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Re: [ontolog-forum] Guo's word senses and Foundational Ontologies

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Matthew West <dr.matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 07:43:46 +0100
Message-id: <4a22272e.1701d00a.3904.ffff9861@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear PatC,    (01)

> [MW] > So this leaves two problems for Pat:
> >
> > 1. Producing a "universal" ontology that is capable of expressing
> whatever any other ontology does or may express.
> OK.  Creating the ontology that can serve for translation of other
> ontologies is indeed a substantial task, and I think a serviceable
> version suitable for testing, together with some open-source utilities
> and example applications, can be built in 3 years with a consortium of
> about 100 participants, ca. $30M over three years.  Maintenance support
> at a lower rate for several more years may also be required to give it
> a fair test.    (02)

[MW] Well just as a reference, ISO 15926 took about 10 years with a small core 
team and a varying number of looser participants between 50-100 in number. We 
found that the more active developers there were, the longer it took.
> [MW] > 2. Persuading everyone else to use this "universal" ontology as
> an intermediary to map to all the others.
> >
> I don’t expect to persuade *everyone* to use it, and would be quite
> flabbergasted if everyone just stopped investigating other approaches.
> It just needs to gather a user community of sufficient size so that:
> (1) those who *do* want to interoperate accurately will have at least
> one widely used FO capable of supporting and translating their local
> knowledge representations;
> (2) the number of publicly available applications becomes sufficient to
> encourage an increasing number of developers to use it.
> (3) third-party vendors will develop utilities to make it easier to use
> and, if it does grow,
> (4) its use is taught in IT departments so that programmers don’t just
> give you a blank stare when you suggest that using an ontology might
> improve their programs or databases
> I am not sure what the trajectory of adoption of ISO15926 has been, but
> I would expect that an FO designed to be more inclusive of alternative
> preferences in ontological representation     (03)

[MW] Well you can't be inclusive of both 3D and 4D, unless you really have two 
ontologies and a mapping between them, or use each for different things (as 
Barry does).    (04)

> could gather an even larger
> user community, particularly if a Natural Language interface was
> developed as part of the project.      (05)

[MW] In the area of Process Plant design engineering it is seeing increasing 
use, and it has been adopted by all the major CAD vendors for the process 
industries. A significant number of North Sea oil projects have used it, and I 
am told that the Norwegian Government mandates its use for reporting of oil 
production. However, the time for uptake is not trivial. So you should factor 
the following into your (optimistic) planning.    (06)

1. Relatively few people will adopt before it is a standard.
2. It will take a year for early adopters to recognise its existence and 
evaluate what you have done.
3. It will take another 1-2 years for practical applications to appear that 
really use it in a proper commercial way (I'm not talking about pilot or 
non-commercial projects here).    (07)

> I hope and expect that ISO15926 will
> prove mappable to any such FO developed, so that anyone using that
> would have semantic interoperability with other FO users.    (08)

[MW] And I would hope that any such FO developed would be mappable to ISO 15926 
(which at least already exists and is an ISO standard and has users).
Regards    (09)

Matthew West                            
Information  Junction
Tel: +44 560 302 3685
Mobile: +44 750 3385279
http://www.matthew-west.org.uk/     (010)

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