Dear John, (01)
> But any information about the future that "seems" to come from
> an extensional analysis of some 4D region is always derivable
> from the intensional specifications that determine or predict
> those possible worlds (or those spatio-temporal regions). (02)
MW: Yes, and any information about the future that "seems" to arise from
intensional specifications is actually a possible world or some part of one.
> > MW: In a 4D analysis a plan is a set of actions (spatio-temporal
> > extents) in a possible world. The goal to be achieved is a state
> > of affairs in that possible world at a point in time. It does not
> > matter that they are in the future, the plan is the actions you
> > intend to take, not the desired outcome.
> I like your last sentence, which uses the word 'intend'.
> It shows that the origin of the information is the *intention*
> (with a T), which determines the *intension* (with an S),
> which determines the *extensions* in those possible worlds. (03)
MW: I don't have a problem with intentions, they are what determine which
possible worlds are interesting.
> But I disagree that "a plan is a set of actions". Whether you're
> using a 4D analysis or 3+1D is irrelevant to the definition of 'plan'. (04)
MW: Well I spent 30 years working for Shell, an organization that lived and
thrived by creating plans and then executing them. My usage is just how I
found the word being used there.
> As I suggest to anybody who works on knowledge representation or
> ontology, consult a good dictionary for a neutral (i.e., non-dogmatic,
> not theory laden) opinion about the way words are commonly used.
> For example, the Merriam-Webster 9th Collegiate Dictionary says
> that the word 'plan' comes from the same Latin root as the word
> 'plane'. That origin leads to MW definition #1:
> > 1. a drawing or diagram drawn on a plane.
> > 2c. a detailed formulation of a program of action (05)
MW: It is this last that corresponds to the usage I am referring to. So
therefore not to any of the others, which are distinct. The plan of a
building for instance is an entirely different sort of thing (and is as
likely to be of a building after it was built as before).
> All these definitions say that a plan is a goal or a method. (06)
MW: Not so. (07)
> None of them identify a plan with the sequence of actions. (08)
MW: See 2c "a program of action" is just that.
> If you prefer a British view, following are the four senses
> of 'plan' in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English:
> > 1. a (carefully considered) arrangement for carrying out
> > some future activity. (09)
MW: This is near enough the sense I mean.
> Both dictionaries emphasize the goal (or a drawing of the goal)
> and the intentions that led to the goal: a plan "always implies
> mental formulation", and the arrangement is "carefully considered". (010)
MW: Of course.
> > MW: A sequence of action (types) is a method, but not a plan.
> > A plan may be a particular execution of a method (but not
> > necessarily).
> Please note that both dictionaries define a plan as either
> a goal or a method for achieving the goal. I have never
> heard anybody use the word 'plan' in the way you describe. (011)
MW: I suggest you both re-read what you have posted and talk to some people
who do project management for a living.
> Another comment about word usage:
> > JFS: The specifications of the plan could be called axioms,
> > constraints, or laws.
> > MW: No. What is often the case is that the constraints
> > (resource availability, time, materials) are inputs to
> > formulating a feasible plan (I think of linear programming
> > in the oil industry). However, the constraints are not
> > the plan itself.
> My primary word was 'specifications'. They determine the methods
> the dictionaries mention. There are two ways to specify a method:
> 1. Procedural: An ordered sequence of imperative commands,
> as in a typical programming language.
> 2. Declarative: A set of propositions that state the starting
> conditions (prerequisites) and ending conditions (desired
> goal) for any procedure that implements the method.
> A procedural specification is useful for efficient execution
> by a specific machine or by a human agent who is not expected
> to innovate or to deviate from a fixed sequence.
> A declarative specification is more general, since it covers
> an open-ended variety of procedures that begin with the starting
> conditions and end with the desired goal. It allows greater
> flexibility in changing the order of execution and adapting
> to unforeseen circumstances. But it does require a more
> intelligent machine or human.
> I used the words 'axioms', 'constraints', or 'laws' for the
> propositions that state the preconditions and postconditions
> of a declarative specification. I am happy to replace those
> words with any other way of talking about the propositions.
> I'll admit that people rarely use the terminology of logicians
> or computer scientists to talk about their planning sessions.
> But you can analyze their informal discussions and classify
> their ways of describing plans as procedural, declarative,
> or some informal mixture of both. (012)
MW: I've spent enough of my working life doing planning that I know full
well that you have not produced a plan that anyone will accept as such when
you have done no more than state the boundary conditions. Only when you have
produced a solution that satisfies those boundary conditions do you have
something a budget holder would sign of as a plan. (013)
Tel: +44 1489 880185
Mobile: +44 750 3385279
This email originates from Information Junction Ltd. Registered in England
and Wales No. 6632177.
Registered office: 2 Brookside, Meadow Way, Letchworth Garden City,
Hertfordshire, SG6 3JE. (016)
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
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 (017)