On Mar 14, 2011, at 9:36 AM, Matthew West wrote: (01)
> Dear John,
>>>> The point I have been repeating in different ways is that there is no
>>>> such thing as an ideal upper level. Many people have reached that
>>>> conclusion after working very hard to find one.
>>> This follows from the fact that what is best suited for one purpose may
>>> not be best suited for another. If one application uses a narrow number
>>> of concepts, it need not have upper ontology components irrelevant to
>>> the application.
>> And this is true even for a single corporation. All departments may
>> contribute to the same product line. But engineering, manufacturing,
>> sales, finance, buildings, services, shipping, human resources, etc.,
>> have very different ways of talking about and dealing with them.
> MW: Yes, but the different departments need to talk to each other, and this
> is most efficiently done with a "common language" which need not be "ideal"
> for any of them, but which each is able to translate into and out of. What
> we found in Shell was, that as you did this successively, there was
> considerable advantage in giving up your own "language" and increasingly
> sharing fewer more common ones. (02)
An interesting dimension at play here; how much centralisation is needed in a
corporation with extensive work specialisation. (03)
The following diagram was made for another purpose but illustrates a scale:
Typically commonality is deemed as beneficial, but sometimes an ad hoc approach
is of benefit depending on ones (investment) horizon.
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