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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 11:09:41 -0400
Message-id: <p06230903c444d071decb@[]>
At 10:22 AM -0400 5/5/08, Bill Andersen wrote:
G'morning, Pat.

Hi Bill
.... 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.

Well, OK, but how about

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

Well, you swapped the argument order of what I had intended (namely (instantiates <thing> <class>)), but ok.


This kind of thing is also ruled out by your strict binary exclusivity rule.

No, it's not.  In your example, British, CitizenshipProperty, and LegalClassification would all be what I called 'Type's above, whereas PatHayes would not - it would be an Individual.
And getting us past this kind of rigidity is one of the chief motivations for OWL 2 replacing OWL 1.

Sorry, I don't track the OWL world closely enough.  Didn't know there was a ...2 in the works.  Do you mean the punning capability that OWL 1.1 has?

Yes, and it's now officially OWL 2. No more decimal fractions of OWLs.

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.

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

(A B) is cool with me.  I was just trying to make explicit what the predication was doing.
> 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.

And what work is that, in this case?

That it makes no sense to say (PatHayes ...) where we take 'PatHayes' to denote you.

Well, I have to say that I don't have this problem. I can imagine myself to be a property. For example, I might be the property of pieces of space-time that is true when they are wholly occupied by my body (construed as a 4-d entity; or if you prefer, make me a continuant and switch to 3-d and say that the property is time-dependent.)  This might be odd, but it seems quite coherent, and its an alternative way of talking, and if someone wanted to adopt it, I wouldn't say they were wrong, or expect my software to give them an error message.

 If you can tell me how that makes any sense while preserving what we mean when we talk of 'Type'

Ive never understood that to mean anything more than "satisfying a type predicate" where being a 'type predicate' is a rather mysterious property of predicates, one that I confess to not really understanding, but Im happy to allow people to use it if they feel that it means something. I have no idea which of the various properties that are true of me count as 'types' and which don't. (In case the first on your list is 'being a member of the species homo sapiens', read "On the poverty of the Linnaean hierarchy" by Marc Ereshefsky, which will completely destroy your confidence in any of these Latinate binary classifications.)

, I'm all ears.  All else you said

(British PatHayes)
(CitizenshipProperty British)
(LegalClassification CitizenshipProperty)
is just fine (not just fine, but great) with me.  Nothing I said in my original post implied that it was not.

Hmm, OK.  Types can themselves have types? Without that making them into individuals? So you aren't advocating GOFOL-style strictness about arguments? That isn't obvious from what you said (though I admit it is consistent with what you said... :-)


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