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

To: <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>, "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Patrick Cassidy" <pat@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 18:26:01 -0500
Message-id: <056401cbbe79$8f708f70$ae51ae50$@com>
Some discussion of comments posted by Doug Foxvog:    (01)

[DF] > 
> I'm not sure that the "one true universal viewpoint" is useful.  The
> truly universal part would be quite small.  Some fields of endeavor
> would deal with non-physical objects such as financial accounts, while
> others deal with anatomy or shipping of physical objects.
  This is true, but skips over a very important point: one can have a
well-structured basic foundation ontology that has **all** of the primitive
elements used in any of the domain ontologies that use it as the foundation,
**but** none of the domain ontologies need include all of those primitive
elements.  Thus, while the set of ontology elements used in **every**
application may be very small (perhaps zero, or just the logical
primitives), the set of primitives needed to support interoperability among
**all** of those domains may be fairly substantial.  I am estimating at this
point that is will be close to 10,000, but to get a realistic estimate one
needs experience trying to use primitives for interoperability among a
representatively large sample of domain applications.
   To avoid the unnecessary overhead of including all primitives in every
application,  one needs is a mechanism to extract from the "Primitive
Inventory Foundation Ontology" (PIFO) only those primitive elements needed
to construct the domain ontology.  And inversely, when two domains need to
interoperate, there needs to be a mechanism to automatically create a
"merged ontology" including all of the primitives of both domain ontologies,
plus, perhaps, some additional primitives needed to translate between those
domains (for example, if for efficiency the domains use overlapping concepts
that have can themselves be broken into smaller primitives, rather than the
smaller primitives).   This is how I visualize getting the best of all
worlds - the efficiency of slim domain ontologies with the ability to
interoperate accurately and automatically with other domains when necessary.    (02)

[DF] > 
> 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.
  And I agree, but I think it is critically important, if one is interested
in accurate automatic interoperability, to recognize that the links
("connections") can be created automatically at run time when needed, rather
than be hand crafted one-to-one for every pair of ontologies that might
someday want to interoperate.  That is where the PIFO provides a mechanism,
and where I have not found anything even close in effectiveness in other
approaches such as automated mapping from independently developed (non-PIFO
based) ontologies.
   Automated mapping using the PIFO can create the "lattice of theories"
that John Sowa has discussed, provided that the non-primitive elements of
each theory are constructed from elements in the PIFO.    (03)

Pat    (04)

Patrick Cassidy
cell: 908-565-4053
cassidy@xxxxxxxxx    (05)

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