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Re: [ontolog-forum] standard ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Duane Nickull <dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 19:14:29 -0800
Message-id: <C5B8D415.1CC57%dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
On 11/02/09 6:43 PM, "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

The ultimate goal is unattainable:  an infinite lattice of all possible

Glad to see I am not the only person who shares this belief.  If it was possible, the size of such a lattice would be far larger than every existing electronic record combined IMO as you would have to also capture the context of each declaration and also the pragmatics for every person/cognitive agent on the planet.

The UN/CEFACT core components scoped their efforts to only 8 context modifiers, each containing an average of 2,000 combinations  If you do the math for one of their classes and look at 2,000 to the power of 8 (which is still a very limited scope), the results are staggering.   Note that they have over 18 base classes.  Also note that this math is based on only one enumerated list of values for each base class.  Some have up to ten.  Luckily, their approach seems to work as it is realized that not all of these are necessary for eBusiness.

The number of possible ontological variations for one class is E.512 E 29 (Simplified, 512 to E 29 or a very large number).

Even if 100 people on the earth dedicated an average of 10 years to doing nothing but making one declaration per second, it wouldn’t be enough time to cover all possible combinations.   That equals only 31,536,000,000 potential variations.  Now the critical part – this is only for ONE thing/class.  In short, they would be over a billion years short of establishing all the variations for one class.  Given there are also a very large number of classes, terms and representation terms for each “thing”, it is overwhelming.


Duane Nickull, Vancouver, BC Canada
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