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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology modules and namespaces

To: ian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 15:15:31 -0500
Message-id: <4AE754E3.5030005@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ian,    (01)

What I am suggesting is that the IDEAS group avoid re-inventing
a half-vast wheel:    (02)

 > I suspect IDEAS can tick most of your boxes already:
 > 1) We develop IDEAS in UML, strictly profiled to the IDEAS ontic
 > categories
 > 2) We can export the UML model into RDFS/OWL, XSDs (for the US DoD)
 > and RDBMS    (03)

People constantly say things that and they add the following:    (04)

 > We've not had any requirement for CL.    (05)

Then they implement some half-vast special case that supports only
those features that are in the requirements.  Later, they discover
some new requirements, and they keep adding patch, after patch,
after patch, after patch, ad nauseam.    (06)

 > I'm not really convinced that logic notations are the best way
 > to express ontologies. Personally, I find them incomprehensible...
 > but I realise logicians love their squiggles and AI folks love
 > their parentheses.    (07)

I sympathize with that sentiment.  But everybody who makes that
claim ends up with something that has the full expressive power
of logic, but in a notation that is much more difficult to learn,
to read, to write, and to implement.    (08)

Note that those slides emphasize *Controlled English*, which
also happens to be popular in military circles -- and in retail.
Please look at the Tesco.com example in slides 75 to 78:    (09)

    http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/cnl4ss.pdf    (010)

The IVIS company that originally implemented that application had
started with RDF and OWL, but it was impossible for Tesco employees
to make updates.  They had to call an RDF and OWL expert for every
change they wanted to make.  But the new version, which uses
controlled English mapped to the CGIF dialect of Common Logic,
allows Tesco employees to enter and modify their business rules.    (011)

The SQL WHERE clause, for example, has the full expressive power
of FOL, but in a notation that is vastly more complex to read,
write, and implement than any common notation for logic.    (012)

UML also has a contorted notation for FOL called the Object
Constraint Language (OCL), which is another half-vast patch
that ends up being more difficult to read, write, and implement
than any typical notation for FOL.    (013)

You can still use SQL, UML, and the Semantic Web languages.
But with Common Logic and Controlled English, you have a
user interface designed for people who are not logicians or
programmers.    (014)

My recommendation is to submit those slides as a new requirement
to the IDEAS group.  This isn't blue-sky research.  The systems
cited and discussed in those slides are implemented and deployed.
And the users (who are *not* logicians) love them.    (015)

John    (016)

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