormous amount of ink that has been
>>  spilled over the past few millennia on those terms.
>>  I'll agree that some of that discussion has made useful
>>  points, but any pair of terms that requires so much
>>  discussion to explain is not a pair that is pedagogically
>>  useful to perpetuate.
>To be clear, you're talking about the *names*, right?  Because even if 
>we agree not to use them, I'm going to find an ontology where I can say
>       (instantiates MadisonSquareGarden JohnSowa)
>, with these names conventionally interpreted, pretty damned hard to 
>make sense of.    (03)

Well, OK, but how about    (04)

(instantiates British PatHayes) &
(instantiates CitizenshipProperty British) &
(instantiates LegalClassification CitizenshipProperty)    (05)

This kind of thing is also ruled out by your 
strict binary exclusivity rule. And getting us 
past this kind of rigidity is one of the chief 
motivations for OWL 2 replacing OWL 1. If you 
have managed to avoid the need for this, you must 
have either been looking at very simple 
ontologies, or have some 'work-around', ie an 
ugly hack to avoid naive binary exclusion rules.    (06)

By the way, writing (instantiates A B) instead of 
(A B) is a good example itself of one of these 
ugly hacks.    (07)

>  > My recommendation is to apply the refrigerator principle
>>  to those two terms.
>I'm happy to toss any overly burdened terms so long as the same work 
>gets done.    (08)

And what work is that, in this case?    (09)

Pat    (010)

>       .bill
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