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Re: [ontolog-forum] standard ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 11:13:52 -0500
Message-id: <499D8540.7080708@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat (C and H),    (01)

PH> You have not demonstrated, or even AFAIK convincingly argued,
 > that the FO will be able do any of these things, either. I fail
 > to see how an ontology of any kind can achieve interoperability
 > or translation all by itself. The FO as you have described it
 > will be an ontology, not a universal semantic Swiss Army Knife.    (02)

I very strongly agree.    (03)

PC>> Developing a modest application on my own would not in any
 >> way advance the goal of semantic interoperability.    (04)

PH> If the application demonstrated such interoperability, of
 > course it would. Why not just set out to do that? The Army
 > will probably support you for a couple of years, which should
 > be time enough for a convincing demo.    (05)

Again, I agree with Pat Hayes.  You should either do it yourself
or find success stories that have been achieved with Cyc, SUMO,
or other ontologies.    (06)

If you can't find success stories with other upper ontologies
that have actually been implemented, nobody is going to believe
your claims about some nonexistent FO.    (07)

PH> I am not convinced, nor will I admit, that your proposed FO
 > consortium would be able to do anything useful at all. It would
 > be too large, too loosely organized, and would not have a clear
 > aim or purpose.    (08)

Pat and I were involved with the Shared Reusable Knowledge Base
(SRKB) effort, the ontology group that met in Heidelberg, Germany,
the SUO, the ontolog forum, etc.  Every one of those projects
strongly supports Pat's conclusions, which I strongly agree with.    (09)

PH> I don't recognize that there are things the FO could do that
 > Cyc can't.    (010)

Since the FO doesn't exist, Pat C can claim wonders for it, but
the current evidence supports Pat H.    (011)

PC> OK, fine, but when you express skepticism toward a proposal
 > for a direct process to achieve semantic interoperability, could
 > you at least have the decency, when you do that, to admit that
 > you donít have any suggestions for an alternative with a better
 > chance of achieving that goal in our lifetimes, if ever?    (012)

Pat H did have a good proposal:    (013)

PH> ... the best, perhaps the only, way to achieve it is via
 > some version of the semantic web.  Maybe not using current SWeb
 > technology, but based on the overall concept of distributed
 > syndication and open publication of ontologies.  No centrally
 > administered project, no matter how large, can hope to achieve
 > the potential scope of a Web-based effort.    (014)

That is very similar to the registry/repository approach that I
recommended.  I also added the recommendation for metadata with
each ontology that would exhibit its relationships to other
ontologies in a generalization hierarchy.    (015)

If it is possible to have a better FO than Cyc or OpenCyc,
a promising way to achieve it is through evolution by means
of many people working on the hierarchy.  A major advantage
of such an approach is that we can start very quickly with
a registry hosted on Peter Yim's web site or the IEEE site.
In fact, OpenCyc and SUMO can be placed on that site, and
people can begin by "voting with their feet".    (016)

The start-up cost is minimal, and we don't have to depend
on selling a multimillion dollar project to skeptical
agencies or investors.    (017)

John    (018)



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