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Re: [ontolog-forum] Set of Semantic Primitives (was Guo's blah blah blah

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Matthew West <dr.matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2009 11:26:52 +0100
Message-id: <4a23ad64.0a1ad00a.3d31.1fd4@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear John,    (01)

Just for balance.    (02)

>   3. Lots of evidence that large ontologies have not been been able
>      to produce a positive ROI (e.g., the $70+ million spent on Cyc
>      and the multibillions of yen spent on the Japanese EDR).    (03)

[MW] ISO 15926 has definitely paid out many times over. It is not as large
as Cyc, but there is nothing to stop it becoming larger. The real difference
is that it was developed with the solving of particular problems in mind,
but so that it could be extended to solve other problems.
>   4. Practical evidence of successful companies that make independent
>      databases interoperate *without* using such an ontology.  For
>      example, OntologyWorks started with an upper-level ontology,
>      but threw it away because low-level domain-oriented ontologies
>      are much more useful.    (04)

[MW] This, I suggest, is to do with the nature of the problem being solved.
I suspect that OntologyWorks will have been asked to integrate a particular
set of systems, end of story. If you are a large corporation, your
perspective is different. You want to integrate one set of systems now, and
add another set of systems later, and so on. This means places additional
requirements on the ontology you use to integrate if it is to be useful. In
particular you need to be able to add to it without changing (or changing
minimally) what is already there, otherwise there are significant rework
costs when you extend. This is where your upper ontology comes in, providing
a consistent framework within which extensions can be made. Again, it is not
that you have to do it this way, it is just the cheapest way to do it.    (05)

Regards    (06)

Matthew West                            
Information  Junction
Tel: +44 560 302 3685
Mobile: +44 750 3385279
http://www.matthew-west.org.uk/    (07)

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