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

To: <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Meech, Alan" <alan.meech@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 08:00:05 -0400
Message-id: <5840F28CCF84694BAC4B43F1FA728F57020FFBDF@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
This is probably a na´ve question to put to this forum, but I do a lot of 
knowledge gathering in my work (human and otherwise), so I need to know about 
what is available.  My apologies in advance.    (01)

Is there a practical difference between a sufficiently formally defined 
controlled NL and a formally defined ontology in a language like KIF or CL 
variants? If the language has a formal logical backing, is it possible to 
define controlled NL's that can take advantage of translation and inference 
technologies? Humans have been defining (to some degree) controlled languages 
in most technical fields for many years and some define them more precisely (or 
formally) than others.  Are we at a point yet where we have tools to do the 
same things with controlled NL's that we (want to) do with logical languages 
like KIF or CL variants? What is possible today?    (02)

Thanks.    (03)

-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F. Sowa
Sent: Friday, May 09, 2008 12:12 AM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] A different approach to ontology    (04)

Andreas,    (05)

I certainly agree with that point:    (06)

 > 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)....    (07)

That goal can be achieved with a wide range of special purpose
languages, all of which are formally defined, but some of which
may use a subset of the syntax and vocabulary of natural languages.
Those versions are usually called *controlled natural languages*.
See, for example,    (08)

    http://www.ics.mq.edu.au/~rolfs/controlled-natural-languages/
    Controlled Natural Languages - Homepage    (09)

Adrian Walker has a different approach that also uses NL words.
He doesn't call his version a controlled NL, but it is also
limited to a specific subject domain, and the result is just
as formal as any version of logic.    (010)

In my previous note, I was criticizing a naive view that it
might be possible to have a single very simple, very precise
language that covered more than one specialty at the same time.
The controlled NLs are versions of logic, which can be used for
multiple applications, but only by switching to a different
vocabulary (ontology) for each domain.    (011)

John Sowa    (012)




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