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Re: [ontolog-forum] language vs logic - ambiguity and startingwithdefini

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2010 02:00:41 -0400 (EDT)
Message-id: <50976.>
On Sun, September 19, 2010 3:28, FERENC KOVACS said:    (01)

> Doug,
> Many thanks. My focus responses follow below:    (02)

> On Sat, September 18, 2010, doug foxvog said:
> > On Sat, September 18, 2010 6:16, FERENC KOVACS said:    (03)

> > > I believe that core ontology concepts are objects, properties and
> > > relations.    (04)

> > I  suppose you mean classes of objects.    (05)

> I mean objects. full stop. Classification as a qualification comes later.
> I am
> talking about how we decompose the world to arrive at concepts (may call
> it a pre-language state).    (06)

I totally misunderstood you.  I now take you to mean that "the three
core ontology concepts are the concept of object, the concept of
property, and the concept of relation."  Is this correct?    (07)

Reading on, i'm starting to wonder if you are defining what would be
the core concepts for a natural language processing (NLP) ontology.
Many of the statements below seem to me to be based on the assumption
that the topic is NLP.    (08)

> > Is the distinction between properties  and relations that
> > properties relate objects to datatypes while relations
> > relate multiple objects or have more than two arguments?
> We are nowhere near dabases yet.    (09)

I was not referring to databases at all.  Although databases columns
restrictions can be defined in terms of ontologies and rows can be
mapped into one or more assertions using ontologies, discussions of
ontologies should not be interpreted as discussions of databases, imho.    (010)

> The distinction between properties and relations
> is that properties are created in a relation
> (which contains a verb element) of an object with another object.    (011)

I find this confusing.
* Properties are created in a relation between two different objects.
* A relation contains a verb element.    (012)

Verbs seem to me to be language features, not features of an ontology
or of the world to be described by an ontology (unless the topic of
the ontology is language).  Verbs often are used to represent either
static situations or events (which can be considered to be active
situations).  Situations, thus, would be parts of the universe to be
described, requiring "Situation" to be a key ontological concept.    (013)

But back to your description.  Are you defining a "relation" to be
a predicate (and thus a mental construct) and a "property" to be
an assertion connecting the predicate to multiple objects?    (014)

> This relation is a mental operation, and the result of abstraction
> type of mental operations results in a property of the
> object that the operation is performed on.
> Thus the process includes the production of concepts.
> Mind you the three core concepts are recursively defined.    (015)

> > This sounds fine  to me, so long as the concept of object needs not be
> > physical and can include events and situations.    (016)

> Events and situation are not core concepts, they are derivations
> (and may not be very useful in this model).    (017)

OK, so you define them as derivations, i.e. subtypes, of object?    (018)

> The concept of object, just as object in physics is
> seen in a couple of templates. Form and content is just one of them,
> another semantic primitive    (019)

"Form and content" is a single semantic primitive?    (020)

It seems to me in your ontology of objects, relations, and properties/
statements, "form" would be one relation and "content" would be another.    (021)

> > Personally, i don't see the need for  distinguishing properties and
> > relations in an ontology, although many  ontology languages do make
> > that distinction.  This seems a language-dependent  distinction to me.
> This is one of novelties about the core ontology on hand.
> The issue is how you
> want to reflect upon the world known to us in terms of NLs.    (022)

So what you are proposing is an ontology of NLs, not an ontology of
the world known to us.    (023)

If we are to understand a statement about the world by mapping it
through a process to model an NL, it would greatly complicate the
process, imho.  That seems to me like understanding Finnish by
mapping it into English and then trying to understand the generated
English instead of understanding the Finnish directly.  I would
suggest trying to view the ontology as another language & having
reasoning being done in that language instead of having to convert
it to and from an NL.  Certainly input & output for a semantic system
may use a different language (a DB language, a CS language, or maybe
even an NL), but that input would be converted to the semantic
language and ontology and processing would be done in that form only
converting back to a different language for output.    (024)

> > > In fact, the initial state.
> > Are you  referring to the initial state of an ontology in the process
> > of creation?
> Yes, I am talking about the creation process, in which we produce
> concepts and data among other things,    (025)

These are two very different things.  One can view creating the concepts
as authoring a program and creating the data as using the program.    (026)

> which are products also in the sense that they need to
> be complete when finished. Complete means a whole, something like an
> integer.    (027)

> > Or  are you referring to the state of a reference ontology whose terms
> > are used
> > to make statements in a knowledge base with no additional definitional
> > statements?    (028)

> We have not created a reference ontology yet,
> neither have we defined what a statement or knowledge is.
> > > is an object which is a unity of them and it is
> > >  exploded through a number of mental operations. (Examles wanted?)
> > I'm not sure what you mean by an ontology exploding.  Do you mean
> > deriving all statements which are derivable from the initial
> > statements in the ontology?
> 1. It is similar to how the start of the (physical) universe is
> visualized. The word object means anything in your sight    (029)

A very limited definition.    (030)

