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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Francis McCabe <frankmccabe@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 15:30:50 -0800
Message-id: <A9917DD9-9F8B-41A4-A1DC-D9126980485F@xxxxxxx>
On the original topic, I assumed that this was about using ontologies  
in standards.    (01)

I think that this is, in principle, an excellent idea. And it has no  
dependency on 'upper ontologies'.    (02)

Most standards specifications introduce terminology as well as  
defining conformance points. Nearly all the time, the terminology  
(concepts and relationships) are introduced very informally. Using  
formal techniques is potentially very helpful for this.    (03)

There are a couple of interesting examples of this; some people may be  
aware of the Open Group's SOA Ontology. This is really an attempt to  
define some SOA architectural concepts using the formal framework of  
OWL. (Personal note, I am *definitely* not an apologist for the OG  
work; I have a number of issues with it.)    (04)

Another example, the OASIS SOA Reference Model is a fairly influential  
document that introduces quite a lot of terminology. At one point we  
considered the use of OWL to formally define and relate the terms that  
we were using. We chose to go with the more informal concept maps  
instead; mostly because we (a) did not have the resources to make the  
effort and (b) did not feel that our audience would appreciate the  
effort.    (05)

In fact, the upcoming work by the OASIS Semantic Web Services TC on  
the Reference Ontology for Semantic Web Services is supposed to be the  
spec of a standard ontology; but is, in many ways, more like a  
formalization of the SOA RM. (Again, I am not implying any judgement  
on the merits of the specification itself.)    (06)

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