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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 22:23:09 -0400 (EDT)
Message-id: <c8be69e4b5e84c55c5f41a079f284c44.squirrel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>


> I look forward to the full report (and hope you will continue to post on
> the architecture ecosystem).

Thanks.  I'll certainly post a note about it as soon as it's in a more stable form.

> One pragmatic reality of architectural work is that theories do not
> agree. Particularly in the realm of business related modeling there are
> clearly different interpretations and opinions about the same thing. So
> we have seemingly conflicting theories but we agree that the theories
> describe the same entities that exist or may exist.
> Such conflicting theories are normal and even desirable in our
> discourse. One capability that a knowledge technology should be able to
> provide is the identification of these conflicts and the source of
> assertions and conflicts.

I completely agree.  In fact, that is one of the major  goals of the lattice of theories and the hierarchy of certified theories.

They can accommodate an open-ended number of  ontologies, some of which may be compatible and others inconsistent.  Furthermore, the relationships among the theories are explicitly shown.  The lattice not only shows which theories are inconsistent, it also shows the common intersections on which they agree.

> In summary, when using ontologies to represent architectures we should
> embrace conflict and not consider conflicting theories as absurd.
> Conflict is an indication of differing opinions and interpretations,
> both normal and expected conditions of dialog.

I agree.

> This differs from the logical or mathematical pragmatics where any inconsistency is an error.

There are many kinds of mathematics about all sorts of issues.  There are even mathematical ways of dealing  with inconsistency.  The lattice of theories is one of them:  it shows exactly how different theories can be consistent or inconsistent with one another.

In my slides and in a later version of the report, I'll show how one can test theories for consistency (and  do  it efficiently in most typical cases).


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