> The issue of issues is how

> Reality is related with the whole world (the totality of entities and

> relations), particular worlds, or possible worlds; and how it could

> be truly

> and consistently represented and effectively reasoned [by humans and

> machines].

>

> Azamat Abdoullaev

>

http://www.eis.com.cy >

>

> ----- Original Message -----

> From: "Sean Barker" <

sean.barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

> To: <

ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

> Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2009 1:15 AM

> Subject: [ontolog-forum] Is there something I missed?

>

>

>>

>>

>> Folks

>>

>> Having followed this forum for some time, I have a feeling that I

>> may have

>> missed something so obvious that no-one has thought to mention it -

>> that

>> is,

>> is there a formal definition of an ontology? An ontology cannot be

>> just be

>> a

>> bowl of axiom soup, so how does one tell that a particular

>> collection of

>> axioms is an ontology - the question is posed on the analogy that

>> mathematicians differentiate between a group, a ring and a field by

>> the

>> axioms they include. My naive guess for this would be based on set

>> theory,

>> and look something like:

>>

>> 1) A set S can be defined as S = {x s.t. x satisfies some

>> combination of

>> predicates};

>> 2) Given a set of predicicates P = {p1, p2,...,pn} and a set of

>> logical

>> operaters L = {l1, l2,...,ln} (perhaps just AND, OR and NOT), then

>> denote

>> Spl as a set defined from some combination of predicates in P and

>> operators

>> in L, and Spl* is the set of all possible sets Spl (perhaps

>> regularised to

>> remove contraditions);

>> 3) An ontology is constructed by taking a collection of sets from

>> Spl* and

>> identifying a partial ordering of those sets using the usual subset

>> relationship.

>>

>> This would split the study of ontology into three area:

>> 1) the formal problem of ontology as being concerned with the types

>> of

>> mappings (homomorphisms, homeomorphisms, etc) between different

>> ontologies

>> based on the choices from some Spl*

>> 2)the practical problem as finding an ontology that supports the

>> decision

>> procedures in a particular process (I include classifying something

>> as a

>> decision procedure).

>> 3) the computational problem of defining of terminating and efficient

>> procedures for comparing ontologies and mapping between them.

>> (Thanks to Pat Hayes for this suggestion - even his more acerbic

>> comments

>> can be quite enlightening.)

>>

>> I would then expect there to have been a number of competing

>> definitions,

>> and any number of arguements discussing the relative merits of these

>> definitions. And possibly some argument demostrating that this whole

>> approach is flawed.

>>

>> My question is, where are these definitions and the ensuing

>> arguments? and

>> is there a good summary of these?

>>

>> Sean Barker

>> Bristol, UK

>>

>>

>>

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