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

To: "Ontolog-Forum-Bounces" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Sean Barker" <sean.barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 6 Jun 2009 08:21:17 +0100
Message-id: <OOEEJGAPCAJOKOFFPHLHAECECAAA.sean.barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Apologies for being slow to comment on this thread.    (01)

I would like to reject the idea that the formalization of a lower level
implies the existence of an upper level ontology. While the designer of
the lower level ontology will almost certainly use ontology-like
heuristics, it is more than likely that an attempt to formalise the
heuristics into an ontology (at least in the sense of a formal set of
propositions) would be faced by many open questions.    (02)

That is, if I create a system which requests user input, I would
implicitly assume that the user persists from input to input, but from
that I could not decide whether my user is 3D with some gubbins of
temporal logic or 4D.    (03)

Returning to the question of paradigm shift I suggested last week, and
relating it to John's
lattice of ontologies (here apologies for not commenting earlier, I was
following John's reading list).    (04)

Given a transaction involving a set of ontology elements, I may be able
to infer a subspace of nodes that the transaction is consistent with.
However, if I have understood what has been said about the lattice, I
could not in general infer a unique upper ontology, since the set of
ontology elements available may be consistent with two or more
incompatible upper levels, but lack the axioms which discriminate the
upper levels.    (05)

While this is obvious with a single transaction, this will remain true
of many (if not most) partial ontologies, that is, the ontologies of
most practical systems.    (06)

Further, consider the interaction of two systems with different
ontologies. A transaction between the systems can only make sense if
there some sort of relation between the two ontologies. Specifically, the
pragmatics of the transaction should (in some sense) lie in the
intersection between the lattice subspaces generated by the ontology
elements involved in each of the two ontologies. The practical
engineering problem is ensuring that any transaction of interest is in
this intersection. For example, the design approval process restricts
the types of design that can be passed over to manufacture to those
things that can be manufactured - we wouldn't, for example, approve a
Klien Bottle.    (07)

I would emphasise that I did not require that there is simply some
homeomorphism between the subsets of the ontologies involved,
 but also that the pragmatics of those ontologies matched. I
do not understand most of the questions on a tax return, but in part
this is because I have no need to invest the effort to understand the
subclauses of the questions that evidently do not apply to me. Nor even
do I care to speculate on the upper level ontology of the Inland
Revenue. However, I am happy providing I don't pay more tax that I am
required to, and they are happy if I pay all the tax they think I
should, and we probably don't misunderstand each other enough to make it
worth going any deeper.    (08)

Sean Barker
Bristol, UK    (09)

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