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

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From: "sean.barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <sean.barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2009 19:30:35 +0100 (GMT+01:00)
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Pat,    (01)

        My company does invest significantly in semantic standards, and
has done for over twenty years. I can see that it might possible to
translate the standards we use into an ontology language, though I 
doubts that such a translation would be an ontology. I can see some
sense in John's approach of integrating those ontologies into a 
of ontologies, and that there may be a business case for doing that,
although I think we could do most of what we want using the
Entity-Relationship models we already have. However, I am very 
to recommend that the company invest in developing an upper ontology.    (02)

        Firstly - and I am possibly with Matthew on this - I do not
think there is a set of primitive concepts. Rather, there are many
alternate ways of talking about the world which are constructed on the
basis of arbitrary abstractions - if they were not arbitrary, then we
could agree on a set of primitives. This is not to say that the 
world is indefinite, but that our process of abstraction is.    (03)

        Secondly, language is itself an arbitrary set of abstractions,
in the sense the distinction between one term and another is 
arbitrary. Even in sense perception, the vocabulary of colour contains
arbitrary elements, such as the number of colour words in a language.
Where we have consistency between languages, this is likely to be 
our physiology has a stronger influence than culture.    (04)

        Thirdly, in much communication, the terms used are not the sole
carrier the information, rather they invoke a knowledge-based 
in the listener, who then finds the correct term to interpret the
communication - which may or may not be the one actually used - see my
earlier posting on situation awareness.    (05)

        Therefore I do not think a single ontology is technically
feasible. And from following the threads on this forum, I also doubt
that it is practically possible.    (06)

Sean Barker
Bristol, UK    (07)

50% off Norton Security 2009 - http://www.tiscali.co.uk/security     (08)

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