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

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Godfrey Rust" <godfrey.rust@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2009 00:05:23 +0100
Message-id: <81966205434C40D8BBB61E5F963A5147@GodfreyPC>
I wonder if you could expand a little on why you say this, because it conflicts with my experience:
> JS:  If you listen to the philosophers, they will tell you that identity
> conditions are essential to ontology.  But for interoperability, you
> have to *ignore* the identity conditions.  When you're linking your
> DB or KB to the Amazon.com schema, you *never* want to worry about
> whether a human being is a 3D or 4D entity or whether a vase is
> identical to the lump of clay from which it is made.
but you do worry which edition, format or version of the item you are referring to. That is critically reliant on the uniqueness of identifiers like ISBN or UPC. The sheer volume of data out there now, and the proliferation and increasing granularity of media/content/product types and identifier standards (or lack of them) place growing reliance on supporting metadata to ensure the correct mapping of identities - which is, ultimately, at the heart of interoperability, whether we are talking about identities of people, stuff or of ontological concepts. Try finding all the products by any one particular "John Smith" (but not the others) on Amazon to see the centrality of identity management to interoperability. Integrating personal data from the web is highly prone to inaccuracy for exactly that reason. I'm talking from experience of the content industries, but I would be surprised if this tendency to proliferation and the attendant increased risk of ambiguity is not mirrored in other domains.
I think the centrality of identity management is even more obvious with ontological or linguistic terms, because they lack well-administered standard identifiers: one of the fundamental problems of interoperability (demonstrated eloquently and daily in this forum) is of course whether my class "vase" or "clay" is the same as your class "vase" or "clay": I'd say that is *all* to do with identity conditions.
But you are quite well aware of this I am sure, so what am I misunderstanding?
Godfrey Rust
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