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[ontolog-forum] Fact Guru, Controlled NLs, and OOR

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Doug Skuce <drskuce@xxxxxxxxx>, John Talbot <johntalbot@xxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 09:05:46 -0500
Message-id: <4D9338BA.6090803@xxxxxxxxxxx>
We have discussed the relationships between ontologies and terminologies
in many email threads.  Some people blur the distinction by saying that
their terminologies are ontologies, and others make a sharp distinction
between them.  But one point is clear:  the people who use applications
only see terminologies, and the developers need to relate ontologies
to terminologies.    (01)

A few weeks ago, I sent a note that mentioned Fact Guru by Doug Skuce
as tool that could help bridge the gap between terminologies and
ontologies.  In particular, FG could simplify the task of mapping
the terms of an terminology to the more formal ontology.  After the
development of the ontology, FG could be used to display either or
both, side by side.  For the Open Ontology Repository, FG could be
useful, but only if the software were available as open source.    (02)

Therefore, I had a discussion with Doug about the possibility of
releasing the Fact Guru software as open source under the LGPL.
Doug agreed, and he is also planning to attend the Ontology Summit
on April 18.  He would be happy to discuss the use of FG with anyone
who may be interested.  On the cc list above, I added the email for
Doug Skuce and for John Talbot, who did most of the implementation.    (03)

In the links below, note the wide range of sophistication of the
possible applications.  The Animals example was implemented by
Doug's 9-year-old daughter as a school project.  The SUMO example
was downloaded from the actual SUMO ontology.  For each term in
SUMO, FG shows both the English-like text and the axioms written
in KIF.    (04)

John Sowa    (05)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fact Guru
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 21:31:05 -0500
From: John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: [ontolog-forum] <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
CC: Doug Skuce <drskuce@xxxxxxxxx>    (06)

I was talking with an old friend, Doug Skuce, who taught AI and
knowledge engineering at the University of Ottawa for many years.
He and his students and colleagues have developed some software
that could be valuable for designing and supporting ontologies.    (07)

In the late 80s he developed a knowledge acquisition tool called
CODE (Conceptually Oriented Development Environment) in Smalltalk.
Since CODE did not run on the web, he designed a new version called
Fact Guru in the late 90s.  FG can be used to organize a knowledge
base of any kind and present it in a highly readable way;    (08)

    http://www.site.uottawa.ca/~tcl/factguru1/FactGuru.pdf    (09)

Following is a blurb from the web site:    (010)

    With Fact Guru you can improve understanding by:    (011)

      * storing facts grouped by subject in a highly structured
        knowledge base.    (012)

      * searching the knowledge base to find just the fact you need    (013)

      * comparing subjects to see a comparison matrix of differences    (014)

      * viewing subjects as a graph to see relationships between them    (015)

For a beginner's example that uses only English, see the knowledge
base of Canadian Animals, which was implemented by Doug's nine year
old daughter.  Click on any animal name to find a collection of
information about it:    (016)

    http://www.site.uottawa.ca/~tcl/factguru1/animals/index.html    (017)

More important for ontology is the use of Fact Guru to import,
organize, and display the top-level ontology of SUMO:    (018)

    http://www.site.uottawa.ca/~tcl/factguru1/sumo/index.html    (019)

For an example of a knowledge base about a technical subject,
see the Fact Guru KB about the Java programming language, which
Doug used for teaching a course on Java:    (020)

    http://www.site.uottawa.ca/~tcl/factguru1/java/index.html    (021)

This KB is important for two reasons:  (1) it is cross linked
to an associated HTML document about Java; and (2) it is written
in a version of controlled English called ClearTalk.    (022)

Doug is currently working with some programmers who are
reimplementing Fact Guru with the Drupal content management
software in order to organize and relate multiple knowledge
bases.  This could be useful for the Open Ontology Repository.    (023)

I thought that participants in Ontolog Forum might express
their wish list about features that would be useful for
supporting ontologies and their applications.    (024)

John Sowa    (025)

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