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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 12:51:50 -0500
Message-id: <4B82C436.8040007@xxxxxxxx>

Sean Barker wrote:
> If one tries to formalise the existing standards, and reuses the expert 
>knowledge that is embedded in them, and then demonstrates there is some 
>business advantage in the approach, then there is a chance of winning one or 
>two of the battles for funding, and even without the funding, the users will 
>be on your side in principle.     (01)

This is not just about funding.  It is the fundamental principle of 
knowledge engineering.  We don't invent new knowledge; we formalize 
existing knowledge that is currently captured in less accessible ways.    (02)

> If user see someone trying to create a different standard in the same domain, 
>the assumption will be that there is some commercial interest at work, and 
>most will wait to see what happens and some will actively oppose it.
>       (03)

Unfortunately, not always.  First, there is the ignorance factor.  Many 
different standards are created out of ignorance of the existing ones, 
or out of the belief that capturing knowledge in a new technology 
justifies ignoring the knowledge that was captured in an "obsolete" 
technology.  There are a lot of bad standards for representing 
information in XML, for example.  And second, there is the 800-pound 
gorilla factor: Microsoft (it used to be IBM) can make a new standard 
which many users will accept as coming from the mouth of the deity and 
your management will adopt because they won't be faulted for doing so 
(no matter how bad a mess it creates).    (04)

Someone down the hall has a poster that reads: "Never underestimate the 
power of stupid people in large numbers."    (05)

> No-one in the ontology community is going to define a better metre - that 
>work has been done.
>       (06)

Exactly.  The accepted basis is ISO 80000.  The question for the QUOMOS 
lot is only what part of that to formalize and how.    (07)

-Ed    (08)

Edward J. Barkmeyer                        Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263                Tel: +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263                FAX: +1 301-975-4694    (09)

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