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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology Project Organization:

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Patrick Cassidy" <pat@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 19:30:07 -0400
Message-id: <08a201c9d422$c01d6be0$405843a0$@com>
> > AH> Just for posterity -- I don't mean to deprecate the idea of
> >  > foundation ontologies. They are very useful. My intuition is
> >  > just highly sceptical that a (useful / expressive) unique one
> >  > exists. By all means though, in the spirit of scientific
> >  > discovery people ought to investigate it.
> >    (01)

I think that just about everybody agrees that any human (not divine)
ontology will have arbitrary content, and no *unique* ontology can be said
to represent every point of view.  But for any group of developers of
ontologies or databases or data-driven applications, I feel confident that
there will be *some* ontology that satisfies the needs (though not
necessarily the preferences - a very different thing) of at least the
majority of that group.  Those who agree to use the compromise or consensus
FO will form the user base that can test and evolve that ontology to make it
more useful and gather more users.  The FO can contain multiple different
views as long as they are logically consistent in the sense of being
accurately translatable into each other, but it cannot contain arbitrary or
inconsistent representations.  One example of a representation that would be
inconsistent with most existing FO's is any ontology that adopts a
single-inheritance hierarchy with partitions to enforce it. That kind of
ontology can be mapped to , but not merged with, multiple-inheritance
hierarchies.    (02)

And if any other group decides that a different FO will better serve their
purposes and cannot be translated into the dominant FO, then there will be
multiple FO's each with their own community of users.  The problem is, that
as of now we have no FO with a community of users developing open test
applications to refine it, and I am convinced that without at least *one*
progress will be extremely slow (52 years and counting since the invention
of AI).    (03)

Once again, I have to emphasize that a discussion of this kind will only
make progress if the discussants do not misquote, misinterpret, or create
caricatures of the positions of the others.
I suggest we be very careful about how we characterize the suggestions of
other members of the discussion group.  If anything asserted looks crazy or
self-evidently wrong, look for an alternative interpretation.  And call me
out if I fall into the same trap.    (04)

Pat    (05)

Patrick Cassidy
cell: 908-565-4053
cassidy@xxxxxxxxx    (06)

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