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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, 4 Mar 2010 11:10:45 -0500
Message-id: <042f01cabbb5$3f6fd9d0$be4f8d70$@com>


    Thanks for the reference to your thesis.  I will try to look through it to see if I can glean more than you have already presented in the Ontology forum.  For the next few weeks I will be occupied with other tasks, I’ll resume the dialog when I think I have a complete grasp of your points.

    Just to correct one misimpression:

[AH]: > .  The FO doesn't cover anything automatically. If it is somehow broad enough to cover all possible intended meanings, then it simply means that a mapping might be generated. You still have to generate the mapping. You are simply mapping into an FO instead of other modules in the repository. It changes nothing.

  Well, yes, it does, if the domain application ontology elements are logically specified (during construction phase) using only the elements in the FO.   The meanings of all the constituent elements are known, and the relationships of each element in one ontology using the FO can therefore be generated automatically, with no need for post-mapping.  Of course, if some domain ontology is originally built without reference to the FO, then it would have to be subsequently mapped to the FO before the FO can be used for interoperability.


   If (1) a practical ontology *could* be built using only modules in some module repository, and (2) the modules used were logically consistent, and the terms in the modules were unambiguous across modules or had clear translations, then a similar functionality to that provided by the FO would exist, and there would be little difference between such a modular repository and the FO I imagine.  (**IF**)

  *BUT* (1) the process for developing the FO requires that it be agreed to and tested by a large varied group of potential users showing that it is useful in practical applications.  I can’t see how that process could be avoided for a group of pluggable modules either, if you want that module repository to be actually used in practical applications. And

(2) you indicate that the modules may be inconsistent with each other.   That can create big problems in trying to use such a set of modules.   A mapping or integration algorithm may be able to detect inconsistency, and perhaps there will be some consistent combination of modules that will actually satisfy the needs of some realistic application.  Unless a serious effort is made to make modules consistent (the kind of effort that would be made for the FO), I expect that finding a set of modules that satisfies a need and is consistent would become exponentially harder as the number of inconsistent groups of modules increase.  And ultimately, I would expect that finding a suitable set of consistent modules will be much less likely than finding a finite number of semantic primitives. And

(3) For a lot of applications (for example natural language understanding) I seriously doubt that the modular approach could work, there are too many interconnections among the basic concepts to modularize them completely.


But why speculate?  All we need is some example of how such a repository actually has been used to compose a practical application, and we will learn a lot from that.


One example we now have of a practical ontology application is SIRI.  You will note that that application uses a single ontology to unify the modules.  ( though we don’t know the details)


Thanks for the second reference:

[AH] > Sure, check out the FOIS 2010 paper  (www.reseed.ca/ali 2nd paper), a mapping is derived between a very common mereotopology (used to specify Part-Whole and Connection relations), and Stone Lattices, a result from mathematics.
     This sort of work is very good basic research that can be used to assist interoperability to some extent.  But examples such as the one in that paper are very, very restricted in scope.  The FO tactic can use mapping algorithms such as the ones you reference, but without a fairly large common inventory of logically consistent basic elements I seriously doubt that anything but the tiniest fraction of applications will be relatable by that tactic alone.  Practical applications are very much more complex than the test cases I have seen thus far in your work.




Patrick Cassidy



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