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Re: [ontolog-forum] A different approach to ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Andreas Tolk <atolk@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 10:40:55 -0400
Message-id: <OF01220F9D.287787C6-ON85257443.004BAAC2-85257443.005081AF@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Working quite often for the military, the dream of an unambiguous language
to be spoken by men and machine is everything but new. Actually, the
military is pretty good at using exact terms for expected behavior (also
known as orders). If the artillery, e.g., gets a call for fire, it is very
explicit on what ammunition to shot where with which purpose. The general
structure of such a sentence follows the categories WHO is doing WHAT,
WHERE, WHEN, and WHY ... and if the recipient is a machine without decision
logic - or a new recruit without experience or understanding - the WHY can
be explained or replaced with HOW. But even in such a well defined
environment it is hard to come to an agreement. We captured some
challenges, which seem to be very applicable in the context of this
discussion, in a summary article for the Command and Control Research and
Technology Symposium (attached).    (01)

What we try to accomplish is a gradually increasing solution based on
ontological means by doing the following:
(a) understand the business process to be supported (B2B logic and concept
of operation)
(b) identify the data that need to be exchanged in support of this process
(c) Use model-based data engineering to map these data to a common
reference model
(d) Capture the constraints of how data elements can be associated into
business objects
(e) Capture the constraints of how business objects are used in business
processes    (02)

As an interim step, we started with using an XML scheme to express valid
expressions (= business objects) on top of the common reference model and
are replacing the enumeration by production rules (= grammars) in the next
phase. Steps d and e will be captured as axioms, so that at the end our
language is defined by data elements in contexts with axioms, which is a
formal specification of the conceptualization = an ontology.    (03)

In addition, we believe that it is possible to capture more than one
dialect of this language with these approach. In the paper, we are
introducing the idea of information exchange requirement (what needs to be
exchanged in a given conceptualization) and information exchange capability
(what can be exchanged in the context of a given conceptualization).    (04)

We are just in the beginning of this ideas, but we were able to connect six
operationally used IT system of NATO in a transatlantic experiment
exchanging data based on these ideas without having to change the systems
themselves.    (05)

Ideas, references to check, and constructive criticism are welcome
============================== ;-)
Andreas Tolk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering
242B Kaufman Hall
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-4500 (voice)
(757) 683-5640 (fax)
atolk@xxxxxxx    (06)

(See attached file: 016_Tolk_Diallo.pdf)    (07)

Attachment: 016_Tolk_Diallo.pdf
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