That sounds like a great approach. (01)
Perhaps, taking this further, if a middle level ontology of common terms
(things we all use, like laws and numbers, places, addresses) could be
built up out of basic types of thing relation like that, then once the
highest level term has been worked out in this way, more specific terms
that are specialised from these won't have to go through quite such a
difficult process, you effectively define those terms as archetypes that
are derived from. (02)
So you would simply ask if a fooble is really a kind of snarf or a kind
of blat, or is it something else. Or are there two ways in which the
term fooble is used, often interchangeably, which amount to one of each.
I get that with "Fund", since even the business experts in funds use the
term interchangeably for the kind of legal entity that is a kind of
investment fund, and the kind of units in a fund that an investor might
hold or sell. Just pick one and think of a qualifying word for the other
one, I want to tell them. (03)
Another approach that might help in parallel with this is to follow an
ISO 11179 naming and design rules policy - it makes for words that seem
way too cumbersome at first, but you would be able to distinguish in a
rigorous way between a snarf-fooble and a blat-fooble. However, if you
over-do that, you'd scare away the HVAC engineers in no time, let alone
the fund managers. (04)
Joel Bender wrote:
> This is a text version of my comment during today's conference call...
> I would like to provide guidelines to standards developers that are not
> familiar with ontology development or formalized taxonomies. For
> example, a wide variety of standards have referenced RFC2119 for the use
> of terms such as MUST.
> I know this is in the realm of mereology and mereotopology, but if I
> dare mention those words to specialist in air conditioning, their eyes
> will glaze over.
> Perhaps a web form where someone enters two nouns, 'snarf' and 'blat'.
> Then the system asks a series of questions like "If snarf is a part of
> blat, and you take away the snarf, would the blat be a blat anymore?"
> The answer drives them to use a specific label (maybe even a URI) for
> that relationship. It could even provide feedback on why other similar
> labels are not appropriate.
> Agreeing to standardize on the RFC definition of terms like MUST is a
> relatively small (but necessary) step for a standards committee. Coming
> to a consensus on the specific label to put on a relationship could be
> quite a task. Programmer/analysts that work with customers on getting
> their sign-off on a UML diagram for their system see this all the time.
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