Agreed. If you want systems within an enterprise to interact, the
starting point is an enterprise ontology. If you have an industry where
a business process flow passes through many separate organisations (such
as financial, insurance etc.) then an industry ontology also has value. (01)
Toby Considine wrote:
> I would suggest that instead, every enterprise has an ontology, and that
> ontology is the core of its business value. Various systems that the
> business uses may express that ontology with varying degrees of accuracy and
> completeness, and that match defines how well they meet the enterprise's
> This, of course begs the question how entities other than enterprises define
> their ontologies. I acknowledge that, while asserting that my ##$$))^ apps
> are not particularly well aligned with my ontology.
> In the process control world, I could see ontology as mapping to system much
> better. A large chemical plant is a complex web of relationships of things
> that effect things, of things that cause things, of things that are near
> things. I could accept the argument that that system is an ontology without
> much trouble.
> System too easily embraces turn-key computer apps with too little meat to be
> called ontologies.
> "If something is not worth doing, it`s not worth doing well" - Peter Drucker
> Toby Considine
> TC9, Inc
> Chair, OASIS oBIX Technical Committee
> OASIS Technical Advisory Board
> Email: Toby.Considine@xxxxxxxxx
> Phone: (919)619-2104
> blog: www.NewDaedalus.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mike Bennett
> Sent: Monday, October 26, 2009 7:53 PM
> To: ian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Just What Is an Ontology, Anyway?
> I agree with Ian on this. I think it is more useful to have a simple
> clear definition of ontology, and separately from that a definition of
> the interesting and cool things that can be done with an ontology, and
> stuff about the kinds of formats and languages than an ontology could be
> in. I see no benefit in overloading the term "ontology" with all that
> I thought the term "ontology" was reasonably well defined, so it's been
> interesting reading the ideas here. An ontology is the view of the world
> as seen by a given application. This specialises the original term
> "ontology" in the singular, which was a view of the world as we see it
> as humans. Ontologies (plural) are the different views of the world from
> the perspective of different computer systems.
> In this sense, every system has an ontology, whether anyone has
> documented it or not. It might be in the brain of the developer who has
> now left to do something more interesting. Or it might be in some ad hoc
> spreadsheet that was thrown "over the wall" at the start of the
> development project, and as such that spreadsheet may well no longer
> represent the complete and up to date ontology because a lot of stuff
> had to be fixed during integration and delivery of the system, by on
> site engineers, because the original semantics were not all correctly
> An ontology which formalises this business view and can be maintained as
> a project deliverable, is a better kind of ontology than the above,
> default options. This is before you even think about applying automated
> reasoning. It puts the business in control of its system developments.
> Then, an ontology which is in a form that supports automated reasoning,
> adds another level of benefit - if this kind of functionality is needed
> in a given business application. Lots of good reasons for doing it, but
> not doing does not mean you don't have an ontology.
> All IMHO of course.
> Ian Bailey wrote:
>> Hi Chris,
>> Sorry, yes typo on non-well-founded. By which I mean (at least from my
>> limited understanding) that there is no requirement to build everything up
>> from the empty set. All the IDEAS Group work has been based on this
>> principle, and the ontologies seem to be perfectly implementable to me. I
>> doubt they'd support reasoning though.
>> There's a link here
>> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-well-founded_set_theory) which probably
>> explains it in terms of logic. Personally, I can't understand a bloody
>> of it.
>> I'm not sure the AI level-nine wizards entirely co-opted the term either.
>> All the ISO15926 and BORO work was done without requirement for machine
>> reasoning. Philosophers also talk about ontology quite a bit too.
>> For me, it's much more important for an ontology to closely mirror the
>> world, because what I care about is building better information systems.
>> Sure, there's got to be some formality in their development, but that
>> doesn't mean it has to support reasoning. I get particularly worried when
>> folks tell me I can't do things like have types whose instances are types,
>> and relationships to relationships. They're bending their "ontology" to
>> the tool at hand. If all you have is a war-hammer, everything starts to
>> like an orc.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Christopher Menzel [mailto:cmenzel@xxxxxxxx]
>> Sent: 26 October 2009 17:30
>> To: ian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; [ontolog-forum]
>> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Just What Is an Ontology, Anyway?
>> On Oct 26, 2009, at 11:43 AM, Ian Bailey wrote:
>>> Er...what does ontology have to do with automated reasoning ?
>> Ever since the term was co-opted (not entirely without warrant) by the
>> CS/AI community, a (perhaps the) central motivation has been to
>> facilitate automated reasoning on large knowledge bases.
>>> The scope of ontology is far wider than that, and there are lots of
>>> ontologies out there that are really useful for real world
>>> applications, but don't meet the narrow requirements for finite-time
>> Example being...? Do you really mean it's in a logic without a proof
>> theory? Or do you simply mean that the ontology is not formally
>> specified? I don't doubt that a semi-formal ontology couldn't be
>> useful for, e.g., facilitating a common understanding of a domain
>> among human agents. But, ultimately, complete clarity (and
>> computational support) comes only when an informal ontology has been
>> rendered in a logical language. And if you've got a genuine logical
>> language, you'll have some sort of proof theory and hence something
>> amenable to automated reasoning.
>>> On the other hand, there are ontologies out there that have been
>>> built only for reasoning, and are no use whatsoever in real world
>>> applications...in fact there are rather a lot of these, mostly
>>> funded by our taxes, unfortunately.
>> So there are bad, well-funded ontologies; nothing new there.
>>> I'm not sure a complete proof theory is required either.
>> You are right; partial proof theories for well-specified fragments of
>> a given logic could also be useful. The point was that one needs a
>> rigorous proof theory for a logic to support any kind of automated
>>> The none-well-founded stuff seems to work quite well (assuming
>>> that's what Chris meant by "proof").
>> I don't have any clear idea what you have in mind by "none-well-
>> founded" stuff. I'm guessing you mean "non-well-founded" but I'm
>> still not sure what you mean. Perhaps you are alluding to well-
>> founded semantics (WFS)? That is indeed a framework that in general
>> does not have a complete proof theory but there are a number of
>> interesting completeness results for WFS-based systems when certain
>> conditions are imposed on models.
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