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Re: [ontolog-forum] Semantic Enterprise Architecture - Interoperability?

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 07 Sep 2010 13:41:20 -0400
Message-id: <4C867940.9080807@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pavithra,    (01)

> Semantic interoperability is new and mature ontology development
> model would help create that.    (02)

Any two computer systems that interoperate successfully do so
at the semantic level.  They've been doing that since the 1950s.    (03)

The early implementations did not have an explicitly stated
semantics.  But logic-based notations for defining semantics
have been used since the 1960s.    (04)

The word 'ontology' was introduced in AI in the early 1980s, but
logic-based specifications of semantics that were very similar
to what we now call ontologies were in use 20 years before that.    (05)

Much of the confusion was the result of people inventing new
terminology for well known ideas.  I agree with Ed's comment,
which he wrote in the thread about patents:    (06)

EB> The sometimes willful and sometimes ignorant re-invention of
 > old wheels under new names has been a characteristic property
 > of software engineering for 40+ years.    (07)

I also recommend the following excerpt, which I wrote in response
to a note on another email list.    (08)

__________________________________________________________________    (09)

That is just a matter of terminology:    (010)

 > There is no notion of concepts, properties, instances etc. within CL,
 > which seems to be central to the resource model defined in BioPortal.    (011)

In the Common Logic semantics, all those notions are covered with the
barest minimum of terminology:    (012)

  1. In the CL semantics, an instance is anything in a set D, called
     the domain.  For any application of CL, anything that is assumed
     to exist is assumed to be in the domain D of that application.    (013)

  2. A concept type or an OWL class is represented by a monadic relation.    (014)

  3. A property, an attribute, a feature, or a facet are all represented
     by monadic relations.  Differences between them may be significant
     for an application.  But in logic, they are just monadic relations.    (015)

  4. Note Annex B, of ISO 24707, which maps the Conceptual Graph
     Interchange Format (CGIF) to the CL semantics.  A concept in CGIF
     is defined as a node that has two parts:  a type field, which
     names or specifies a monadic relation; and a referent field, which
     names something in D or contains a quantifier that ranges over D.    (016)

Philosophers, librarians, linguists, and software engineers have
debated such terms for ages upon ages.  But from the point of view
of logic, they're all represented by some domain D together with
some relations and functions defined over members of the set D.    (017)

A particularly ancient pair of terms, which have been debated for
ages with more confusion than enlightenment, are 'universal' and
'particular'.  In the CL semantics, a particular is anything in D,
and a universal is any function or relation defined over D.    (018)

I strongly urge anybody and everybody who prefers to use other
terminology to map their pet terms to the CL semantics.  The result
is a huge improvement in clarity, an immense reduction in confusion,
and the ability to relate different theories and implementations
to one another with great precision and without pointless debate.    (019)

John    (020)

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