[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Using controlled natural languages for ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 11:10:48 -0500
Message-id: <4D7A4988.1020907@xxxxxxxx>

Mike Bennett wrote:    (01)

> Well I would put it the other way around - a knowledge engineer 
> working with domain experts. I have managed to achieve some 
> results with this. The key is for the knowledge engineer to 
> recognize that they are not an expert, but that they know enough 
> to put forward a model which is largely complete and correct 
> (what the techie folks often call a "strawman"), and then 
> facilitate a session which involves changing that model, within 
> its stated formalism, until it is a complete and correct record 
> of the knowledge of the domain experts.
>       (02)

Exactly!  I have described the process of learning "enough about the 
domain to put forward a model which is largely complete" as 'osmosis'.  
The knowledge engineer talks to enough domain experts and asks questions 
and gradually forms an image of the basic model.    (03)

> ...
> The secret is to know just enough to present something that's 
> nearly right, and then come to the table with humility    (04)

Yes!  And that last is the real difference between the expert knowledge 
engineer and the journeyman.    (05)

>  and well-directed questions for the SMEs.     (06)

Spot on!     (07)

> And of course having a 
> model format which does not require them to learn some language.
>       (08)

Ultimately, they do have to learn the language of the model.  If nothing 
else, there will always be terminology issues.  The value of a CNL is 
that it can make that learning process much easier.  It is a small step 
from a language they speak.    (09)

Over the years, I have found that domain experts can also easily 
understand simple diagrams in UML, NIAM/ORM and BPMN, and the first two 
can be readily transformed into formal ontologies.  The trick is not to 
introduce more than 5 concept-symbol pairs and talk about them at the 
thing/relationship/action level.  But CNLs allow for presenting more 
elaborate rules, both 'structural' and 'operational' (in Ron Ross's 
terminology).    (010)

-Ed    (011)

> Mike
>       (012)

> On 10/03/2011 17:21, Rich Cooper wrote:
>> I have yet to see a domain expert working with a knowledge engineer who
>> produces quality results.  The few good examples I have seen are where the
>> knowledge engineer IS a domain expert.
>> Remember that in every domain, there is no Ulysses.  Every expert has an
>> experience that is unique, personal, and not very communicable in language.
>> The domain expert doesn't have the "aha" reaction of suddenly seeing a
>> simplification that the knowledge expert does.
>> So I disagree with this long held, but factually incorrect, assumption.
>> JMHO,
>> -Rich
>> Sincerely,
>> Rich Cooper
>> EnglishLogicKernel.com
>> Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
>> 9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ed Barkmeyer
>> Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 8:58 AM
>> To: [ontolog-forum]
>> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Using controlled natural languages for ontology
>> Simon Spero wrote:
>>> On Sun, Mar 6, 2011 at 11:01 PM, John F. Sowa<sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx
>>> <mailto:sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>>  wrote:
>>>      On 3/6/2011 10:39 PM, Zhuk, Yefim wrote:
>>>      >  I'd think of CNL as an intermediate step towards ontology...
>>>      It's more like an alternate notation for logic that makes comments
>>>      readable by both the humans and the computer.
>>>      A controlled natural language has a formally defined mapping to
>>>      and from some version of logic.  Its main advantage is that
>>>      it can be read as if it were ordinary language.
>>> There may be some small  differences in ease of reading between CNL
>>> and regular NL, but  these do not appear to be important.
>>> Tobias Kuhn (until recently a student of Norbert Fuchs)   has  some
>>> interesting results on the understandability of controlled natural
>>> language in his dissertation (see Chapter 5 in Kuhn (2010) for info).
>>>   Also, as part of his work on ACEWiki Tobias built  a native java
>>> implementation of ACE, making it easier to use without having to
>>> install prolog).
>>> Simon
>>>      * Tobias Kuhn. /Controlled English for Knowledge Representation/.
>>>        Doctoral thesis, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration
>>>        and Information Technology of the University of Zurich, 2010.
>>>        [PDF
>> <http://attempto.ifi.uzh.ch/site/pubs/papers/doctoral_thesis_kuhn.pdf>|BibTe
>> X
>> <http://attempto.ifi.uzh.ch/site/pubs/papers/bibtex/doctoral_thesis_kuhn.bib
>>> ]
>> In our experience the problem isn't intelligibility, unless the
>> expressions become extraordinarily convoluted.  The problem is that the
>> average domain expert naturally _writes_ a different language and takes
>> some training to learn to write the controlled language.  Further, I
>> would add, the domain expert is usually reluctant to 'waste his/her
>> time' doing so.  So the practice is still knowledge engineer working
>> with domain expert to create the ontology.  The primary advantage of
>> using the CNL as a means of expression for _most of_ the ontology is
>> that it allows the domain expert to read, understand and validate that
>> part.  I say 'most of', because there are usually technical
>> considerations in the formulation of the ontology that the domain expert
>> should not be expected to understand -- that is the domain of the
>> knowledge engineer.
>> [Experts tend to be annoyed when the CNL interpreter complains about
>> what they wrote, especially since its diagnostics only usually identify
>> the syntactic point(s) at which it became confused, and its guidance for
>> what might have been meant is not often helpful.  The worst cases,
>> however, are those in which what the expert writes is unambiguously
>> parsed by the CNL intepreter, but the interpretation it makes is not at
>> all what was intended.  My favorite recent example was:
>>    The surface must be contained between two planes that are 0.25mm apart.
>> The CNL interpreter understood the constraint to refer to two distinct
>> instances of a class of object described as 'plane that is-apart by
>> 0.25mm'!  We needed to have the ontology in place to determine that that
>> interpretation was not comprehensible (there is no such binary
>> relation).  And OBTW, the correct expression of that rule in the CNL was
>> 'extraordinarily convoluted'.]
>> -Ed
>       (013)

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    (014)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST, 
 and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (015)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (016)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>