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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2010 08:27:34 -0500
Message-id: <4B77FA46.9090608@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Rob,    (01)

I was addressing Pat C's claim that procedural semantics could
express meaning that went beyond what was expressed in axioms.    (02)

There are many reasons for using hand-coded procedures, including
convenience (making a quick fix) and efficiency (implementing a
clever technique that a general-purpose compiler might not generate).
But any such procedures could be formally specified by constraints
(stated in axioms) on their input/output conditions.    (03)

And I agree that the names of variables or other kinds of labels
can, in principle, be eliminated inside a computer.  In fact,
most compilers replace the names chosen by the programmer with
pointers to a "symbol table" that stores the original names
together with further information about storage location, size,
data type, and other info that was declared explicitly or derived
from context.  Similar techniques are also useful for NLs.    (04)

RF> Can you tell me what text by me you're referring to here.    (05)

JFS>> Note to RF:  Yes, the patterns of words in NL text impose strong
 >> constraints on the meanings of the words.  That is important for
 >> NLP, but more explicit spec's are important for computer software.    (06)

I wasn't referring to any specific note, but we had previous
discussions (in which we mostly agreed) about the fact that a great
deal of information can be derived from the patterns of words in
a document.  That information, which is never formalized, can be
used for analogical reasoning (in a very broad sense of 'analogy').    (07)

The question of how those informal patterns can be related to
the more formal information in databases and computer programs
is critical to practical applications.  I believe that it can
be done, and many useful programs have implemented techniques
for doing so.    (08)

But that is a very big can of worms that I didn't want to open
(because, as the proverb goes, you always need a much bigger
can to put them  back in).    (09)

John    (010)

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