|From:||Ali Hashemi <ali.hashemi+ontolog@xxxxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Thu, 29 Jan 2009 10:14:47 -0500|
The following from Guarino (2008) is apt here, i think:|
In the philosophical sense, we may refer to an ontology as a particular system of categories accounting for a certain vision of the world. As such, this system does not depend on a particular language: Aristotle's ontology is always the same, independently of the language used to describe it. On the other hand, in its most prevalent use in AI, an ontology refers to an engineering artifact, constituted by a specific vocabulary used to describe a certain reality, plus a set of explicit assumptions regarding the intended meaning of the vocabulary words. This set of assumptions has usually the form of a first-order logical theory, where vocabulary words appear as unary or binary predicate names, respectively called concepts and relations. In the simplest case, an ontology describe a hierarchy of concepts related by subsumptions relationships; in more sophisticated cases, suitable axioms are added in order to express other relationships between concepts and to constrain their intended interpretation.
(Guarino 2008, pp14-15)
Though i'm not sure why vocabulary words are restricted to unary or binary predicate names, it seems there'd be a lot of useful things to say with terms that range directly over n variables.
An observation on a lot of literature i've come across, a lot seems to focus on the taxonomic component of ontologies, when they can be, as Guarino notes, more sophisticated. I wonder if this might be a reason there have been no killer apps for the field yet.
On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 9:33 AM, Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx> wrote:
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