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[ontolog-forum] Meanings in an ontology

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Patrick Cassidy" <pat@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 22:51:11 -0500
Message-id: <024901caac5f$c8368fd0$58a3af70$@com>
reL discussions of meaning:    (01)

> Doug,
> 
> We will have to see whether anyone else is willing to declare a
> personal model of meaning.
> 
> But your model in terms of mappings and relations fits very well with
> mine, and makes it easy for me to argue my point about names/labels.
> 
> On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 1:54 PM, doug  foxvog <doug@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > ...
> >
> > I consider the meaning of terms in an ontology to be a mapping to
> things
> > outside the ontology.  These mappings relate not just (or primarily)
> to
> > physical wavicles, but ever changing patterns and groups of them,
> categories
> > of such groups, and relations among such groups
> 
> I find your "mapping to things outside the ontology" very compatible
> with my "sets, loosly defined".    (02)


There are at least three ways to refer to meaning:
 (1) Model theoretic semantics which maps entities in an ontology to a
mathematical structure;
 (2) intended meaning, which is what an ontologist intends some entity to
mean, and which, if s/he has done a good job, will be quite clear to human
ontologists from the combination of logical relations on an entity plus the
linguistic documentation;
And (3) what the entity means to a computer, which is how the computer uses
it in an application, which is grounded on the logical inferences derivable
from the ontological relations, but may be modified by procedural code in an
application.  (3a) if the computer has some procedural grounding, such as
the ability to search the internet and an ability to interpret at least part
of what is found on the internet, the "meaning" can depend in part on such
internet search; or if the computer has sensor or robotic capabilities, with
feedback on the robotic actions, those procedures can also contribute to the
meaning that a computer attaches to ontological entities.    (03)

At a minimum I think an ontology should aspire to the meaning of "meaning"
suggested by the name of "Procedural Semantics" by William Woods in "Meaning
and Links: AI Magazine 28(4) Winter 2007    (04)

"In this theory the meaning of a noun is a procedure for  recognizing or
generating instances, the meaning of a proposition is a procedure for
determining if it is true or false, and the meaning of  an action is the
ability to do the action or to tell if it has been done."    (05)

As for "sets, loosely defined" I would suggest that anything loosely defined
isnít tightly defined enough for a usable formal ontology.  It is possible,
though, in linguistic documentation, to point to prototypical instances and
to instances that are and instances that are not included in the extension
of a type, and that can help the human ontologist and programmer to
understand the **intended meaning** of a type (not useful for a relation).
But that won't mean anything to a computer until the computers can actually
recognize instances by their own perceptual capabilities - not likely in the
next few years.    (06)

Pat    (07)

Patrick Cassidy
MICRA, Inc.
908-561-3416
cell: 908-565-4053
cassidy@xxxxxxxxx    (08)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rob Freeman
> Sent: Friday, February 12, 2010 10:18 PM
> To: doug@xxxxxxxxxx; [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Relations for classes and predicates [Was:
> Inconsistent Theories]
> 
> Doug,
> 
> We will have to see whether anyone else is willing to declare a
> personal model of meaning.
> 
> But your model in terms of mappings and relations fits very well with
> mine, and makes it easy for me to argue my point about names/labels.
> 
> On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 1:54 PM, doug  foxvog <doug@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > ...
> >
> > I consider the meaning of terms in an ontology to be a mapping to
> things
> > outside the ontology. †These mappings relate not just (or primarily)
> to
> > physical wavicles, but ever changing patterns and groups of them,
> categories
> > of such groups, and relations among such groups
> 
> I find your "mapping to things outside the ontology" very compatible
> with my "sets, loosly defined".
>     (09)


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