>> [JS] The basic principle is that agents are allowed to use any language
whatever to send messages from one agent to another, but one field of each
message identifies the language in which it is written. (01)
I agree with John - if any given agent only needs to communicate with one or
a small number of others, a local special protocol could work. But for this
cluster to communicate with the broader community, at least one of them
should be capable of translating into the common language. This method
might prove to be popular where only special kinds of data need to be
exchanged among certain specialized agents. It could make the whole
community of interacting agents more efficient. But for maximum efficiency
it still seems that some *general* common logical language (including basic
vocabulary) would be needed for a community, though not necessarily used by
every interacting agent in the community. (02)
Good point, John, thanks. (03)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F. Sowa
> Sent: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 9:36 AM
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: [ontolog-forum] Note for the day
> In keeping with my own suggestion of limiting notes to one per day,
> here is my combined responses to various notes of January 25 and 26:
> RS> FYI the online tutorial link is broken in your Tarski paper
> > referenced above.
> Sorry. Following is the brief summary of model theory in
> Section 13 of my tutorial on math and logic:
> Model Theory
> PC> John Sowa has told us that he uses a combination of techniques
> > to solve knotty problems efficiently. I believe that is what
> > will be very effective in general, but for that to work outside
> > the confines of a single group - i.e. to enable multiple separately
> > developed agents to cooperate in solving a problem- they will also
> > need a common language to accurately communicate information.
> Thanks for the note, but I would just add that it is not necessary
> for *all* agents to agree on a single language for the group.
> For example, a group of people who speak multiple languages can
> collaborate as long as any two who work together have a common
> language or can find a third to act as a translator.
> As a computer example, a Java program that controls the user interface
> might call a C program for high-speed computation, a Prolog program
> for complex AI processing, a relational DB that uses SQL, and an RDF
> processor for some data from the WWW.
> The way that we implement the idea at VivoMind is based on a paper
> I wrote in 2002 about the Flexible Modular Framework (FMF):
> Architectures for Intelligent Systems
> The basic principle is that agents are allowed to use any language
> whatever to send messages from one agent to another, but one field
> of each message identifies the language in which it is written.
> In one application of the VivoMind software, we were asked to
> process a language other than English. As a quick fix to the
> software, we took an off-the-shelf translation package, put a
> wrapper around it to make it behave like an FMF agent, and routed
> messages through it to translate messages from language X to English.
> (A better solution would be to adapt our software to language X, but
> this method worked for the prototype, and it was easy to implement.)
> FK>> This is what MT people do not seem to understand, because they
> > believe in Frege who says that the sense of a sentence is derived
> > from the sense of its constituents (words).
> DE> I'm not clear on what you're saying here. "Frege" conveys
> > no information or context for me.
> The principle of *compositionality*, usually attributed to Frege,
> is that the meaning of a sentence is derived from the meaning of
> each word plus the meaning contributed by the way the words are
> put together (the syntax).
> For formal languages, such as most versions of logic and programming
> languages, this principle is either (a) almost true or (b) true with
> qualifications. The primary qualification must address the fact that
> the meaning of a statement such as
> x = a + b;
> depends critically on the datatypes of the variables, which are
> specified elsewhere in the program. There are two ways of making
> Frege's principle true:
> 1. Say that the entire program is the unit of compilation (or
> sentence, in Frege's sense). Therefore, the full semantics
> is accommodated by an analysis of that "sentence".
> 2. Implement a "symbol table", which contains all the information
> about each symbol that has been found in the program. When the
> declaration of the each variable is found, an entry for that
> variable is placed in the symbol table that specifies its
> "meaning". When the statement "x = a + b;" is encountered,
> the meaning of the statement is derived from the syntax of
> the statement plus the *current* meaning of each symbol as
> specified in the symbol table.
> For natural languages, many people have tried to apply some
> version of principle #2, but the kinds of exceptions that
> must be accommodated are enormous and often unpredictable.
> For example, one speaker was giving a lecture about the fact
> that two negations can make an affirmative, but there is no
> language in which two affirmatives can make a negation.
> Whereupon, somebody in the back of the room said in a
> sarcastic tone of voice: "Yeah, yeah."
> DE> What I'm GUESSING you're saying is what I think is a significant
> > divide in the MT (machine translation) community.
> Actually, everybody in the MT community is well aware of the many
> kinds of exceptions, but some people go to great lengths to find
> ingenious ways of adapting principle #2 to make Frege infallible.
> My answer to those people is "Yeah, yeah."
> RF> Your [Pat H's] enormous stream-of-consciousness lists of
> > quibbles with every word or phrase make it difficult to keep
> > volume down on the list.
> Pat's remarks are based on a solid foundation in logic and
> computer science, and he was trying to educate the readers of
> this list about the importance of keeping the ideas straight.
> They are much more than mere quibbles.
> As one example, I made the point that pure mathematics differs
> from the other sciences because it does not make any statements
> or claims about the physical world. The basic methods of
> mathematics have not changed since our stone age ancestors:
> 1. Adopt some rules or axioms that define abstract patterns
> (e.g., the numbers, geometrical forms, etc.).
> 2. Use those rules to generate examples of those patterns.
> The stone age rules are to count on your fingers or make
> notches on a stick. These are observations, but they
> are not observations of physical phenomena.
> 3. Analyze them to determine the possible range of patterns.
> This kind of analysis is usually called a proof. Formal
> proofs were codified by Euclid, but the stone age people
> who built Stonehenge showed a high degree of sophistication.
> They probably used some informal methods of analysis.
> The use of rules to generate examples could be called 'empirical',
> but Chaitin added the prefix 'quasi-' because those patterns were
> generated by mental processes, not by physical mechanisms. That
> is much more than a quibble.
> RF> It is to John's credit that he is one of the very few people
> > who consistently push this problem [about uncertainty].
> Thanks for the acknowledgment.
> In academic circles, there are two kinds of people: those who
> narrow their focus to precisely delimited problems that they can
> formulate clearly and solve in a carefully written publication;
> and those who venture into uncharted territory and come back
> with exciting, but incomplete surveys of the wilderness.
> Both kinds of work are valuable. People who narrow the focus
> systematize the field and clarify the foundations. The ones
> who march into the wilderness broaden the field and open up
> new territory.
> We need both kinds.
> John Sowa
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