You may need to look more closely into sectors that are suffering from
lack of interoperability and tackle them individually. (01)
The cost of interoperability problems between the Agricultural industry
and the Health industry are negligible compared to interoperability
within Healthcare (just to pick a random sector that is just about to
get billions to solve interoperability). (02)
If you can find 100 suppliers, consumers and funders of Healthcare who
care about interoperability, you will find the money.
Start talking to the big system integrators. You might find that
ontologies are a big part of what they are proposing to the new US
administration as one of the tools that is required to support the
modernization of the Healthcare industry in the US.
If you are going to have portable electronic health records, you had
better have a way to understand the records that each individual will carry. (03)
The banking sector is another interesting sector where regulators might
be very interested in using ontology to support a new regulatory
framework and a highly efficient and automated reporting structure that
can spot dangerous situations before a complete collapse. (04)
Trying to take 5 healthcare expert, 5 agribusiness, 5 bankers and 5
experts from each of the other 17 or so industries to make the ruling
100 experts for the world is likely to result in projects with 0%
probability of success. Any number of investments with 0 return is still
a waste of money. (05)
Patrick Cassidy wrote:
> My difficulty with just waiting until some "large and economically important
> community of practice" evolves is, that on the basis of the experience of
> the past fifteen years, this process could take several decades, or longer.
> If here is any truth to the estimate that lack of semantic interoperability
> costs the country $100 billion per year in lost productivity, then it
> appears to me to be foolishness to let a few trillion dollars of losses
> accumulate rather than to attack the problem directly by creating that
> "community of practice" by funding its creation. That is the essence of the
> proposal that we fund a consortium of 100 or so participants who will
> develop, and then test in their own applications, some foundation ontology
> suitable to all of them. The sooner such a community does develop, the
> sooner the benefits of a common ontology can begin to be felt.
> One might argue with the estimate of losses due to semantic interoperability
> - fine, let us try to arrive at an estimate we can believe in. One can also
> argue about the likelihood of any given proposal of solving the problem.
> Fine with that too. But since the costs are economical, a rational
> discussion should include a cost-benefit analysis. Here's one try:
> Cost of lack of semantic interoperability: assume 100 billion per year
> (0.7% of GDP)
> Portion of that cost that could be reduced by a common foundation
> ontology: 1/5 (20 billion per year) - the remaining 80% would be the costs
> of that associated software that uses the ontology to implement the semantic
> Assume probability that any given *plausible* proposal will actually
> create the needed foundation ontology: 10%
> Result: average value of a plausible project to tackle the problem: 0.1 x
> 20 B = $2 billion dollars per year.
> This assumes very conservatively that there will be *no* benefit accruing
> from any new applications, merely the benefit or retrofitting existing
> Assume that a rational businessman would be pleased with a return of 100%
> per year on investment:
> Result: it is worth spending 2 billion to solve the problem.
> This means that it is rational to invest $30 million each on 60
> different projects to try to solve the problem, with these conservative
> estimates. My modest suggested project is only one such; it would be
> rational to try that one, as well as many others. Reduce the benefit
> estimates by another factor of ten to accommodate extreme skepticism, and it
> is still cost-effective to fund at least 6 such projects.
> The problem is that the losses due to inefficiency do not show up as a
> line item on managers' budgets, whereas the cost of a project to save those
> losses does. We know from much sad experience how difficult it is to get
> anyone in a political position to take action to avoid problems, rather than
> merely react to problems after they become strikingly obvious to the most
> casual observer - and even then one can get unanimous opposition from a
> political party to steps needed to address the problem.
> It seems that many people are content to accept large ongoing losses if
> they can't be convinced by incontrovertible evidence of some high
> probability of success for a project to solve the problem. My own view is
> that, if one takes a cost/benefit view of the issue, even a project which
> seems of modest likelihood for success should be supported when the
> projected benefits are very large.
> Waiting is not cost-effective. Why lose all that time? Perhaps one might
> consider that the USA is in competition with other nations - Europe now,
> India and China probably soon. Should we really be content to be a
> backwater in ontology technology and let other nations get the jump on us?
> $30 million is 10 cents for each person in this country. It is 1/10,000th
> of what has already been given to the banks a month ago to please, please do
> not go bankrupt.
> Patrick Cassidy
> MICRA, Inc.
> cell: 908-565-4053
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
>> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F. Sowa
>> Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:03 PM
>> To: [ontolog-forum]
>> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] standard ontology
>> I could quibble about various points in your note, but I just
>> want to endorse the conclusion:
>> EB> IMNSHO, we should stop talking about reference ontologies
>> > until we have a large and economically or politically important
>> > community of practice.
>> > Then, the value of reference ontologies will become clearer, and
>> > there will be motive and money to adopt them or construct them.
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