My thought has always been I build the ontologies to relate the
various classification facets (or the values applied to the facets)
without having to assume a governing set of facets and values for all
On Jun 22, 2008, at 9:26 PM, Patrick Cassidy wrote: (03)
> 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?
> Patrick Cassidy
> MICRA, Inc.
> cell: 908-565-4053
>> -----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
>> Ranganathan's colon classification system is of fundamental
>> 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:
>> For Ranganathan's own outline and examples, see
>> 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
>> 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.
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