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Re: [ontolog-forum] An Ultra High Level Ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 18:50:43 -0500
Message-id: <499212D3.5040707@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Rich,    (01)

No.  We did not agree.    (02)

 > Since John Sowa and Pat Hayes (and possibly Ian Bailey) seem
 > to agree on the following ultra high level ontology, perhaps
 > we should proclaim it an "Initial Ontic Standard" that can
 > be built upon:    (03)

         -Powertype.... etc.    (04)

I was expressing a feeling of being distinctly underwhelmed.    (05)

If you take any version of FOL and add some basic mathematical
theories, including versions of set theory, mereology, etc.,
you'd have all that plus a great deal more.    (06)

My basic proposal, which I have been repeating in different ways
for many years, is extremely simple:    (07)

  1. Set up a registry for ontologies with minimal requirements
     for contributions and some basic reviewing for competence.    (08)

  2. Emphasize that ontologies should be constructed from modules,
     and multiple use and reuse of other modules in the registry
     should be strongly encouraged.    (09)

  3. The sequence of uses and reuses would automatically create
     a generalization hierarchy of ontologies -- i.e., if ontology
     X incorporates the module Y, then Y is a generalization of X.    (010)

  4. Any collection of modules that are frequently used and reused
     would be high up in the generalization hierarchy, and they
     would also be prime candidates for being "canonized" as
     the recommended subset for further use and reuse.    (011)

This is very simple.  It doesn't require major funding to get
started.  If a significant number of good modules are widely
used and reused, they would become a de facto standard -- and
a prime candidate for someday becoming a de jure standard.    (012)

Anybody who had developed their favorite ontology would be
encouraged to submit it.  Instead of having some self-appointed
experts decide on the best approach a priori, the developers
who actually do the work would decide which modules they found
the most useful.    (013)

This approach reflects the natural way that people decide
which tools and notations to adopt for their projects.    (014)

John    (015)

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