On 03/01/2011 9:13 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:
> On 1/3/2011 4:11 AM, Anders Tell wrote:
>> Drawing from my inter-industry standardization experiences
>> then it seems unlikely that there will be a common ontology
>> in the domain of international commerce.
>> One simple reason is that different legal systems require
>> different conformance for enterprise within their jurisdiction.
> Yes, indeed.
I hate to disagree with such knowledgeable people but I would think that
have international ontologies in the trade area would be very useful.
I would think that local conformance concerns should be addressed by
extensions and processes around an internationally agreed ontology.
Having an unambiguous description of goods and services crossing borders
(customs, homeland security, environment, regulatory reporting, etc.)
would seem to provide a clear ROI for development of ontologies. (01)
> Commercial systems are designed to be easy to change whenever
> the government regulations for their locality change. A fixed,
> unchanging universal ontology for interoperable computer systems
> would presuppose a fixed and unchanging universal set of laws
> and regulations for all governments in the entire world.
Not sure if that this ("fixed, unchanging universal ontology ")is a
really a mandatory requirement for developing a useful ontology.
I would think that a universal description of a financial instrument
would facilitate international trading of that security.
Each locale would have to have systems to decide what the local
reporting, taxation, etc. processes needed to be invoked when the
instrument was purchased or sold but having an unambiguous definition
would support compliance with these requirements.
The same is true for tangible products (environmental regulations,
communication compliance, insurance - UL) that cross borders. (02)
Increasing the degree of stability in the ontology is a good goal but is
not mandatory. We have changing standards in lots of areas.
Governments and industry groups get together to agree on implementation
of new standards and to agree on how to give companies and governments
time to prepare for implementation of the changes.
The implementation of ROHS
affected a wide range of internationally traded products.
This is the type of change that would affect the description of many
types of products that trade internationally.
It would have affected any trading ontology that existed prior to its
introduction but phasing in the new ontology would have been the easiest
part of compliance. (03)
>> Managing Variability is IMHO a useful modeling practice. As well
>> as managing conflicts and disagreements.
> It's not just useful -- it's a *prerequisite* for any useful ontology.
>> Neutrality is often ascribed to the caretaker of an ontology, and
>> interoperability includes a process of agreeing in order to reduce
>> risk and costs for involved parties.
> The most important requirements for a general-purpose ontology
> are *flexibility* and *adaptability* to changing circumstances.
> Those circumstances include changes and developments in science,
> technology, businesses, environments, cultures, and all the laws
> and regulations of every government that has jurisdiction over
> any system that uses the ontology.
> Those circumstances, by the way, are the reason why natural languages
> change, adapt, and grow. If they didn't change, we would all be
> speaking the same language as Adam and Eve.
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