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Re: [ontolog-forum] Foundation ontology, CYC, and Mapping

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Patrick Cassidy" <pat@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 23:46:46 -0500
Message-id: <033b01caa61e$38c9cf20$aa5d6d60$@com>
On an assertion by Pat Hayes:    (01)

[PH] > On Feb 1, 2010, at 3:00 PM, Patrick Cassidy wrote:
> > ...
> >    You [John Sowa] have derided the cost of the FO project, but I
> > will remind the list
> > that in the interval of time that we have been discussing this
> > issue, the
> > best estimates I have seen indicate that well over 100 billion
> > dollars has
> > been lost in commercially inefficient information transfer in the US
> > alone.
> This has got to be nonsense. You are claiming that if your
> hypothetical 'foundation ontology' were available, that the US economy
> would gain 100 billion dollars in a matter of weeks, simply by more
> efficient information transfer?     (02)

No, I never said or implied any such thing.  The point is, that the
inefficiency costs are ongoing, and whenever interoperability becomes
technically feasible and starts to be implemented in functioning systems the
benefits begin to accrue, though it will take years for them to reach their
maximum benefit, when all when all or most of the systems that are now
inefficient using non-interoperable technology begin to use the
interoperable technology.  But the point I thought was fairly obvious was
that, if we assume that there will be the *same* time lag from
*availability* of the interoperable technology to the point where it is
adopted by a majority of systems that can benefit from its use, **regardless
of the time (date) when the interoperable technology becomes available**,
then it follows that the ultimate **long term** (calculated over a period of
years, not just immediate) losses for not making the interoperable
technology available will accrue **at the maximum rate** for however long
the delay is from today to the time the technology is made available.  So
assuming a cost of delay at the maximum benefit rate is what I consider
precisely the correct calculation, even though it is obvious that it will
take years to reach maximum utility.      (03)

Although this takes a few sentences to try to explicate, I would have
imagined it would be obvious that this was the point being made.  One may
argue that the lag from the time of availability of a technology to its wide
adoption is not necessarily independent of the date it becomes available,
but if there is a difference in the case of the FO, it may well be that the
lag will be *longer* as time goes on because of the proliferation of new
systems that will need to be retroactively fitted to use the FO, much more
expensive than using the FO from the start; and in any case, I have not seen
anyone argue that as time goes by adopting an FO in industry will become
quicker.  And if the technology were adopted outside the US there would be
additional savings, not estimated in the studies I have consulted. In
addition, there are projected benefits much harder to calculate, for which
reason I have not made a major point of it:  the availability of broad
accurate interoperability can also be expected to have benefits beyond the
improvement of the efficiency existing technology, to wit: (1) it can
support the effective creation of programs using interoperable agents by
multiple dispersed groups, and help the development of useful technologies
not now existing: and (2) it can improve the efficiency of research in
multi-component AI technologies that do not now have a common protocol for
transmission of information, making it easier for dispersed groups to
contribute parts of a complex reasoning system, by providing an effective
means of transferring complex information among them.    (04)

> [PH] First, I simply do not believe that
> anyone, with any methodology, could possibly sustain this estimate
> based on any actual data.     (05)

  The estimate is taken as the aggregate of several studies estimating
interoperability losses in different industries.  This is for the US alone.
[1] Jan Walker, Eric Pan, Douglas Johnston, Julia Adler-Milstein, David W.
Bates and Blackford Middleton, The Value of Healthcare Information Exchange
and Interoperability Health Affairs, 19 January 2005
[2]  http://www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/publications/gcrs/04867.pdf
[3]  http://www.nist.gov/director/prog-ofc/report99-1.pdf    (06)

If you have a better estimate, please let us know.    (07)

Pat    (08)

Patrick Cassidy
cell: 908-565-4053
cassidy@xxxxxxxxx    (09)

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