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Re: [ontolog-forum] Quote for the day (aka eco-systems)

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Architecture Ecosystem ABSIG <architecture-ecosystem@xxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2011 12:53:12 -0500
Message-id: <4D235E88.2060907@xxxxxxxx>
John,    (01)

One minor point, but a major issue to me and the OMG folk.    (02)

I wrote:
>> This is the approach of the ISO/OASIS Product LifeCycle Services (PLCS)
>> standards gang. They allow for successive levels of standardization,
>> each of which defines common practices for a smaller industry group and
>> allows for trading partner specializations and adaptations. Their
>> models, however, are currently written in a combination of EXPRESS (with
>> an OWL derivative) and XML Schema, so that they actually get implemented
>> in commercial software.
>>         (03)

John wrote:    (04)

> Another argument for focusing on semantics and providing translations
> to and from every notation on the planet.
>       (05)

The issue is that the relationship between an ontology and a Java model 
or an XML exchange form is not "translation" in any usual sense.  It is 
a software engineering process that produces an information systems 
artifact -- an information technology model.  The purpose of the IT 
model is to carry the part of the semantics of the elements of the 
ontology that is relevant to a  particular software system 
implementation. From an engineering point of view, the relationship 
between the ontology and the implementation model is "trace", analogous 
to that between a design element and its intended function.    (06)

[I'm sure John did not mean to imply that an ontology would be like an 
IDEF-1X information model -- having a one-to-one translation to SQL.  
But many people in this industry think in those terms:  that an ontology 
can be "translated" -- transformed by a rote process -- to an 
implementation model for 20th century software.  I would describe that 
as wrong thinking.  It may be possible for some uses, but it should not 
be the intent of the ontology.  Put another way, that view treats 
'ontology' as a synonym for 'information model' or 'object model'.]    (07)

OTOH, an ontology may usefully be "translated" to a different knowledge 
engineering language, for use by multiple reasoning tools, without 
significant loss of semantics.  That is the distinction I want to make.    (08)

So, while we are discussing the clarification of vocabulary, can we be 
more careful about ours?    (09)

-Ed    (010)

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                Cel: +1 240-672-5800    (011)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST, 
 and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (012)

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