> (see etimology of the Latin word)
> So
> you have an object in your view that you relate to yourself through a
> mental
> operation and conclude that its property (quality) is existence. Cogito
> ergo sum    (031)

With this argument, the verb can be anything.  Amato ergo sum.    (032)

And i must conclude that the property of something i see on a movie
screen is existence?    (033)

> 2. Please, do not use quantifiers (yet) Otherwise nearly yes. The core
> concepts
> are used to semantically analyze the rest of the texts.    (034)

You are obviously discussing NLP, but framing it in terms of a
discussion of ontology.  I think it would be easier for all concerned
to understand the discussion if the distinction were made and
it be clear to the reader which of the two fields is being discussed.    (035)

> If so, i would suggest that this "explosion" could be carried  out
> byformal
> logical operations -- they wouldn't need to be mental  operations.    (036)

Certainly generating statements that can be derived from a set of
statements expressed in a logical language could provide such an
explosion.    (037)

> > By doing so you would grossly limit the interpretation and
> > representation of reality.
> > > With the help
> > > of these categories I can semantically analyze natural langauges and
> > > create an ontology that integrates the currently different domains.
> > > In this approach
> > > axioms and the concept of events are not of primary interest,
> > > because verbs are seen as the representations of relations
> > This is not necessarily the best way to model verbs.  In languages which
> > use verbs like English does, a verb indicates the occurrence of either a
> > situation or an event, with subject, direct object, indirect object, and
> > prepositional phrases indicating relations between the event and  event
> > participants.
> I am not modeling verbs.    (038)

I interpreted, "verbs are seen as the representations of relations",
that way.    (039)

> What verbs do in English for example is to make a message out
> of a cluster of words. To make a message you need a clause.    (040)

I would suggest that verbs make statements, not messages.  I consider
a message to need a sender and a recipient.    (041)

> Only clauses make sense in NLs.
> (Further reading : David Crystal: Making Sense of
> Grammar, Pearson Education, 2004, UK ISBN 978-0-582-84863-4) No further
> grammar/syntax analysis please for the time being.
> > Features of the events/situations can certainly be modeled by relations
> > that ignore the events themselves, but this would require multiple
> > relations to be defined for each verb depending upon what other phrases
> > happen to be in the sentence.  Using this technique makes it difficult
> > to add more information about the same event and requires multiple
> > rules to inter-relate the multiple relations that represent the same
> > verb.    (042)

> In contrast to noun phrases that basically refer to spatially related
> objects
> whether real or virtual, and are titles, headers, labels or tags    (043)

Many objects (bank accounts, names, words, songs, laws, game rules, ...)
are not spatially-related objects.    (044)

> verbs identify change and the result of change which take place in time,
> so they cannot be
> identified in the same manner. For identification you need to see the
> boundaries
> and in case of motion you must freeze it to mark its place in "timespace"
> to turn it into an event.
> >   Jill threw the chair.
> >   Jill threw me the chair.
> >   Jill  threw the chair through the window.
> >   Jill threw the chair yesterday.
> >    Jill threw the chair to kill the toad.
> >   Jill probably threw the chair at the  toad.
> > IMHO, the verb "threw" represents a different relation in each of
> > these, but each use can unambiguously represent a throwing event,
> > with multiple relations to generate depending upon the other parts of
> > the sentence.
> "Threw" above is not analyzed semantically, but syntactically, I am
> afraid. Nor
> is the way to come up with sample sentences is a plausible exercise,
> although I
> know its ages old.
> What is a throwing event? Something in your memory or in mine or in a
> film? Do
> those statements above or any other to follow really unambiguously
> represent anything?    (045)

Since no context is given the described event is not unambiguous.  But
most uses of NL are ambiguous.  The ontological representations would
be unambiguous.  Given sufficient context, the statements above could
be mapped into unambiguous, but underdefined, descriptions in a knowledge
base or be generated from a representation of an event in a KB.    (046)

A throwing event is an "action" in which a mobile physical object propels
a smaller and (normally less massive) physical object through space either
with a hand at the end of a arm or a physical structure approximating it.    (047)

What is in someone's memory or on film may be a partial representation
of the event.    (048)

> > > (hence not limited to Boolean operators).
> > Why  wouldn't the relations have Boolean truth values?  Is the point to
> > allow for  probability descriptors?
> Not really. We have not used any quantifiers yet with reason.
> > > Therefore the issuse of disambiguation as for dictionaries is a
> > > futile exercise, as the defintions used are sometimes incomplete and
> > Many dictionary definitions are certainly incomplete, but that does not
> > mean that they do not may true statements constraining the meaning of
> > the thing they define.
> I maintain my point. We have not agreed on meaning yet,
> nor on definitions and the word define.
> > > irrelevant in  semantic terms,
> > I have not seen this.
> because for you the only semantic property is truth.    (049)

Please do not attribute to me properties you only guess.    (050)

You are totally wrong with this guess.    (051)

