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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, 25 Feb 2010 17:37:37 -0500
Message-id: <023d01cab66b$2188cd90$649a68b0$@com>
   I do agree that it is advisable to make the FO as complete as possible at
the earliest time, to avoid any changes and minimize the chance of reducing
the accuracy of interoperability.  Your point sounds interesting, but I will
need some examples to really understand it.  It's a bit too abstract for my
concrete-oriented mind.
   The case I expect will be most common would be one where additional
primitives are required for the FO, not changes in the relations on existing
primitives.  From what I can grasp of your point, adding new subtypes of
existing primitives would not seem to create such problems.
   But the important point that your comment didn't address is: if the FO
tactic does not lead to perfect interoperability (and I don't expect it to),
what tactic does?  Is there a better alternative to approach the ideal?  My
point has been that the FO tactic appears to be the most accurate, fastest,
and least expensive method to achieve a high degree of accuracy in general
semantic interoperability, and that is highly valuable even if it is not
perfect.  The only alternative thus far advanced, mapping from one ontology
to another, would have to be slower, more costly, less accurate, and far
less general.
    We aim for perfection, but accept "good enough".  I am not convinced
that "not perfect" equals "useless".  Just how problematic those issues
would be for real problems can only be determined by trying it and seeing
what problems arise.
    I of course have no criticism of people who are mapping ontologies for
some near-term project - that may be the only tactic available for the short
term.  And I have no criticism of creating data warehouses to integrate
databases, or any other tactic people use, including paper forms, for
solving immediate information-processing problems.  But if we are looking
beyond the next five years, I think that trying to develop and test an FO is
more likely to produce valuable results in interoperability than any of the
other tactics, and at a lower long-term cost.    (01)

Pat    (02)

Patrick Cassidy
cell: 908-565-4053
cassidy@xxxxxxxxx    (03)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of sean barker
> Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2010 4:57 PM
> To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Foundation ontology, CYC, and Mapping
>  Pat C
>  Actually, what Pat H says is far more interesting (in the bad sense
> implied in the Chinese curse, "may you live in interesting times")
>  In particular, the implication is that, if you don't get the
> foundational
> ontology right first time, it is useless, because subsequent changes
> will
> invalidate all that has gone before.
>  If we define a concept C, which is defined using an axiom Q, and
> replace Q
> with an axiom P such that Q implies P but not vice versa (P is
> "stronger
> than" Q, then any process that had Q as a post-condition may produce
> invalid
> answers.
>  If we replace Q with a weaker axiom R, such that R implies Q but not
> vice
> versa, then any process which uses Q as a precondition can no be used,
> as
> the preconditions may be violated.
>  That is, if a "primitive concept" can be defined in an FO, then that
> definition must, from the start, say absolutely everying that needs to
>  be said about the concept, since any change to the concept will break
> the
> interoperability that it was intended to support.
>  Sean Barker, Bristol, UK
>     (04)

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