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Re: [ontolog-forum] Requirements of computer language semantics

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 13:49:36 -0400
Message-id: <49C3D730.4060300@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dick,    (01)

That list (copy below) is an impressive list of operations.
But my question was about the kind of processing you have
implemented with mKR.  I'll subdivide that list into groups
according to the kinds of processes that might be used:    (02)

  #1 and #5 map inputs to some internal data structure and
     modify that structure without regard to the meaning
     of the symbols in those structures.    (03)

  #2 searches a data structure and retrieves data stored
     by #1 and #5.  Retrieving concept definitions could be
     implemented by bringing back a previously stored
     definition without any meaning-dependent processing.    (04)

  #3, #4, #5, #7, #9, and #10 perform operations on the
     internal data structures.  You mention hierarchies,
     lattices, and error checking.  I assume that some
     mKR statements define a partial ordering among the
     symbols, and you have implemented lattice operations
     on those symbols.  That is an important subset of
     the kinds of reasoning that one might need, but you
     haven't said how far you go in doing inferences about
     your sentences and the specifications of time, space,
     and view -- those are extremely important areas, but
     your notes lapsed into vague statements about them.    (05)

  #6 and #11 execute programs in an external system.  That
     is also very useful, but it can be done by translating
     some subset of mKR notation to the notation of those
     systems -- again without any regard to meaning.    (06)

First of all, I'd like to say that this list of operations
indicates that you have done a lot of very hard work that
would be useful for any system of knowledge representation.    (07)

But what I don't see in that list are the reasoning methods
that link the symbols in the lattices to the sentences in
mKR, relate the sentences to one another in order to draw
inferences and detect contradictions, or interpret the
context specifications of space, time, and view.    (08)

The kinds of reasoning required to relate sentences in
different contexts to one another, derive implications,
detect contradictions, answer detailed questions, etc.,
are extremely complex.  The vagueness in your previous
notes suggests that you don't do these operations.    (09)

If you don't do that, then all the claims about contexts
are irrelevant.  Those at-clauses are merely decorations
attached to sentences.  Any meaning that some human might
think about them has no effect on what the computer does.    (010)

To return to my original question:  what kind of processing
do you do with those contexts, how does it relate to the
lattice of symbols, the inferences among sentences, etc.?    (011)

__________________________________________________________    (012)

1. mKE reads mKR propositions, and records them
in a knowledge base.  Ditto for hierarchies and n-ary
2. mKE reads mKR questions, and searches a
knowledge base to find answers.  Questions include
things like all attributes of a concept, first n levels
of hierarchy, all concepts in path to "existent",
undefined concepts, ambiguous concepts,
concept definitions, ...
3. mKE reads and executes mKR commands which direct it to
read/write files, simplify lattices, pretty print hierarchies,
check for errors in a knowledge base,
read web pages from the internet,
read propositions from  knowledge bases
available on the internet, or assert propositions
to KBs on internet, translate between mKR and other languages,
edit ontologies, print KB statistics like number of statements,
questions, conditionals, ...
4. mKE reads mKR method (procedure) definitions,
and executes them with supplied arguments.
5. mKE modifies built-in vocabulary as directed by
mKR language language statements.
6. mKE executes UNIX shell commands as specified
by mKR language.
7. mKE walks the hierarchy, and executes the statement,
question or command specified in mKR for each concept
on the path.
8. mKE retrieves environment variables specified by
mKR language.
9. mKE manipulates sets, lists, enums as specified
in mKR language.
10. mKE accesses standard databases as specified
in mKR language.
11. mKE executes commands implemented in the
Unicon language, as directed in mKR.    (013)

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