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Re: [ontolog-forum] Fwd: [New post] The Newest from SOA: The SOA Ontolog

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Research <research@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2010 00:47:14 +0100
Message-id: <BAY157-ds10A6897050A901D916BEC6DA1B0@xxxxxxx>
Going back to the top of this thread for a moment:
- Todd states that the SOA Ontology from the Open Group "is rubbish for many
reasons" but that "there is some value in this work".
- I asked for some justification to the initial statement.
- a whole series of comments are posted regarding modelling errors and
On the thread, we have followed a typical Ontolog Forum pattern of
spiralling away from the initial point and exploring fine modelling points -
all good in its own way, and a reflection of the breadth of opinion and
ideas of the group, which is great.    (01)

I actually agree with Todd and many others that there are very serious
concerns about the methodology, the quality of the models, the
appropriateness of the UML and owl encapsulations of the Open group
ontology, and much more. That still doesn't make the whole exercise
'rubbish'. 'Disappointing', 'v poorly modelled in owl', 'depressingly
typical modelling errors', yes. Rubbish, no.    (02)

Given the theme for this year's Ontology Summit, it would seem that this
would be an interesting test case (maybe taken together with the "SOA
Reference Architecture Framework" that we are finalising in OASIS and which,
partly under my influence, is straining to avoid the sort of modelling
pitfalls referred to) about where, how, and why we need to make "the case
for ontology" to an increasing number of communities, enterprises and
organisations that are looking at this discipline.    (03)

I want to go out on a limb here and defend those who want to use "ontology"
(in its widest sense) as a means of establishing a common foundation for
work within a particular group or community. Heather Kreger, in her blog
post announcing the Open Group SOA work stated:
"Ontologies are misunderstood - an Ontology is simply the definition of a
set of concepts and the relationships between them for a particular domain -
in this case, the domain is SOA. They don't HAVE to be used for reasoning.
or semantic Web"
I agree wholeheartedly thus far, except maybe for the word 'simply'. If we
accept a plurality of ontologies (I know, many don't), then the definition
of terms can be made for a specific domain - with all the opportunities and
dangers that also presents...
She then goes on,
"they are more than a simple glossary which defines terms, because they also
define relationships between them"
Still with her this far. 'Simple' UML models, a lot of rdf, xml schemas,
etc. often fall down here as there are often not expressions or syntax in
those languages that are rich enough to capture the complexity of multiple
relationships between concepts. I digress.
Heather continues:
"also important to note that they are more formal than Reference Models,
usually by providing representations in OWL (just in case you want to use
popular tools for Ontology and reasoners)."
It is the segue between the first statement and the second that worries me.
More than a reference model, good. Next step, full-on owl? Why?
I suspect it is also the reason that the Open Group SOA work fails in many
people's eyes. The leap of faith between 'we need something more formal than
a reference model' to 'we must use owl' - and the absence of in-house or
available skills to make that transition or propose alternative languages,
tools, methodologies and disciplines that are appropriate to the domain and
the problem at hand - would seem to be at the heart of many large-scale
ontology project failures.    (04)

My gut feeling is that this is worth exploring in depth in the run up to the
F2F summit.    (05)

Best regards,
Peter    (06)

Peter F Brown
Independent Consultant    (07)

Transforming our Relationships with Information Technologies
P.O. Box 49719, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA
--------------------    (08)

