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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Len Yabloko" <lenya@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 16:33:35 +0000
Message-id: <W667606068226621259166815@webmail6>
>MIW> I was wondering if anyone might be able to help me by sharing some
> > thoughts on and/or experiences of using ontological development
> > methods. I am about to embark on the development of a business
> > related ontology and would like to use an appropriate method to
> > provide credibility and guidance to the development process.
JS>For business applications, I don't believe that there is any
>difference in principle between what ontologists are doing today
>and what systems analysts and database administrators have been
>doing for the past 40 years.    (01)

Aside from principles, there are technical issues with developing and using 
ontology for business applications. In my view the main issue is scalability, 
that is: How do you maintain a body of knowledge usefull and accessible to many 
different application (since cost of developing a general knowledge is not 
going to be justifiable for a single application)?    (02)

>MIW> The three methods I am considering are:
>> * OTK method - On-to-Knowledge
>> * Methontology
>> * Ushold and King
JS>I would add the UML design methodologies to that mix.  I have
>often noted that the main reason why the Semantic Web is still
>outside the mainstream of commercial IT is that the SemWebbers
>ignored the problems, tools, and methodologies that commercial
>IT people have been working with over the past half century.
>    (03)

Far from being defending SemWebbers - I don't think they are ignorant crowd. To 
begin with - sW technology is primarily about Web (sorry for offending anyone 
with small "s"). But it does address the main challenge that is in my view 
-scalability. That does not disqualify it from achieving "S" in some cases. In 
fact they are very good at identifying these cases and dividing the problem 
space into specific areas with different performance characteristics.
So I would start with looking at SW literature for technical incites.     (04)

>MIW> The ontology will be developed in protégé v4 and will support
> > software developers, vendors and the construction of enterprise
> > knowledge bases.
JS>Protégé is useful for generating OWL, but OWL is not integrated
>with what business software developers, vendors, and the people
>who develop enterprise data bases and knowledge bases actually do.
>    (05)

That is true about Protege v4 which is based on OWL. However, Protrege is 
designed to be highly extensible and flexible. It definitely can support 
enterprise applications and can be scaled up significantly. Protege versions 
before v4 were based entirely on frames (not OWL). I used Protege 3 to 
integrate it with data bases for enterprise application development. You can 
download the OntoBase plug-in I developed for that 
http://www.ontospace.net/ontobase    (06)

JS>If you want to support business applications, you have to work
>with the people who develop business applications.  And you have
>to make sure that your tools are integrated with their tools.    (07)

And Protege is still the best tool for that.    (08)

Len Yabloko, 
Next Generation Software
>John Sowa
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