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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 02 Jun 2009 23:24:41 -0400
Message-id: <4A25ECF9.2020806@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

Before getting to your comments, I'd like to say that I am all in favor
of developing and using ontologies, large or small, upper or lower.
But I want to emphasize that the lattice of theories is complementary
to any work on developing new ontologies, including yours:    (02)

  1. We can begin putting all currently available ontologies -- upper,
     middle, and lower -- in a repository *today* and begin organizing
     them in a hierarchy by generalization and specialization.    (03)

  2. New ontologies can be added to the hierarchy whenever they become
     available, but people can begin using, relating, and modifying
     the old ones whenever they find them useful.    (04)

  3. If and when your primitive-based ontology becomes available, it
     can be added to the mix.  But people can use available ontologies
     (and various combinations of them in the lattice) long before
     your project is completed.    (05)

  4. The methods developed by OntologyWorks and VivoMind can accommodate
     legacy systems and systems based on different ontologies.  There
     are still systems in operation today that are over 40 years old,
     and today's systems are likely to be running for at least another
     40 years.  So interoperability with legacy systems will remain a
     major requirement for a long time to come.    (06)

PC> John, you missed the critical adverb...
 > **automatically** means that the systems that are developed
 > independently can still share information accurately **without
 > any further human intervention**.  None of the projects you
 > cite supports that capability.    (07)

Please note that I am all in favor of using whatever ontology resources
are available to design *new* projects.  So the approach I recommend
can do everything that could be done with your system (if and when
it ever becomes available).  But the methods you advocate cannot do
anything with legacy systems.    (08)

Also note that every one of projects illustrated in the following
slides (and others implemented at VivoMind) are fully automated:    (09)

     http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/pursue.pdf    (010)

You'd have to ask Bill Andersen about the level of automation at
OntologyWorks.  But that company is making a profit by integrating
systems based on different ontologies and legacy systems that have
no explicit ontology.    (011)

Even if your ontology were magically available tomorrow, it still
could not support the kinds of projects that OntologyWorks and
VivoMind are doing today -- and making a profit doing so.    (012)

John    (013)

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