|To:||"[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>|
|From:||"David C. Hay" <dch@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Tue, 11 Oct 2011 22:54:01 -0500|
At 10:09 AM 10/11/2011, you wrote:|
I like Ed's definition: "the language has a grammar and an interpretation of the grammatical constructs that is suitable for automated reasoning," although being "suitable for automation" does not mean that it has been done.
What John has is a collection of completely different approaches to describing the world. The differences in perspective, represented by the rows makes it very difficult to call the framework as a whole an ontology. I did attempt to produce a metamodel of a large part of the framework a couple of years ago (Data Model Patterns: A Metadata Map), and I suppose that metamodel could be called an ontology. But my experience with the framework is that only the row I have renamed the "Architect's View" (Row Three, what John had called the "system designer's view") produces a true, conceptual picture of the organization. The "business owners' views" are multiple, overlapping, and often contradictory. The whole point of Row Three is to construct a coherent, single view of the organization that encompasses all the particular business owners' views.
From row four down, you are describing technology, not the business.
In the spirit of the architect's view (and focusing on data only), I attempted to create an enterprise ontology in my new book this year, Enterprise Model Patterns: Describing the World. I would love to hear anyone's views as to whether I succeeded or not. The "language" involved is conceptual entity/relationship modeling. (OK, I bent UML to accommodate that, even though this is not the intended use of UML. But the effect was a clean e/r model.) You won't be able to do inferences until the model is translated into OWL or some such, but I believe the components required are all there.
I welcome all flavors of criticism.
Don?t get me wrong as I have a lot of respect for the work John Zachman has done and I have used the framework on several occasions as an aid to strategy and architecture. I was unfortunately unable to say to my colleague that I thought it represented a formal ontology in the way I am familiar with. I explained that I worked for three years on an ontology that had undergone over 10 years of research, testing and construction in Protégé and that it was formally accepted by public bodies in the UK and is in active use in the health sector. There are other major ontologies that have undergone similar if not more effort to construct. Yet without that formal approach how are you able to depend upon the model?
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