[Top] [All Lists]

[ontolog-forum] Next steps in using ontologies as standards

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Tolk, Andreas" <atolk@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2009 15:47:24 -0500
Message-id: <4839109173C2DF4FAE02C9C3FBEE973F280374524D@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

I think that this question of "primitives of meaning" is very important, 
although I do not believe that we will be able to identify such "atomic 
expressions of meaning" easily. One of the problems is that such atomic 
expressions may not represent concepts but will only be properties of concepts 
that gain their meaning from the contexts in which they are used. This leads to 
the challenge of multi-scope, multi-resolution, and multi-structure models. 
While the challenges of differences in scope (different concepts are 
represented) and resolution (different levels of resolution are used) are 
self-explaining, the challenge of structure is often not perceived.
Chuck Turnitsa and I introduced the example of number- and letter-world. Given, 
e.g., four properties A1, A2, B1, and B2, number-world uses numbers as the 
identifying category and uses A1 and B1 to identify concept "1" and A2 and B2 
to identify concept "2". Letter-world identifies concept "A" using A1 and A2 
and concept "B" using B1 and B2. While both worlds have different concepts, 
they use the same properties to characterize them. For number- and 
letter-world, the primitives of meanings are these properties.
The problem boils up when we add more models that may introduce additional 
levels of resolution. What if in this third model the resolution is higher and 
the properties become concepts? These observations motivated the thesis that 
primitives of meaning are context specific and will be comparable to the idea 
of the "highest common factor / greatest common divisor." If this thesis is 
true, the primitives of meaning are not easily standardisable in 
multi-resolution environments. They are valid in a federation of models as long 
as no model with a higher resolution is introduced. We introduced the idea of a 
common reference model that is enhanced (increasing the resolution of 
properties) or extended (adding new properties) using engineering principles. A 
guess this comes very close to the ideas of a "foundation ontology."    (02)

Long story short: I really believe that this is an interesting question and 
needs to be evaluated with rigor. We may find that there is no general 
solution, but many practically applicable special solutions, as pointed out by 
Pat. I agree.    (03)


Working in the military Command and Control realm for several years - and in 
support of multiple nations - my perception may be blurred by some business 
domain specific constraints, but my experience is that without incentives 
supporting the use of the standard or real disadvantages when not using the 
standard (or both) industry partners will always try to bring in their special 
and often proprietery solutions.
Real education is needed, in particular for project managers and their 
managers. As rightfully pointed out in this discussion before: if only the 
community benefits, but the contributing projects pay (without incentive), it 
is not going to happen.
I have become a pessimist regarding self-emerging standards ... I think that 
strong leadership by managing organizations is needed, which includes in 
particular government organizations when it comes to spending tax dollars to 
the maximal benefits of the people, and not just one project.    (05)

==================== ;-)
Andreas Tolk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Engineering Management & Systems Engineering
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529
Voice 757-683-4500 Fax 757-683-5640    (06)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (07)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>