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[ontolog-forum] FW: Ontology development method - SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2009 12:34:45 -0800
Message-id: <20091207203451.3F4F0138D18@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Whoops, forgot to add my own text:


OK Bill, I know what you mean.  There is already too much to do now!




Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

From: Rich Cooper [mailto:rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 12:33 PM
To: Rich Cooper
Subject: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method - SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION


From: Burkett, William [USA] [mailto:burkett_william@xxxxxxx]
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 12:03 PM
To: Rich Cooper
Subject: RE: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method


Hi, Rich –


Just to complete our discussion thread here, I appreciate your offers (i.e., “I can send you a copy of the beta …” and “ f you are interested in MetaSemantics, and have an application you would …”) but don’t have the time or resources to delve into anything like this right now.







From: Rich Cooper [mailto:rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 10:40 AM
To: Burkett, William [USA]
Subject: RE: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method


Hi Bill,


My comments are interspersed below,




Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

From: Burkett, William [USA] [mailto:burkett_william@xxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 5:44 AM
To: Rich Cooper
Subject: RE: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method


Hi, Rich –


You’re quite right, of course, about the social issues (hidden agenda, etc.) that affect the negotiation process and outcome.   It’s usually not technical reasons that get in the way of good solutions.


Your patent request looks interesting – that kind of analysis is essential to the eventual automation of interoperability. 


Thanks for your interest.  The discovery process I documented in that URL is the Quadrature cycle of Observing, Theorizing, Experimenting and Classifying which human beings have used throughout history to conduct discovery processes like those in a patent litigation process.  


My own solution is still more people driven.  I advocate what I call the Semantic Prime Directive – application owners should be free to design and use whatever data structures they feel are appropriate for their applications and no one has the right to force them to change. 


This protects both their IP and let’s them have what they want.  Party A and Party B must still agree to a schema “contract” to interoperate.  The key in this situation is the mapping and translation between the local schema and the contract schema. 


The individual user (or user prototype) can and should participate in all four aspects of ontology development, especially in the political decision making process.  If they are stakeholders, they will be motivated by some of the concerns you mentioned.  For example, I want to get my software under version control to start refining it for production.  To do that risks the IP I have developed over the last twenty years.  I don’t take that material lightly.  I have my employees sign an agreement protecting my IP so that if they steal it and use it later, I can show grounds for litigation if they are successful in using my licensed (or trade secret) technology for an application I have not agreed to.  


Every IP owner who intends to commercialize their product has to go through all that political gerrymandering and mollycoddling, and all those political science activities with other stakeholders as needed.  The objective of an IP owner is to generate a revenue stream and market with reasonably low risk of investing in further development of that market and its processes.  


IMO there has been far too little attention devoted to this subject (though there are a couple products like MapForce and Contivo Analyst that do this.) 


I agree; more attention to this would be very instructive to many of the Ontologists here.  


I notice from the patent that you’re in Costa Mesa.   Are you still there? And is ELK a company?  (if so, your web page link is broken!  J


Yes, Microsoft restarted my server (with my DON’T checkbox checked anyway) and that changed my IP address, so I have to get the DNS changed before my web site is up again.  Sorry for the delay in displaying pages just now.  I am presently so loaded with work I haven’t had time to get back to fixing it.  


ELK stands for “English Logic Kernel”, or Elk, which is a concept I’m working on with immediate applications to patent claim chart generation and analysis.  My web site (when its up) supports automatic generation of claim charts with fully filled in sections.  If you are interested, I can send you a copy of the beta, which is to be replaced in the next six months by a full production system.  But the site should be back up by this weekend.  


I just left the LA area two years ago and am always interested in companies in this field in the area.




I don’t know of many that are into semantics here in LA, but with UCLA and USC having strong CS departments, and with Cal Tech and UCI so close to them, there must be a lot of academics starting small semantics companies about now.  Technology develops in surprisingly straight lines!


If you are interested in MetaSemantics, and have an application you would like to champion, license, contract for services, or otherwise implement using Elk, I would be very pleased to discuss it with you.  





