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Re: [ontolog-forum] Thing and Class

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 11:07:19 -0400
Message-id: <48CBD727.5030408@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dick,    (01)

As various people have noted, it's not sufficient to show that
a proposed notation has a paraphrase in a natural language.
It must also have formal semantics that determines truth
conditions for any statement, and it must support logical
operations that determine which expressions imply other
expressions.    (02)

In developing conceptual graphs, I had several guidelines that
I imposed on myself and other people who were using and developing
CG systems:    (03)

  1. Every proposed feature must have a formally defined or at least
     definable mapping to one or more versions of logic, of which
     GOFOL (Good Old Fashions First Order Logic) has a place of honor.    (04)

  2. Every proposed feature must have a paraphrase in English or
     other natural language that is relatively obvious (i.e., it does
     not require a lengthy or contorted multi-step translation).    (05)

  3. There must be at least one example of a useful application for
     which this feature is simpler, clearer, or more efficient than
     the alternatives.    (06)

  4. The feature must be sufficiently readable and memorable that
     people will remember how to read it and use it without looking
     it up in a manual or help facility whenever they want to use it.    (07)

Since these are guidelines, there is some room for interpretation.
Therefore, it's important to use and apply any new feature or
combination of features on actual applications to see how they
work in combination, to test their efficiency, and to evaluate
their human factors.    (08)

A lot of features can be eliminated rather quickly after just a
few informal trials with pencil and paper.  The ones that survive
the initial tests should be evaluated by actual applications that
people would really want to use.    (09)

John    (010)

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