Hi Ali, (01)
The process you have described is fairly similar to what we are doing
with this year's Ontology Summit  (but, of course, the Summit has a
Check out how things are getting organized and monitor how it is
progressing; I'm sure there will be lessons learned that will become
applicable when you try to roll out this plan that you are describing
 http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?OntologySummit2010 (03)
On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 10:30 PM, Ali Hashemi
> Dear Peter,
> Thank you kindly for your encouragement.
> I'm not entirely sure what you mean by operationalize, but here goes.
> I unfortunately missed the boat with this idea for FOIS 2010 and perhaps the
> upcoming issue of AO (I became engaged in a number of immersive projects the
> past few months, one of which I look forward to sharing with ontolog when it
> is ready for deployment).
> While it would be great to have such an effort go forward under the umbrella
> of an established journal, the incentive structure of attaining the
> requisite participation is outside the traditional "impact factor"
> publication stream. Moreover, walled knowledge is significantly less
> appealing than that which anyone can wander across, especially if the aim is
> to provide a benchmark of what there is in ontology at the moment.
> Consequently, I wonder, what are the possibilities of a forum like ontolog
> supporting / publishing a one-off publication of such an issue? On-line
> only, if even?
> As for getting participants, the immediate task is to get the word out and
> gauge interest in such an effort.
> Since this is a one-off event, the structure of such a special issue would
> loosely mirror that of a conference. As the majority of the content of this
> issue is not focused necessarily with publishing novel research, but rather
> collating the work of research communities, a set of quality criteria ought
> be developed to ensure a standard of submission. What aspects of current /
> past research do we want to highlight? What are the overarching questions
> people are interested in having answered?
> If there are volunteers to fill the "issue chair" and "program chairs" that
> would be superb. Otherwise, we also need volunteers to referee submissions
> for quality. A number of papers reviewing the field according to the
> perspectives of interests would be subject to standard peer-review quality
> My seed suggestions were papers regarding: "Current Theoretical Issues",
> "Current Applications" and "Current Tools /Languages." I am unsure if these
> categories are too broad, or if anyone feels comfortable tackling them. They
> are intended as starting points for discussion and we can refine these to
> article topics that volunteers would feel comfortable undertaking. Moreover,
> I am not suggesting that any single author can cover all "Current
> Theoretical Issues", but that two, three or more such articles from authors
> well placed in the various schools of thought within ontology should provide
> the adequate breadth and cover.
> So broadly, I would suggest at least two types of articles:
> This is who we are / what we do
> with special quality criteria developed (perhaps within ontolog)
> Review of issues of interest to cover the past X by volunteers (i.e. current
> theoretical, etc.)
> subject to standard peer review guidelines
> The incentive I hope is clear cut enough that we will have volunteers,
> otherwise we might ask specific researchers to weigh in with their thoughts.
> To reiterate, the purpose of such an endeavor is to provide the community
> with a sense of our achievements, a sort of benchmark to which we can look
> back in 5 - X years and see how we have progressed. Another corollary would
> be to bring forth and identify who is out there and what they are doing in a
> centralized resource, instead of the current state of affairs where
> contributions are distributed in sundry journals across multiple resources.
> Any feedback / comments / criticisms would be extremely welcome.
> Any volunteers for any of these positions would be even more welcome. I can
> devote significant time to this project as well.
> Does this address the question of how to operationalize this idea? Is the
> rationale for this idea sound / agreeable? Is there something missing etc?
> On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 8:19 PM, Peter Yim <peter.yim@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Great idea, Ali! ... how would you like to operationalize it? I'd be
>> willing to support you.
>> It is too late, though, to include this into this year's Ontology
>> Summit activities, but we could definitely consider helping you
>> broadcast the initiative, say at the end of the Summit (mid March
>> 2010), if you are ready to launch around that time.
>> Regards. =ppy
>> On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 2:47 PM, Ali Hashemi
>> <ali.hashemi+ontolog@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> > Just for clarity, in case anyone was interested in this idea.
>> > The impetus behind a special issue devoted to reviewing the field is to
>> > answer the following three questions:
>> > Who are we?
>> > What do we think?
>> > What have we done?
>> > Where we refers to various research groups distributed across the globe.
>> > Quick synopsis of rationale:
>> > Each year, there are X many new graduates, yet there is no centralized
>> > place
>> > to figure out what the outstanding issues in ontology are, who's working
>> > on
>> > it, and what they believe.
>> > Incidentally, this complements the "Ontologists of the Future" effort
>> > quite
>> > well. While I believe that pretty much every field would benefit from
>> > this
>> > type of review every 5/10 years, it makes a lot of sense for something
>> > like
>> > ontology to be one of the first who actually does it.
>> > I would further imagine that such an exercise would identify 3-6
>> > dominant
>> > schools of thought regarding the best strategies for developing
>> > ontologies.
