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Re: [ontolog-forum] Looking for a razor

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: RK Stamper <stamper.measur@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 18:04:18 +0200
Message-id: <AANLkTikvtbNDVdW62sbK49zwuKX5r7V2trF9DjTbe2qc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Sean,    (01)

I may have what you are looking for.  I began work on it a long time
ago and the search led in some strange directions.  At last, with many
students assisting, we have a solution that has proven most effective
in the analysis of organisations and the design of computer-based
systems to support them.    (02)

It called for a new ontology in the metaphysical sense, it is a
version of actualism and it leads to the important concept of
ontological dependency.  Using this we develop ontological dependency
schemas that must obey very strict rules that force the analysts to
arrive at a canonical solution.  That solution is shared across
communities and mostly across languages - one of our systems runs in
Arabic and English and would suit the characters in your example.    (03)

It is all quite different from the work on ontologies of the OWL kind
that seem to be the overwhelming concern on Ontolog.  However, I'm
sure the two would fit together with great benefit.  I managed to talk
very briefly about this with Ian Horrocks who agreed that his work
largely concerns (in his words) how one lot of squiggles is equivalent
to another lot of squiggles whereas our concern centres on the link
between the squiggles and the real world things they stand for.    (04)

Asking what these real world things might be took us into the
metaphysical field of ontology with strange, disconcerting but highly
effective results.    (05)

I am guilty of not having published an adequate presentation of all
the ideas but I'm completing a book on this treatment of semantics and
hope to make it available to colleagues this autumn.  (A student is
kindly working on a website for that purpose.)    (06)

Meanwhile I can point to only a couple of papers on a site of my own
amateur construction:
www.rstamper.co.uk    (07)

The book will contain many detailed cases.  Let me know if you'd like
to follow up the small amount on those two papers.  I'll do my best
but I'm in very rural France with an unimaginably narrow band of
internet connection.    (08)

Regards,    (09)

Ronald Stamper    (010)

On 8/9/10, sean barker <sean.barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Is there a named area of study which considers the specifically process of
> of interpreting a sign together with the shared knowledge needed by two
> agents who communicate (using signs)?
> At one extreme, Agent 1 goes into a grocer's shop, and presses buttons on
> Agent 2 for "3", "red", and "apples", and a simple mechanical system
> delivers the fruit. Here the knowledge is all on Agent 1's side, and
> includes both the semantics of "3", "red", and "apples", and knowledge about
> vending machines.
> At the other extreme, the two agents are people, say an American tourist
> having got off the Paris RER in one of the suburbs, and an Algerian shop
> keeper. In this, the American uses knowledge about common social systems,
> and therefore identifies the context "shop" and so knows the appropriateness
> of attempting to buy apples. On the other, the shop keeper identifies the
> probable language from knowledge of a range of languages, translates the
> phrasing to a probable match "Trois" "Pommes" and "Rouge" (including
> allowing for different syntactical structures in each language), and so on.
> Here both agents use a considerable amount of knowledge to be able to
> communicate at all. (The complete sequence of "Hungarian Tourist Guide"
> sketches by Monty Python can be used to extend the argument).
> The reason for the question is that the semantic web relies on symbols which
> are effectively decoded in advance (are the fixed buttons in the first
> example or URIs in RDF). A major goal of the semantic web is to broker
> communication between agents which either use common symbols or equivalent
> symbols (sameAs). However, the business processes which stand behind such
> operations ground the symbols in the artefacts and actions of the systems
> operating those processes. Communication is reliably only if the symbols
> used by both agents are grounded in the same way - I note that a number of
> the arguments on this forum seem to be between two camps, one assuming that
> the grounding problem is trivial, the other assuming that it is extremely
> difficult. Therefore I am looking for a razor that can cut between the
> "ontologies as a formal system" and "ontology term grounding" parts of the
> discussion, and so ensure that both parts are solved.
> I should also throw in my view is that the ontology classes used by a
> business process are exactly those classes which label the alternative
> routes onward from a decision process, and therefore define the grounding of
> terms.
> Sean Barker
> Bristol
>    (011)

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