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Re: [ontolog-forum] UML Meta-Model and Notation

To: Ali Hashemi <ali.hashemi+ontolog@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Edward Barkmeyer <edward.barkmeyer@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2010 17:05:57 -0500
Message-id: <4B8EDD45.1000600@xxxxxxxx>
Ali Hashemi wrote:
> [Ed]
> One of the least consistent aspects of software languages is the
> pragmata for dealing with modularization and importation.  The
> Achillles' heel of CLIF is "modules", and it was partly designed to deal
> with a semantic problem discovered in RDF importation.  ...
> Might you elaborate as to what you mean here? Is the achilles heel aspect of 
>"modules" in CLIF a reference to the issues Fabian raised on the CL list or is 
>it something broader?
>       (01)

It is exactly the issues that Fabian raised.  The general problem is 
getting the semantics of "import" right.
And there have been similar discussions about the semantics of import in 
RDF and OWL.    (02)

> The module (and import) statements seem exceptionally useful...
>       (03)

Absolutely, as long as they are well-defined, and do what is needed to 
be "exceptionally useful".  The subtext here is that in an ontology 
"import" is not a simple syntactic process, or if it is, the semantics 
of the module as-imported  may well be different from the semantics of 
the module as-written.    (04)

I really meant this only as a caveat.  The detailed semantic issues are 
subtle and different in every case, and ultimately, "la prova e nel 
gusto" (the test is in the taste).  The only real question is whether in 
your problem space your reasoner can give you "unexpected" results 
(which you may consider to be "wrong") relative to what you thought the 
ontology was.    (05)

-Ed    (06)

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    (07)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST, 
 and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (08)

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