>> > I received my MASc this past March, and was considering immediately
>> > doing a
>> > PhD, but in doing research on the various labs in the field, it was
>> > really
>> > difficult to get a sense of who's doing what. In academia, we're
>> > distributed
>> > in various departments and disciplines (Engineering in Toronto,
>> > Philosophy
>> > in Buffalo, Medicine in Stanford, Machine Learning in Baltimore,
>> > dedicated
>> > in Trento) - again this has also been noted in the Ontologists of the
>> > Future
>> > effort.
>> > The initial idea I proposed was:
>> >> The basic idea is that in any field, it would be very useful to have a
>> >> summary of all the progress made over the past X number of years. As
>> >> far as
>> >> I know, such a thing doesn't exist. However, the 5 year anniversary of
>> >> Applied Ontology will be next year, coinciding with FOIS, and I think
>> >> it
>> >> would be wonderful to start this tradition - at least within the
>> >> ontology
>> >> community.
>> >> One major component might be to elicit submissions from every research
>> >> group in the field (perhaps 250 words max), summarizing the state of
>> >> their
>> >> current research. Another essential ingredient would be to have three
>> >> (or
>> >> more) authors (ideally represent the contrasting approaches in the
>> >> field),
>> >> to review the overall progress given their specializations /
>> >> perspectives.
>> >> Each article would strive to identify the major paradigms in the field
>> >> as
>> >> well as who has done what to address the major problems.
>> >> Lastly, we might want to organize such a special issue into "Current
>> >> Theoretical Issues" "Current Applications" and possibly "Current Tools
>> >> /
>> >> Languages" - having articles or brief notes that discuss each, and
>> >> organized
>> >> those short summary submissions noted above according to these
>> >> categories.
>> >> In any event, the above are preliminary suggestions for how the "field
>> >> review" might look like. Let me know what you think. I would be able to
>> >> help
>> >> however i can :D.
>> > Any ideas / feedback would be welcome.
>> > Sincerely,
>> > Ali
>> > On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 5:11 PM, Ali Hashemi
>> > <ali.hashemi+ontolog@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> >> Dear Patrick,
>> >> 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:
>> >>> [PC] I never said that, and I don’t believe it either. But regardless
>> >>> of
>> >>> how one chooses to talk about the world, any two communicating agents
>> >>> must
>> >>> talk about it **in the same language**, or else fail to communicate
>> >>> accurately
>> >>> ....
>> >>> [PC] Not necessarily, though see the next paragraph. I am sure that
>> >>> different people do have different fundamental assumptions and
>> >>> different
>> >>> beliefs, and use words in different ways, and all of that creates a
>> >>> great
>> >>> risk of faulty communication, as one can observe in many situations
>> >>> such as
>> >>> this forum. In fact, it is probably impossible to people to have
>> >>> **exactly** the same internal states, though with effort we can get
>> >>> close
>> >>> enough to each other for communication accurate enough for most
>> >>> practical
>> >>> purposes (a least when they are not trying to score debating
>> >>> points). But
>> >>> computers **can** have identical sets of theories (the computer
>> >>> version of
>> >>> beliefs), since the computer owners are in complete control and only
>> >>> have to
>> >>> choose to use the same set of theories in order to communicate
>> >>> accurately.
>> >>> My point was that since we do have control over our computers’
>> >>> theories, we
>> >>> can get them to communicate accurately by using the same sets of
>> >>> theories.
>> >>> That doesn’t mean that there is only **one** true set of theories, it
>> >>> does
>> >>> mean that any group that agrees that **some** particular set of
>> >>> theories is
>> >>> adequate to express what they want their computers to communicate can
>> >>> use
>> >>> that set to enable accurate computer communication. If there are some
>> >>> who
>> >>> feel that the theories are not adequate for their purposes, they can
>> >>> choose
>> >>> not to communicate accurately with the community that does use the
>> >>> common
>> >>> language – or make some adjustments to get an approximate
>> >>> interpretation –
>> >>> or better yet, try to collaborate with the others to find some set of
>> >>> theories that includes their needs as well. But once there is
>> >>> **some**
>> >>> community that uses a common foundation ontology as the basis for
>> >>> accurate
>> >>> computer communication among useful programs, it is likely that one
>> >>> such
>> >>> foundation ontology will be the most commonly used, and therefore will
>> >>> provide the greatest audience. If a different foundation ontology is
>> >>> used
>> >>> in some specialized community, it can become the preferred basis for
>> >>> communication there, but that community will then not communicate
>> >>> accurately
>> >>> with the other, larger audience. I expect that one common foundation
>> >>> ontology will eventually dominate the computer communication media for
>> >>> the
>> >>> same reason that English dominates in international scientific
>> >>> conferences –
>> >>> it gives the greatest value per unit effort expended. That situation
>> >>> may
>> >>> not last forever – English may be replaced by, say Chinese . . . that
>> >>> depends on unpredictable factors.
>> >> 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,
>> >> Ali
>> > --
>> > (•`'·.¸(`'·.¸(•)¸.·'´)¸.·'´•) .,.,
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