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Re: [ontolog-forum] Curation view of Ontologies

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Patrick Cassidy" <pat@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2008 21:26:08 -0400
Message-id: <000001c8d4d0$1d6d0830$58471890$@com>
  Do you think that a topic classification system suitable for libraries can
actually serve to encode information in a form suitable for automated
reasoning?  Do you have any examples of how such a classification has been
used with an automated reasoner?    (01)

Pat    (02)

Patrick Cassidy
cell: 908-565-4053
cassidy@xxxxxxxxx    (03)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F. Sowa
> Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2008 12:08 PM
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Curation view of Ontologies
> Ravi,
> Ranganathan's colon classification system is of fundamental importance.
> I would strongly urge everybody with any interest in ontology to get
> a basic acquaintance with the system.  For starters, see the appendix
> to the following article about Ranganathan:
>     http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/essays/v7p045y1984.pdf
> For Ranganathan's own outline and examples, see
>     http://www.iskoi.org/doc/colon.htm
> A few of his detailed examples:
>     2;45:6    circulation of newspapers
>     B331,1,2:1        numerical solution of ordinary linear differential
>                  second order equations
>     B952:72   orbits of comets
>     C3:11;5   velocity of sound in water
>     D5153,8:5 specification for the brake of railway carriage
>     H191:16   genesis of diamond
>     H4115.53  volcanoes of France
>     H7.438    mineral resources of Burma
>     H7113:16.8        origins of the copper deposits of Australia
>     KZ351:421:5       prevention of tuberculosis in poultry
>     NQ44,3;3:6        Indian distemper fresco painting of landscape
>     O-,2J64,51:g(S)  psychology of Hamlet
>     P111,9D56175,1:1  pronunciation in Yorkshire dialect
>     T15:3(B2),1       audio-visual method of teaching algebra in
>                  schools
>     W691:58(Q)        freedom of conscience in communist state
>     X:53.440r56'N5  the influence of British tariff on Indian tariff
>                  brought up to 1950's
> I would challenge anyone who prefers some other system to give any
> evidence that their own system is more general, more principled,
> or more systematic than Ranganathan's.  I wouldn't claim that R's
> system is perfect, but I would say that anyone who hasn't studied
> it is in serious danger of reinventing a square wheel.
> RS> I have tried many times to talk around the factors that lead
>  > Ranganathan (*reference19 in the Curation PDF) toward his colon
>  > classification (similarly many multitudes of such concepts in
>  > Sanskrit texts) but have not yet had many responses from our
>  > participants and I thought that concepts from other ways of
>  > thinking about Reasoning and Logic were not very much encouraged!
> First of all, colon classification is not one of the "other ways
> of thinking".  It is based on a fundamental principle that must
> be taught to every newbie and every so-called expert in ontology:
>     Single inheritance is hopelessly inadequate for classification.
> Librarians give several reasons why colon classification has not
> been more widely used:
>   1. The detailed codes can become too long to fit on the back of
>      a book spine.
>   2. The methods for deriving a code are hard to learn.
>   3. Tree structures, such as the Dewey Decimal System or the Library
>      of Congress codes, can be mapped to a linear string of cards in
>      a catalog or bookshelves in a library.  But multiple-inheritance
>      systems have no linearization that preserves the ordering.
> The first point can be met by the obvious way of truncating the
> code in order to fit it on the book spine and pasting the full code
> inside the front cover.
> The second point can be met in the usual way:  most librarians
> today just look up a book in a directory to see how the "experts"
> have classified it.  That is just as easy to do with R's system
> as with Dewey's.
> But the third point was a major stumbling block in the pre-computer
> days.  The solution to that problem is to replace the linear card
> catalogs with computers (and that has been done for every large
> library and most small libraries in the world).  Then the computer
> can map the multiple-inheritance system to any coordinate system
> used for locating books.
> RS> Of course, it would require thinking outside the notion that all
>  > we know about these subjects came largely from Greek Civilization...
> Not true.  I have often recommended that people learn something
> about the history of world civilizations:
>   (a) The Egyptian, Sumerian-Babylonian, Minoan, Greek, Persian,
>       Indian, and Chinese civilizations were trading ideas, religions,
>       mathematics, inventions, spices, silk, seeds, livestock, and
>       armies along the silk road since about 1500 BC.
>   (b) As examples of the trade of ideas, all the alphabets of the
>       world (except the relatively recent Korean alphabet) are based
>       on the Phoenician alphabet, which is based on a simplified
>       version of Egyptian hieroglyphics.  In the opposite direction,
>       the Arabs transmitted the Indian invention of "Arabic numerals"
>       to Europe.  And Leibniz invented binary arithmetic by studying
>       the encoding of the 64 hexagrams of the Chinese I Ching.
>   (c) Aristotle's system of syllogisms fully supports multiple
>       inheritance.  Leibniz exploited that fact for his own lattice-
>       based system (Universal Characteristic), which uses the same
>       principle as Ranganathan's facets.
> Summary:  Every single-inheritance ontology is obsolete.  Any
> single-inheritance system that is currently in use should be
> replaced or updated to a multiple-inheritance system in order
> to make it suitable for further development and extension.
> John
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