On 27/01/2011 8:11 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:
> Doug and Rich,
>> A network of interconnected ontologies on different subject matter or
>> ways of looking at the universe (e.g., 3D vs. 4D) is what John Sowa and
>> i, among others have been promoting.
>>> Would those ontologies change with time, or just die out as individuals
>>> and be replaced by their some chain of descendants, like us
> An ontology is a theory. Each revision of a theory is a new theory.
> Whether you throw the old one away depends on how much storage is
> available. But given today's systems, I would suggest that you keep
> each theory ever developed in a hierarchy:
> 1. Adding an axiom to a theory creates a more specialized theory.
> 2. Deleting an axiom creates a more generalized theory.
> 3. Modifying an axiom creates a sibling of a theory that is
> immediately below the same parent as the old theory.
> How you name the theories is independent of the hierarchy, but the
> metadata or a name with a version number would be important.
>> we should consider multiple independent ontologies, perhaps
>> even weakly and strongly interconnected ones.
> Yes. If you keep every modification of every ontology, you'll
> get a strongly interconnected hierarchy. But you don't have to
> store them all in the same place, and you can highlight some
> or deprecate others.
> So you could have links with greater (call it what you like)
> strength, salience, importance, etc. All the paths could be
> accessible, but the metadata could add further information,
> including recommendations, warnings, prohibitions, etc.
This certainly bares some relation to the way that software developers
deal with Java libraries.
We have tools (Maven) that let describe the dependencies and the
compatibility between libraries and control how a program (or library)
is built, assembled and deployed.
We have repositories(Nexus and others) that hold many versions of the
We have forks of libraries that are mostly the same but get different
We use "GroupId", "ArtifactID" and "Version number" (GAV) to uniquely
identify a library.
Assumptions about upwards compatibility are commonly made but are not
guaranteed and the person defining the dependency has to carefully
consider the version or version range that the will use.
Forks usually get a new G and A or just an A if it is forked by the same
I would expect that once Ontology gets organized, I should be able to
describe in simple metadata which ontologies make up the set that I require.
I would expect that the ontologies would carry some metadata about their
dependencies and compatibities so that occasionally, the person building
an application will get warned about possible inconsistencies in the mix. (02)
>> Knowledge bases built on the ontologies would change rapidly. The
>> ontologies, themselves, would change at a slower rate. So long as
>> the changes were additions (new types of accounts, genes, products)
>> they could remain the "same" ontology -- however, versioning might
>> be useful.
> A KB that includes an ontology plus a DB of facts is effectively
> a more specialized theory. That is true of either a 4D or a 3+1 D
> approach. But since the same ontology might be used with a wide
> variety of different DBs, it would be useful to keep them distinct
> in practice.
> For more detail about the hierarchy of theories, see Sections 5 to 7
> (pp. 15 to 25) of the following paper:
> The first 14 pages cover a lot of philosophical and historical
> issues. Skip directly to p. 15 for the hierarchy of theories,
> the operations on it, and its use in a versioning system.
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