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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2009 10:19:48 -0500
Message-id: <49734894.2030902@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Anders,    (01)

I agree with your main points, including the point that much of the
work of harmonization is difficult or even impossible to formalize.
But formal theories and tools based on them can be very important
for deriving and analyzing many of the similarity relations that
must be considered.    (02)

> While I agree to Pat's comment about the evaluation quality there is 
> something else that is important with providing "similarity" relations 
> in a *Harmonisation* scenario. Even though formalism is lacking such 
> relations could be of great usefulness for ontology authors when looking 
> for previous work and good ideas. When adding a goal of harmonisation, 
> i.e reducing unnecessary  work, especially for untrained ontology 
> workers, such comparative functionalities could be of high value. Ex Web 
> search and wikipedia kind of linking, while lacking formalist they 
> provide high values to many.    (03)

I agree that those links and much of the information they link to
are not formal, but tools based on formal theories can be valuable
in evaluating the information found.    (04)

> Many unexperienced ontology workers or modelers have little to no 
> knowledge of the wast amount of work that already has been performed in 
> various group so what happens? Intellectual work is redone, often with 
> the effect of *reduced* ontological  quality since a new team often dont 
> have the ability to repeat all deep thoughts performed by ontological 
> experts with time on their hands.    (05)

That is certainly true in every field.  You can replace the terms
'ontology' and 'ontological' with the names of any technical field.    (06)

I frequently cite Aristotle, not because he's the latest authority,
but because his work is still better than many of the ontologies
on the WWW today.  You can find many modern papers in which the
author cites his buddy down the hall for insights that were published
by Aristotle and analyzed in detail for centuries.  For examples, see    (07)

    Building, Sharing, and Merging Ontologies    (08)

John Sowa    (09)

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