From: Rich Cooper [mailto:rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 6:47 PM
To: Burkett, William [USA]
Subject: RE: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method


Hi Bill,


That explanation makes good sense - thanks.  And it fits with the kinds of constraints we have discussed on this list and its predecessors for many years now.  All conceptualization is subjective, but some subjects agree on a few classes for the sake of interchange among the parties.  It still provides the subjective context, while committing only on interface classes among business partners.  


Well described, and Party A and Party B now have to make the political peace that goes with any such agreement.  But if the parties are, for example, Pakistan and India, you can imagine how stressful it is on both parties to reach that one central agreement.  It necessarily has to comply with the motivations of all parties, or it’s bound to break. 


But the tool to do it has already been designed, as published here (note this is an issued patent, please, with all the rights and appurtenances thereunto):




Its getting parties to agree that is most challenging about designing those interface classes.  Few parties seem to want to move outside their comfort zone to risk new ventures that incur expense and risk.  Negotiation only works some of the time on interfaces, in my experience.  


The IP financial position of the negotiating parties can be affected also.  Interface classes that are owned by party A and distinct other classes owned by party B lead to all kinds of negotiating issues on who owns what specifications; which licenses cover which functionalities, and what market value is placed on each fungible chunk.  So choosing specific (standardized) interface classes and making them agreed upon for a long time is tougher than it sounds.  


In the cell phone sector, with electronic circuits, software, and systems patents, there are classes of IP that relate to interfacing with other phones, web sites, instant messaging, and so on.  Those are costly to develop and normally are designed for a specific requirement, which changes after the interface class is designed.  That’s why companies require legal IP protection - to ensure their investments are likely to take off and do well.  So the depth and complexity of negotiation processes is also dependent on the economic and market issues of each domain.  





Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

From: Burkett, William [USA] [mailto:burkett_william@xxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 12:09 PM
To: [ontolog-forum] ; Rich Cooper
Subject: RE: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method




This does fall in the category of language games.


What I mean by “re-negotiation of meaning” has to do with the use and interpretation of schemas or types or classes in ontologies.   Party-A and Party-B choose a schema (or set of type or ontology classes) to use to exchange data; they’ve in a sense “negotiated and agreed to a contract”.   If data created by Party-A per the schema (or types or ontology classes) is sent to Party-B and Party-B thinks the data “looks weird” or is erroneous or has some other issue, then Part-B obviously has a different interpretation of the schema (or types or ontology classes) than Party-A.   “Re-negotiation of meaning” means either aligning their interpretations of the schema (or type or ontology class) or revising the schema (etc) to accommodate the different “meaning needs” of Party-A and Party-B.


A simple analogy in natural language use is someone from Chicago saying to me they “want a pop”.   I may not understand what they’re really asking for so after some “negotiation” I realize they’re asking for a carbonated beverage – what I’d call a “soda”.   After the “negotiation”, we both then know what “pop” means (and the context in which it’s likely used.) 


The trick is how to enable data-interoperable software systems to do this quickly and easily.






From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rich Cooper
Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 11:47 AM
To: '[ontolog-forum] '
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method


Hi Ferenc,


You wrote:

The key, imo, is finding a way to make the

re-negotiation of meaning in the SW quick and easy


Could you expound your thoughts on this issue?  How can meaning be renegotiated quickly, and who is doing the negotiation?


It seems that your description has to do with language games which John Sowa has mentioned before several times, but for which none of us have come up with good examples to help define, analyze or validate the language game concept.  


I am interested in using strongly typed objects and classes to minimize (i.e. factor) the process of substituting plausible uniquely identified things in the beginning of search, and bind them to validated objects through the And/Or/Not tree of an object designation _expression_.  


Your thoughts on language games and the concept of capturing and analyzing them are appreciated. 





Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of FERENC KOVACS
Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 11:34 PM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method


You may want to read this





----- Original Message -----

From: "Burkett, William [USA]" <burkett_william@xxxxxxx>

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 10:03 PM

Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method



I'll jump on this bandwagon, too, concerning the social dimension of

ontologies and ontology development; it's an important and underserved (imo)

area of exploration.  In fact, I'll expand it by pointing out that human

languages (natural languages as well as artificial languages) are

socially-constructed mechanisms.  The meaning of languages is a kind of

"social contract" (apologies to Rousseau) that is continually being tuned,

corrected, and re-negotiated.  Data, schemas, and ontologies are all

languages of which this is true.  The key, imo, is finding a way to make the

re-negotiation of meaning in the SW quick and easy.