| -----Original Message-----
| From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
| bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Matthew West
| Sent: Wednesday, 22 December 2010 08:59
| To: '[ontolog-forum] '
| Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Fwd: [New post] The Newest from SOA: The SOA
| Ontology Technical Standard
| Dear Ed,
| > Actor is a role with respect to an activity/process.
| > That is, every Actor relationship is ternary:  Thing plays Role in
| > ActivityInstance, or ThingClass plays Role in ActivityClass.
| > Properly 'Actor' is subsumed by 'Role', there being other subclasses
| > of 'Role', such as 'Instrument'.  A Role by itself cannot be
| > meaningfully instantiated.
| MW: In a 4D ontology it is slightly different. Here a roleInstance
| (participant) is a state of the role player, and a part of the
| (activities are spatio-temporal extents that consist of their
participants). So here
| the relationships are binary, but the principles are the same and perhaps
| clearer, given that the participant state is clearly not the same thing as
| whole life of the role player.
| > (Probably the most dramatic example of the distinctions is in 'Person
| > terminates employment of Person for cause', in which there is only one
| Actor,
| > and the distinct Roles of the ThingClass Person make a great deal of
| > difference.  Further, in a for-cause termination, the passive Role of
| Person
| > is probably a consequence of an Actor Role in a different
| ActivityInstance.)
| >
| > I'm sure The Open Group SOA folk lack expertise in making such models,
| > but ignorance of the literature, whatever the reason, is the first
| > step in the development of a toilet paper standard.
| >
| > -Ed
| >
| >
| >
| > --
| > Edward J. Barkmeyer                       Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
| > National Institute of Standards & Technology Manufacturing Systems
| > Integration Division
| > 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263               Office: +1 301-975-3528
| > Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263               Mobile: +1 240-672-5800
| > ________________________________________
| > From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [ontolog-forum-
| > bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Christopher Menzel
| [cmenzel@xxxxxxxx]
| > Sent: Monday, December 20, 2010 5:57 PM
| > To: [ontolog-forum]
| > Cc: peter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
| > Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Fwd: [New post] The Newest from SOA: The
| > Ontology Technical Standard
| >
| > On Dec 20, 2010, at 2:20 PM, Research wrote:
| > That's a pretty sweeping statement, Todd Care to share why it is
| > "rubbish"? And if there are valuable lessons to be learned, I'd be
| > pleased to learn them
| >
| > Peter
| >
| > Peter F Brown
| > Independent Consultant
| >
| > I haven't studied the document carefully, so anything I say should be
| taken
| > with a grain of salt, but it seems like there are some pretty obvious
| > instance/subclass confusions.  (I sorta thought Woods straightened
| everyone
| > out about is-a ambiguities in 1975, but whatever! ;-)  From the Car
| > Wash example
| >
| > As an important part of the car wash system, John and Jack perform
| > certain manual tasks required for washing a car properly:
| >
| > . Jack and John are instances of Actor . WashWindows is an instance of
| > Task and is done by John . PushWashButton is an instance of Task and
| > is done by Jack
| >
| > Seems to me from the brief description that WashWidows and
| > PushWashButton
| are
| > supposed to be classes whose instances are actual atomic tasks -
| > John's
| actual
| > window-washings and Jack's actual wash-button-pushings.  If so, then
| > it
| seems
| > to me that the little ontology fragment above is wrong and that,
| > instead
| of
| > the second and third lines, they should have:
| >
| > . WashWindows is a subclass of Task
| > . Instances of WashWindows are done by John . PushWashButton is a
| > subclass of Task . Instances of PushWashButton are done by Jack
| >
| > Or something like that.
| >
| > Chris Menzel
| >
| >
| > | -----Original Message-----
| > | From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:ontolog-forum-
| > bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> [mailto:ontolog-forum-
| > | bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Todd J Schneider
| > | Sent: Wednesday, 15 December 2010 00:53
| > | To: [ontolog-forum]
| > | Subject: Re: [-forum] Fwd: [New post] The Newest from SOA: The SOA
| > | Ontology Technical Standard
| > |
| > | To all concerned or interested the SOA ontology put forth by the
| > | Open
| Group
| > is
| > | rubbish for many reasons. I provided several pages of comments and
| > | justifications to an earlier draft and almost all of my comments
| > | were
| not
| > | accepted.
| > |
| > | However, there is some value in this work. It can be used as an
| > | example
| of
| > | errors that are commonly made.
| > |
| > | Finally, I'd like to commend Chris Harding in his efforts to
| > | reconcile
| very
| > | divergent views and opinions.
| > |
| > | Todd    (09)

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