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Re: [ontolog-forum] Categorical Views of a Universe

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 16:36:36 -0500
Message-id: <4D41E564.2000905@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 1/27/2011 2:56 PM, Ron Wheeler wrote:
> 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
> same library.
> We have forks of libraries that are mostly the same but get different
> identifiers.
> We use "GroupId", "ArtifactID" and "Version number" (GAV) to uniquely
> identify a library.    (01)

Any or all of those features are completely compatible with the idea of
organizing ontologies in a hierarchy.    (02)

> 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.    (03)

This is an area where the theory of lattices and software based
on it (of which a great deal exists) can provide more info about
the interrelationships and help test and verify the claims.    (04)

Some principles are simple and guaranteed:    (05)

  1. Adding detail (axioms, constraints) makes a theory more
     specialized, and it can sometimes create an inconsistency.    (06)

  2. Deleting detail makes a theory more generalized, and it
     can never make a consistent theory inconsistent.    (07)

Others may require more testing (which could, in the worst case
be undecidable).   But trying to do the test can never hurt --
the worst it might do is to run an unused computer for a whole
weekend without reaching a conclusion.  That doesn't prove that
the system is consistent or inconsistent, but it could be a
warning.    (08)

John    (09)

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