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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2011 12:51:55 -0500
Message-id: <4D220CBB.3010409@xxxxxxxx>
Happy New Year to all!    (01)

A belated contribution.    (02)

Todd J Schneider wrote:
> Leo,
> I tried on several occasions both during telecons and with written
> comments to no avail. Though perhaps I wasn't the ideal candidate
> to provide guidance, I tried to provide examples and justifications
> for my comments. Beating ones head against a wall wears thin
> after a while.    (03)

This is an experience that many of us have had, in trying to follow 
Leo's advice. 
Chris (and John) are quite correct in saying that knowledge engineering 
is a specialized engineering skill that is, for example, different from 
software engineering.  And Chris is also correct that many software 
engineers and business modelers don't seem to be aware of that.     (04)

This brings up two of my commonly repeated diatribes.  I will only state 
them here.    (05)

(1) The hubris of engineers.  Many engineers think they can master any 
other engineering discipline or science to a degree sufficient for their 
work in a matter of days.  Further, after becoming mildly conversant 
with the field, they assume that they are sufficiently educated to 
practice it.  (This has in the past led to dangerous electrical systems 
and bad software.)    (06)

(2) Entrenched ignorance in standards committees.  Once led by a 
sufficiently persuasive pseudo-expert, a standards committee cannot be 
redirected in any significant technical change by participants who are 
true experts, unless they come with vast corporate power in the domain.  
(This was Todd's experience.  I was happy to hear Peter say that he is 
trying very hard to avoid that.)    (07)

It is my experience that (1) gives rise to (2), with the consequence 
that one frequently finds committees dominated by would-be "technical 
experts" working in areas and technologies in which they have no 
identifiable technical expertise.  It is a pleasure to find a committee 
led by persons with real expertise in the domain and the technology, and 
the resulting standards are inevitably much more valuable.    (08)

So, my general advice is:  By their fruits shall ye know them.    (09)

Best regards,
-Ed    (010)

    "You divide up the relevant standards activities into a
matrix with two axes.  One axis is labelled "idle-busy", to
distinguish the relative activity of the committee toward getting a
standard, and the other axis is labelled "misguided-right-thinking",
to distinguish the appropriateness of the thinking that is going into
the standards effort.
    "Now, the busy/right-thinking quadrant contains efforts that
will produce useful standards without our assistance.  The
idle/right-thinking quadrant contains efforts that may need some
participation from us to get them moving.  The idle/misguided
quadrant contains efforts that can be ignored.  But the
busy/misguided quadrant contains those efforts that absolutely
require our participation, either to redirect them or to stop them!"
    -- Neal Laurance (former chief information standards officer at Ford)    (011)

> Cheers.
> Todd
> -----ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote: -----
>     To: "peter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <peter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
>     "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>     From: "Obrst, Leo J." <lobrst@xxxxxxxxx>
>     Sent by: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>     Date: 12/22/2010 07:49PM
>     Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Fwd: [New post] The Newest from SOA:
>     The SOA Ontology Technical Standard
>     I would also add that it would be good if people from Ontolog
>     joined such efforts and offered good ontological advice while
>     these kinds of efforts were in progress.
>     Thanks,
>     Leo
>     -----Original Message-----
>     From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>     [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Research
>     Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 6:47 PM
>     To: '[ontolog-forum] '
>     Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Fwd: [New post] The Newest from SOA:
>     The SOA Ontology Technical Standard
>     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
>     shortcomings...
>     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.
>     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.
>     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.
>     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.
>     My gut feeling is that this is worth exploring in depth in the run
>     up to the
>     F2F summit.
>     Best regards,
>     Peter
>     --------------------
>     Peter F Brown
>     Independent Consultant
>     Transforming our Relationships with Information Technologies
>     www.peterfbrown.com
>     @pensivepeter
>     P.O. Box 49719, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA
>     --------------------
>    (012)

Edward J. Barkmeyer                        Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263                Tel: +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263                FAX: +1 301-975-4694    (013)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST, 
 and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (014)

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