|From:||Ali Hashemi <ali.hashemi+ontolog@xxxxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Wed, 27 Jan 2010 17:11:17 -0500|
Thanks for this email.
A couple of points here, comments below.
On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 4:28 PM, Patrick Cassidy <pat@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I'm very glad you acknowledge that it is probably impossible for people to have exactly the same internal states, let alone descriptions of what is. As you note in the first comment above, all that is really required for two agents to communicate is to agree on what they're communicating about.
However, I'm not sure I accept your analogy that English == Common Theory. For me the analogy is more along the lines of English == Common Logic or RDF or OWL2 and the descriptions _using_ English are the actual ontologies we're speaking of - i.e. the words used in English, say the vocabulary V == ontology O. To me this is a more apt analogy.
The solution your post above seems to suggest is actually very similar to the interlingua ontology idea developed in the late 90's, though perhaps that idea was too soon given the state of ontology development. It has since been significantly updated, altered and revived in the form of the OOR or COLORE projects.
As you have noted, the way for two agents to communicate effectively is via determining where they agree and disagree on their theory (the application of English to describe a particular domain / system etc.)
Moreover, as you note below, the number of primitives seems to taper much like y = log (x). However, this doesn't mean that those set of primitives are consistent with one another. And there's the rub.
As it stands we have many people who are working to develop this interlingua; we are in effect, defacto developing exactly the set of primitives you speak of, except in a not very coordinated manner and without an overarching framework. While this lack of cohesion introduces some problems, it also means work can progress without waiting for consensus.
Coincidentally, tools are developed, released and implemented to address exactly those problems that arise from said lack of cohesion - notably efforts in semantic mappings.
Thus, while we might not have all agreed on the common set of primitives, we're slowly understanding where my primitives agree with yours and where they disagree and in what ways. Unsurprisingly, this is also enabling my ontology to be able to communicate effectively with your ontology in much the way you described above.
Alas, this is slow going, and it can sometimes be frustrating that there is no overarching cohesion, but then we have wonderful communities like ontolog who are linking people together and providing a platform such as the OOR to collate, collect and hopefully, ultimately connect all these different primitives.
The above said, to me, a better allocation of resources, instead of a trying to achieve broad consensus from the get go, would be to analyze what currently exist, figure out what the primitives being used might be, and figure out the links, kinks and winks between them - i.e. it might be more useful to try to derive cohesion from these disparate efforts by digging in and fleshing things out. An idea i'd floated before to Nicola Guarino and Michael Gruninger, but I unfortunately haven't pursued with the requisite vigor - is that I would love to see an issue of an ontology journal, say Applied Ontology, devoted to cataloging who is doing what, what the major perspectives in ontology are, and what the major contributions from various research groups across the world are. Instead of a review paper, a review _journal_ of where we are, who we are and what we've done. I think such an effort would go much further in fostering the requisite cohesion than trying to derive consensus first.
So, while I believe your proposal is valuable, I'm not sure it'll be able to attract the requisite momentum; not to mention, there seems to be a lot of work being currently done which already parallels what you envision.
All the best,
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of sean barker
Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 3:12 PM
Cc: "Patrick Cassidy [pat@xxxxxxxxx]"@mccarthy.cim3.com
Subject: [ontolog-forum] Fw: Context in a sentence
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