Dear Joel and others, (01)
I agree that:
a) the way English is used in standards is part of the problem; and
b) getting non-ontology specialists to create good ontologies is not easy. (02)
I am impressed with the Rabbit system created for the UK Ordnance Survey
(see http://ncg.nuim.ie/gisruk/materials/proceedings/PDF/2A5.pdf). This
system manages a controlled natural language which allows users to define
terms, and then use them to make precise statements which have both a
natural language representation and a formal representation in OWL. There is
interest in creating earth sciences ontologies of wider scope using this, or
similar tool. (03)
There is also the need for multi-language support. Most of the ontology
community speaks English, but much earth sciences work is carried out in
local languages. A controlled natural language tool for creating precise
statements could support more than one language. (04)
At 16:01 26/03/2009 -0400, you 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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