John F. Sowa wrote:
> That is certainly true:
> > I am coming to the conclusion that many complimentary and
> > contradictory ontologies are going to be made freely available
> > and unless we get a structure for allocating namespaces, we
> > are going to impair the ability of application developers to
> > assemble a set of foundation ontologies and domain specific
> > ontologies that can be integrated into a usable base for
> > customization.
> In various discussions, we have talked about setting up a registry
> for managing and organizing the ontologies and relating them to
> one another.
> > Is this something that IANA (http://www.iana.org) should be
> > mandated to manage?
> Since ontology is a kind of metadata, it seems reasonable to follow
> the standards in ISO 11179 for metadata registries. The Wikipedia
> article has a brief summary with pointers to various web sites
> for more information:
> This standard was developed by ISO/IEC JTC1 SC32 WG2 on Metadata.
> Not coincidentally, that is the same committee that is responsible
> for the ISO/IEC 24707 standard for Common Logic. The rationale for
> developing the Common Logic standard in that committee is that one
> of the important uses for Common Logic is to specify metadata,
> such as ontologies.
If I understand the Wikipedia article correctly, this registration is at
a level that is too low.
I have no faith that a single definition of concepts will be built.
I am not sure that any central organization will have the manpower to
review the hundreds of ontologies(foundation or topic specific) that
will be produced over the next few years. (01)
The market is moving too fast. (02)
What I need, I think, is a world where I can pick up bits of the NASA
ontology, extract some of the cyc ontology, merge the 2 sets together
and add what I need to describe my domain.
I am assuming that I will be better off if the 2 examples above are in
different namespaces so that I can build a process to do the merge
without having to completely redo both ontologies. (03)
I know that there will be overlaps in concepts if I work with multiple
ontologies in an application that deals with a specific real-world
problem (petrochemical plant for example).
I just want to have a ghost of a chance of being able build up a
compatible set of ontologies (basic science, units of measure, physics,
chemistry, process equipment, instrumentation, health and safety,
regulatory, etc.) from many sources. I want to use them without having
to rename everything.
I understand that terms like "bond" will overlap between chemistry and
regulatory ontologies and that I will have to include the namespace when
selecting the one that I want. (04)
I will have to link concepts from different namespaces and probably
I would like to keep the topics in their original namespaces so that I
can get updates and redo the merge automatically.
I would like to be able get my own namespace registered so that my
ontologies do not collide with other ones that I use. (05)
This is analogous to the java package. I can pick libraries from various
sources and incorporate them into my programs with some small risk of
I still have to deal with duplicate class names if I decide to import 2
libraries containing the same class. Usually this is resolved by using
the full package name.
There is no central authority for class names (thank the universe for
that) but the registration of domain names and the sensible policy that
most organizations have about managing their own domain (break the
domain up into projects) means that we can share a lot of libraries
relatively painlessly. (06)
I am not hung up on who does the registration. Just pick someone who is
equipped and put in a charging scheme that makes it viable. The original
$35 per domain name has dropped down to $6 or less now. It does not
require a human interaction to dish out namespaces. (07)
We are starting to see the release of ontologies for free or for money.
It is time to get the namespaces organized. It is an urgent requirement
to get this done before a lot of software is built that does not handle
namespaces in a truly useful fashion. (08)
Are there technical or conceptual problems that I am overlooking in my
search for simplicity? (09)
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