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[ontolog-forum] Terminology and Knowledge Engineering

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2012 09:37:20 -0500
Message-id: <4F1EC220.7080809@xxxxxxxxxxx>
The field of terminology standardizes terms that are used by large
international organizations -- commercial, scientific, and political.    (01)

I attended one of their conferences about 15 years ago.  Their methods
are very different from anything that is done in ontology, but some
people participate in both fields.    (02)

My morning inbox stuffing had an announcement for TKE 2012, a conference
on Terminology and Knowledge Engineering.  So I did a bit of browsing
to see what people are doing, and I came across the ISO standard 704
for "Terminology work - Principles and methods".  ISO requires payment
for standards, but I found a final draft (FDIS) for free:    (03)

http://www.ap233.org/ap233-public-information/reference/ISO-FDIS-704-Terminology-Development.pdf    (04)

That document has some interesting examples, but there are no hints
of any formal notations.  It shows why the terminology of a field
is important as a prerequisite for an ontology of that field.  It
also shows why there is a large gap between terminology and what
the theoreticians say about formal ontology.    (05)

But I also noticed that the gap between terminology and what a very
large number of OWL practitioners do is much, much smaller.  In fact,
the overwhelming number of OWL "ontologies" published on the WWW just
take the informal info from a terminology, put angle brackets around
it, and call it an ontology.    (06)

Since I only attended one terminology conference many years ago, I
would like to ask any Ontolog subscribers who may have more experience
with the field about their views of the relationship between terminology
and ontology.    (07)

I would also like to ask OWL advocates about those popular ontologies
whose only "definitions" are English phrases marked as comments.  What,
if anything, do they get from such an ontology that goes beyond what
they could get from a well-written terminology?    (08)

John    (09)

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