-----Original Message-----

From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Tolk, Andreas

Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 12:45 PM

To: '[ontolog-forum] '

Subject: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method


I also agree with this point of view.

Ontologies are a great way to understand such differences in

conceptualization, in particular as they are formal specifications of

conceptualizations. I like the work of Wache on how to build federations

from such different conceptual views on a problem. The two papers I normally

recommend are H. Wache, T. Vogele, U. Visser, H. Stuckenschmidt, G.

Schuster, H. Neumann, and S. Hübner, "Ontology-based Integration of

Information -- a Survey of Existing Approaches," Proceedings of the

IJCAI-Workshop Ontologies and Information Sharing, Seattle, WA: 2001, pp.

108-117 and H. Wache, "Towards Rule-Based Context Transformation in

Mediators," in Proceedings of the International Workshop on Engineering

Federated Information Systems (EFIS), 1999, pp. 107-122.

One of the main advantages of ontological approaches is that they make such

differences explicit and make them applicable to engineering solutions as

well. The mediation between viewpoints to avoid conceptual misalignments of

contributions to an overarching solution is something we see everywhere

popping up, be it service oriented architecture and model based


Best wishes


==================== ;-)

Andreas Tolk, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, VA, USA


-----Original Message-----

From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jim Rhyne

Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 2:36 PM

To: '[ontolog-forum] '

Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method


Hi Doug,

I very much agree with your point of view. A good many of the difficulties

encountered in projects that I have consulted on are rooted in


and hidden agendas. The ontology is not just a technical tool, it is also a


and organizational tool.

One of the challenges of this approach, however, is the need for multiple

ontologies and a way to link them semantically. The different segments of a

large enterprise will develop individual terms and phrases that they use to

communicate within the segment. In my experience, there is little hope of

getting all segments to agree on a single set of terms. But, it appears to


often possible to get agreement on a mapping and sharing of concepts,


there is a crisp and unambiguous definition of the concepts.

There is a small amount of technical work in the area of shared ontologies


ontology mapping that I am familiar with. Can you and others on this forum

Suggest additional sources?


Jim Rhyne

Software Renovation Consulting


-----Original Message-----

From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Doug McDavid

Sent: Friday, November 27, 2009 3:55 AM

To: paoladimaio10@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx; [ontolog-forum]

Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology development method


Hi Paola --


I'd like to pick up on your point about the social aspects of this

field.  Over the years, I have gravitated more over to the social

system aspect of enterprise, and I feel strongly that precision of

language, and understanding of language distinctions, is a critical

element of lubricating the social side of enterprise (better

understanding, disambiguation to everyone's relief, semantic boundary

objects that allow different disciplines and practices to work

together, etc.).


I haven't found much appetite for this kind of discussion on this

particular list.   I follow the discussions here quite closely,

because I think ontology has the potential to become an important wave

of future development of business systems.  I would probably be making

more than the occasional contribution if there were more interest in

these social aspects.  Maybe someone receiving this knows of a

discussion going on elsewhere.  I admit I haven't done due diligence

on Ning, LinkedIn, Google Groups, etc.


If there's any interest at all, I could be encouraged to do some

diligence, and possibly set up a discussion group on this topic.


Thanks for your thoughts!




On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 2:27 AM, Paola Di Maio <paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx>


> John



>> I think that *ideology* is the main obstacle that has strangled

>> innovation in the SW.


> what I noticed is that much of the thinking (setting aside the ideology

> point) is done by computer scientists

> while in my view sw challenges are not striclty CS per se


> Information Management dont particularly count as scientist either,


> On top of that 'social 'science is not taken into account


> a bit like having a team of only civil engineers, and no architects/

> planners


> while its' true that infrastructure is really really important, we would


> want our cities to be

> run and governed solely by plumbers and electricians


>> If anybody whispers that JSON might be better

>> than RDF, the SW thought police immediately exile them from the empire.


> do you have evidence to that effect?


> But just compare two groups that both started at Stanford around the same time:


> Agreed that comparing google with protege to measure success of the latter

> does not seem fair

> its a different ball game, isnt it ?:-)







Doug McDavid




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