[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology - Abstract Agent Use Case 2

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 11:35:00 -0700
Message-id: <AFEC4234D262428E9670CD7003C92033@Gateway>

Calling all Ontologists,


Here is a second use case which addresses some of the incommensurability issues discussed here heretofore.


Alf Gamma and Bet Gamma are two agents joined by partial common interest in an activity.  Alf owns amount A of the investment required to make the activity completely performed, and Bet owns amount B.  The total assets invested (labor, capital, resources, depreciation, less earnings (classical EBITDA), taxes paid, interest paid, and amortization taken amount to A+B, so Alf’s share is A/(A+B) and Bets share is B/(A+B). 


Halfway through the task, Alf has formed opinion Oa about how to complete the activity (lets say Alf proposes an IDEF0 decomposition of the activity context), and Bet has formed opinion Ob (a distinctly different IDEF0 decomposition of the same activity context).  The two opinions are partially supportive and partially contradictory.  That is, some of the same ICOMs are used and some of the same decomposition activities are performed, but other ICOMs and other decomposition activities are distinct in the two opinions. 


If A>B, then one democratic (voting) way to reconcile their differences for the sake of progress might be to follow Oa whether it leads to good or bad results.  If A<B, then Ob could be voted in.  If A=B, it would be a tossup and a coin flip might be used to select from between Oa and Ob.  Or if A=B, and there is no agreement on a coin flip, perhaps the activity should be discontinued and the rewards or losses partitioned among Alf and Bet by some rule of fairness, or some contract terms they signed before starting. 


Suppose opinion Oa is chosen (by whatever means) and the task turns out well.  Should Alf get a better share of EBITDA than just A/(A+B), or should they still split the earnings in proportion to their invested self interest.  What is the value of effective knowledge when applied, versus knowledge of indeterminate effectiveness?


By way of contrast, suppose opinion Ob is chosen and the task turns out badly.  Should Bet get less than the B/(A+B) share of mutually invested self interest?


A third option; Alf and Bet have irreconcilable differences so that Alf won’t continue working toward decomposition Ob and Bet won’t continue working toward decomposition Oa because they simply can’t agree, and are strongly opined in opposition.  How should the current state of their contract be partitioned so that Alf and Bet are both treated “fairly”?


This Use Case 2 might be analogically applied to the various situations we have discussed, yet they avoid all awkward personalization of the political topics we have discussed in our search for examples.  You are free to relate your response to specific instances, but I suggest the answer be couched in terms of Alf and Bet, A and B, Oa and Ob and the results of the activity. 


You also might want to use the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) provisions to illustrate your examples, or you might want to use Napoleonic law, or socialist principles, or any other appeal that suits the purpose you want to illustrate. 


Can we find commensurability in the activity of discussing this Use Case 2 ourselves, or only incommensurability as in our earlier discussions?


Hopefully and Changefully,




Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2

From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rich Cooper
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 6:31 PM
To: '[ontolog-forum] '
Subject: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology - Bacteria Use Case 1


Self Interested Ontologists,


Let’s consider a use case for the bacterial film example.  I will propose one, and if there are comments, please feel free to add your $0.02 or to correct mine as appropriate. 




A bacterial film covers teeth.  One bacterium, Strepta, senses a chemical gradient she associates with problems to come.  So Strepta sends a chemical message M to the film at large. 


Further away in the film, Chlamy identifies the message, which she interprets as “Watch it; there is dangerous antibacterial toothpaste in the vicinity.” 


Chlamy senses the direction of the message, and quickly forms a waist in the plane of the message direction, then splits at right angles in the cross product, splitting into two daughter cells Bacilla and Amoebi, while Chlamy ceases to exist as a unit, having split. 


Bacilla is on top, and her weight plus her flailing cilia push Amoebi one micron down into the cavity.  When the noxious chemical (was it really toothpaste?) touches Bacilla, she pops, spreading proteins, fats and carbohydrates which coat Amoebi in her cavity, effectively protecting Amoebi from the noxious chemical gradient. 


Strepta may share very few genes (self interest objects) with Chlamy, but Chlamy’s offspring have very accurate copies of Bacilla’s genes, so both have mutually high self interest.  By splitting, Chlamy preserves her genes.  Bacilla preserves her genes, which are faithful copies of Chlamy’s, by protecting her twin sister Amoebi with her (Bacilla’s) own life. 


What is in it for Strepta?  She may be millions of generations distal from Amoebi, the ultimate beneficiary of Strepta’s message.  So the gradient of the film should somehow represent the contribution of Strepta’s gene pool to Amoebi, which is what gives Strepta (through their shared ancestral forebears) genetic reasons to send her message to distal parts of the film. 


Should there be a limit to the distality with which Strepta uses her cellular resources to send the message far and wide?  It should be related to the likelihood of Strepta’s genes being preserved as compared to the likelihood that her resources consumed to send the message are wasted, if the chemical turns out not to be toothpaste but simple custard. 


Wouldn’t statistical decision theory hold in this use case 1; wouldn’t the likelihood of resource loss be approximately equal to the likelihood that Amoebi, with genes that are equal to Strepta’s, is saved from annihilation to continue propagating those genes into a future film?  Wouldn’t the sensors and effectors used by Strepta evolve to be quantitatively related to the survival benefits enjoyed by her sacrificed materials?


Comments welcome,




Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2


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    (01)

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