[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Semantics of Natural Languages

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: David Eddy <deddy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:33:38 -0400
Message-id: <CFC00867-2673-41DE-B796-B31F912E7098@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Rich -    (01)

On 2011-08-31, at 4:30 PM, Rich Cooper wrote:    (02)

> Why DON'T huge hunks of deduced, induced, abduced
> and reduced knowledge suffice?  What is still
> lacking?  Why don't gobs of special purpose
> functionality, coupled with gobs of knowledge, do
> the trick?    (03)

#1 - much of life isn't subject to mathematical logic (e.g. much of  
business activity is highly illogical)    (04)

#2 - life (particularly as expressed with language) is a constantly  
moving target, based on a poorly defined "foundation."    (05)

I express this in the following context...    (06)

A house can certainly be described as a "system" (or collection of  
systems... heating, plumbing, walls, electrical, etc.).  But once  
it's built it stays as a house ALWAYS.  It will never be a boat  
(unless you live in Vermont or upstate New York), an airplane or a car.    (07)

Information systems typically are poorly/ambiguously defined &  
constantly evolving.    (08)

Plus the language used to describe information systems (software) is  
all over the place & very rarely formally expressed.    (09)

Like it or not, believe it or not, Agile or not, most systems used in  
organizations go through some sort of systems development life cycle...    (010)

1 - requirements
2 - analysis
3 - design
4 - coding
5 - implementation
6 - maintenance    (011)

At each one of these steps people with different views of the world,  
with different life experiences & with different use of language get  
to put their oar in the water.  Then you get to mix in professional  
jealousies (requirements folks CERTAINLY do NOT speak/write/think the  
same language as programmers) & the dynamics of mergers & acquisitions.    (012)

Personally I believe the good news is that the business thingys are  
not all that numerous.  I think there's some room to argue—definitely  
ARGUE—that organizations run on between 1500 & 6000 concepts.  But  
then it gets ugly since there are many, many, many synonyms for core  
concepts.  Remember my oft repeated: in 1980 a life insurance company  
found in its software systems 70 different names for the "policy  
number" concept.    (013)

I fully acknowledge that this is not something that will help  
translate Arabic to English & pluck shifting political sentiments out  
of the ether.    (014)

BUT... it will help you modify your business applications faster &  
more accurately.    (015)

Take your pick as to which is more practical & useful.    (016)

David Eddy    (017)

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    (018)

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