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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology modules and namespaces

To: "'John F. Sowa'" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>, "'[ontolog-forum]'" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Ian Bailey" <ian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 21:08:34 -0000
Message-id: <004e01ca5749$a64354a0$f2c9fde0$@com>
Hi John,    (01)

I don't really want to start a discussion chain on this. I think CL is very
difficult to use, and it doesn't do anything I can't already do with a well
thought-out diagram notation. I'm sure you disagree, but life's too short to
argue about favourite notations. I have mine, you have yours. I'm confident
I can map mine to yours in a repeatable fashion, so should I ever need to
give someone CL (unlikely) then I can. I think some of the stuff I can do
simply in my diagrams would be a nightmare in CL. Similarly, I'm sure the
reverse is true, but not for any of the things we want to do with IDEAS.     (02)

PS - IDEAS is higher order, and extensional. It's founding categories are
individual (something with spatio-temporal extent), type and tuple. I can
see how CL handles type and tuple (albeit through some arcane notion,
probably starting with "for all..."), but it doesn't seem to have a
fundamental category of something with spatio-temporal extent. As that's the
criterion on which the entire ontology is founded, I think I'd rather use a
notation that is also founded on this principle.  Maybe we just built the
right wheel for what we're doing, instead of re-inventing one.    (03)

Ian    (04)

-----Original Message-----
From: John F. Sowa [mailto:sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: 27 October 2009 20:16
To: ian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology modules and namespaces    (05)

Ian,    (06)

What I am suggesting is that the IDEAS group avoid re-inventing
a half-vast wheel:    (07)

 > 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    (08)

People constantly say things that and they add the following:    (09)

 > We've not had any requirement for CL.    (010)

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.    (011)

 > 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.    (012)

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.    (013)

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:    (014)

    http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/cnl4ss.pdf    (015)

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.    (016)

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.    (017)

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.    (018)

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.    (019)

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.    (020)

John    (021)

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