[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] using SKOS for controlled values for controlled voca

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 09 Oct 2010 22:54:38 -0400
Message-id: <4CB12AEE.3020105@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Leo,    (01)

Those are critical issues, and they cannot be addressed in isolation.    (02)

> SKOS is a controlled vocabulary language, not an ontology language.
> You know the hazards of inferring a (stronger) subclass relation
> between two classes or classification nodes than the (weaker)
> lexical relation of narrower-than. SKOS was developed to address
> that, and it's a good thing.    (03)

Of course, but there is no reason why you can't have a predicate
named 'narrower-than' in any version of logic.    (04)

But the more serious issue is that the people who distinguish
SKOS applications from OWL applications are trying to preserve
an illusion:  the claim that it is possible to compartmentalize
reasoning into formal and informal.  It's a continuum.  And it's
a continuum for different aspects of every subject, including
physics, medicine, cooking, and basket weaving.    (05)

> A conceptual class in an ontology is not the same as a lexical
> classification node in a thesaurus. OWL addresses ontologies; SKOS
> addresses vocabularies. The former are conceptual, the latter are lexical.    (06)

I know those differences very well, and I've preached those distinctions
myself.  But anything that is said in an ontology must be communicated
in terminology.   People think and talk in words.  And they can use
words to make distinctions that are as precise or fuzzy as required
for any particular application.    (07)

I realize that the practice in library science includes many fuzzy
distinctions that people who preach OWL try to avoid.  But that is
only because the librarians have been dealing with real world issues
for centuries.  Those people who claim that ontology is more precise
than terminology have been representing toy problems (or abstracted
versions of real problems that pretend the messy aspects don't exist).    (08)

> If you obscure the difference, it causes confusion and error.
> We should not do this.    (09)

I believe that the major confusion has been caused by the people
who have ignored all the messy aspects of the world in order to
formulate ontologies that they claim are precise.    (010)

John    (011)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (012)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>