"I believe that we should do three kinds of things:
1. Continue the research on all levels of the ontologies and on
methodologies for integrating them, relating them, and using them.
2. Use the available smaller ontologies to implement successful and
3. Plow back some of the profits from #2 to support #1." (01)
The currency of consistent ontology, on any levels and domains, its general
acceptance and practical use, looks as an acceptable offer for you.
Now many may wonder what may be the best practice and procedure to implement
all those things.
Do you wish to start from your " lattice of theories which provides a
framework for showing and recording all the implicit relationships...
between ontologies"? Or, there is something else in the mind? Thank you. (02)
----- Original Message -----
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 4:26 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Guo's word senses and Foundational Ontologies (04)
> Dear Matthew,
> Please note that I never said that my observations constitute a proof
> that no upper-level ontology could ever be useful. I have always said
> that it is a worthwhile *research* project.
> I have also said that the largest existing ontologies (Cyc with about
> 600,000 concept types and the Japanese EDR with about 400,000) have
> cost multi-millions of dollars to develop, and they have not be able
> to support a sufficient number of applications to recover even a
> fraction of that investment. But other companies have implemented
> successful applications based on smaller domain ontologies.
> These observations do not prove that a good upper level is impossible
> to discover, but they do suggest three observations:
> 1. It's not easy to discover a good upper ontology and to integrate
> it with a large number of special domain ontologies.
> 2. Even with a large ontology, it's not easy to develop a methodology
> for using it effectively.
> 3. However, the successful applications of smaller ontologies indicate
> that further research on integrating and relating them would be
> Therefore, I believe that we should do three kinds of things:
> 1. Continue the research on all levels of the ontologies and on
> methodologies for integrating them, relating them, and using them.
> 2. Use the available smaller ontologies to implement successful and
> profitable applications.
> 3. Plow back some of the profits from #2 to support #1.
> Some comments:
> [MW] If a mapping is not precise, then it has very little value in my
> I agree. And that is my primary argument against a large development
> project based on primitives. I'm not against research on primitives,
> but all the currently proposed primitives are very poorly defined.
> [MW] However, there will be some upper ontology that is implicit in
> what they have done whether they like it or not. So I think I need
> to be clear and spell out what I think the essence of an upper ontology
> is. I think the following are the key elements of an upper ontology...
> I agree. But again, discovering the commonalities implicit in many
> smaller ontologies is a research project. My proposal of a lattice
> (or at least a partial ordering) of theories would provide a framework
> for showing and recording all the implicit relationships.
> [MW] I would welcome either an explanation of how you can avoid using
> these relations [listed in the previous note] and making commitments
> in these areas...
> I certainly agree that all those relations (and others) are important,
> and I would emphasize them, not avoid them.
> Some analysis would be needed to discover all implicit relations, but
> the partial ordering would allow any commonalities to be promoted up
> the hierarchy whenever they are discovered.
> Furthermore, as new ontologies are designed by combinations of parts
> of the older ones, the method of combining them would automatically
> show the generalization, specialization, and sibling relations among
> the ontologies and parts of ontologies.
> [MW] I suggest that these will necessarily include the elements I
> set out above, so they do include an upper ontology - you just don't
> want to call it that.
> I certainly do want to call it an upper level. But I believe that
> the upper levels should be *discovered* through analysis, not by
> any a priori imposition of somebody's pet theory.
> The advantage of the partial ordering is that it is infinitely
> extensible. It can accommodate any and all current, proposed, or
> future theories at any levels -- upper, lower, or middle.
> But it does not force any a priori assumptions about which
> theories are better or worse than any others. The users are
> free to choose whichever they find useful, and the patterns
> of usage can suggest which directions to emphasize. The best
> de jure standards are the ones that recognize and canonize
> the most successful de facto standards.
> [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.
> That is a good way to develop ontologies. ISO 15926 would
> certainly be put in the hierarchy (lattice or partial ordering).
> [MW in note to Pat C] Frankly until you can show that there are
> uses that give significant benefits, you have not actually done
> anything useful (though it may be interesting)...
> That is precisely my objection to Pat's proposal. As I said,
> it's an interesting low-budget research proposal, but not yet
> suitable as a high-budget ($30 million) development proposal.
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