|From:||Ali Hashemi <ali.hashemi+ontolog@xxxxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Sun, 15 Feb 2009 23:41:22 -0500|
I bristle at tooting my own horn, but some thoughts:|
1) If you've given a definition of River, and it is inadequate when you encounter something as the Okavango River, ought it not indicate that you only need to update your definition of river? Isn't the whole point of defining something trying to abstract the generalizable qualities / properties of the object/entity under consideration? You can still have a monotic logic, you just need smart revision policies :P.
2) I'm not sure there is such a difference between the intensional and extensional approaches. Here, I would point to the ontology design algorithm I developed in my thesis. It tries (i think pretty successfully) to bridge the gap between the two approaches, starting first with concrete examples, and "learning" through falsification hypotheses to refine an intensional definition that captures the semantics contained in sets of accepted and rejected concrete (empirical / extensional / examples) models.
From where I stand - extensions correspond to fragments of models (Tarski sense). Any set of axioms A has associated with it a set of models MA. The beauty / difficulty of ontologies is finding the right match between the two. Limiting ourselves by defining what exists only to things we have concretely encountered seems too restrictive; we would like to conjecture as to what would count as well. Yet as many have noticed, if the set of acceptable models is too expansive / restrictive, the quality of the resultant ontology suffers.
To me, this makes a strong case for developing a set of referent ontologies sooner than later, (ideally unified under some umbrella).
If our goal is to move towards ontology interoperability, instead of focusing on whether Extensional or Intensional approaches are superior, or whether one particular ontic category hierarchy is appropriate for all, I think efforts would be more fruitful in explicating / generating mappings between what various peoples find useful. I.E. take the IDEAS hierarchy and compare it to DOLCE or SUMO -- what's being reused? what are people disagreeing on? what are the implications of the different choices? But perhaps I digress here :P.
On Sun, Feb 15, 2009 at 2:20 PM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Mike and Mitch,
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