> > > this is why you cannot "merge" them (should try to integrate
> > > them instead) as they are not in compatible forms (content)
> > If you are referring to multiple definitions from the same source,
> > they shouldn't be merged because they are describing different
> > denotations of the word.  Each definition should denote a different
> > concept.
> No, I am not referring to that case.
> > If you are referring to multiple definitions from  different sources,
> > integrating multiple definitions of the same meaning of a word is
> > certainly appropriate.  However, sometimes such integration can be
> > handled by merging.
> My point is that ontologies need to be integrated and not merged.    (052)

? You were discussing dictionary definitions (which can be source
material when creating an ontology), NOT ontologies.  I was responding
to: "the issuse of disambiguation as for dictionaries is a futile
     exercise, as the defintions used are sometimes incomplete and this
     is why you cannot "merge" them (should try to integrate them instead)
     as they are not in compatible forms (content)".    (053)

> Or constructed as a car is for that matter.
> > > and they are not modular either.
> > > You must accept that such a new ontology should be dynamic as
> > > many of you already suspect.
> > If the ontology is used to interpret NL text in an open area, the
> > ontology would be incomplete and should dynamically be expanded.
> I believe you. But not open at the top end.    (054)

We agree.    (055)

> > If the ontology is to be used to express the information in a data
> > base that has been in constant use for years, dynamaticity is not
> > so crucial.
> I believe you.  But you still seem to have problems with them as it
> appears from the posts on the forum    (056)

Legacy data bases often allow new inputs in fields (e.g., occupation)
that were previously restricted.  If such a DB were mapped to a KB,
an associated ontology would have to be expanded to include the expanded
range of the field.    (057)

>>>> In math logic domain there is a kind of definition - an  abbreviation
>>>> when
>>>> they introduce new symbol saying for  example:
>>>> definition
>>>> t?s denotes t<s or  t=s
> > > In my "semantic analysis" this is formalization, a mental
> > > operation of the relation between two objects as indicated.
> > This  formalization/definition is a logical operation between two
> > expressions (one of which is a disjunction),  I suppose the expressions
> > could be called objects.
> I could rephrase that, but let's leave it like that, for me it is not a
> crucial point for the time being.
> > > The commonsense transcript is that an
>> > object (to be specified, otherwise it does not make sense) is smaller
>> > than
>> > another object after comparison and a few other operations also
>> > required to arrive at that result in formalization.
> > You are stepping beyond the definition as given, to interpret what the
> > definition means.  This is intentionally moving beyond logic.
> > > In doing this I used the mental
> > > operation called interpretation, the reverse of  formalization.
> > > For any message (statement) to make sense it is necessary  to be
> > > complete,
> > Why can't a message tell merely a portion of a fact,  instead of being
> > complete?
> This has to do with identification (definition). We are still talking
> about a message in a NL.
> Fact is to be defined though.
> > > which means that if it has (as it  should have) a verb in it,
> > > then it should have person,
> > Here, i assume you mean grammatical person, not requiring the message
> > to relate to a person.  Person, in this sense, is a linguistic feature
> > of sentences of many languages, not necessarily relating to a feature
> > of the meaning being discussed.
> Yes, you are right on the first sentence. A message relating to a grammar
> person does also relate to a person per se.    (058)

?  These two statements contradict each other!    (059)

Counterexamples of the second sentence:
* The cat jumped on the bed.
* The hurricane broke the window.
* The book fell off the shelf.
None of these relate to a person per se.    (060)

  doug foxvog    (061)

> We have arrived at the hairy business of defining knowledge
> > > number and tense specified among others to make  sense.
> > Similarly number, tense, gender and other linguistic features  are
> > allowed or required by different languages "to make sense".  Such
> > features may or may not relate to a feature of the meaning being
> > discussed and might or might not be expressed in the knowledge base
> > using the ontology.
> I believe you.
> > > Or in other words "Media is the message"  is interpreted as
> > The message is instruction - in my  translation.
> > I find this interpretation curious and don't understand how  it
> > relates to your above statements.
> Well, it was meant as to be an end of message phrase. The idea is that you
> have
> problems with databases because they do not seem to be properly designed,
> maintained, etc. The key issue is sorting, which is selection, because
> knowledge
> is an organized access to information. Apparently "the knowledge bases",
> or
> especially the internet are not organized sufficiently well to allow you
> to do
> the job of search, etc.
> Looking at it from the Moon it is not the data that are
> to be sorted, but the operations performed on them needs sorting.
> Instructions
> are data can be separated in the machines, so can be in human minds.
> lexical knowledge is one thing, procedural knowledge is another.
> It fact the later is
> more important as we know it from How to books and know-hows.
> Sorting out the issue of semantic analysis by shifting away from the only
> consideration of the dichotomy of truth
> properties will help a lot Computers are about communication and
> translation,
> which brings up the issue of harmonization/synchronization, for which you
> need
> common instructions/mental operations.
>> Regards,  Ferenc    (062)

doug foxvog    doug@xxxxxxxxxx   http://ProgressiveAustin.org    (063)

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great
initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours."
    - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
=============================================================    (064)

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