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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology of Commands

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Nicola Guarino <nicolguar@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 2 May 2012 09:48:02 +0200
Message-id: <AA381E02-EED3-42BA-8716-8FFD44F692EF@xxxxxxxxx>

On 1 May 2012, at 18:30, Burkett, William [USA] wrote:

Thank you all for feedback and thoughts.
I find the comments on linguistics and speech acts interesting – I think it’s the right thread to pull on to find an answer to my original query.  I don’t think the discussion has yielded a clear position of “commands” within ontology yet, so here are a few more thought-provoking questions.
Using William Frank’s example, the proposition: “cat in a box” can easily be represented in an ontology.   Representing: “Tom: put the cat in the box” (call this command A) in an ontology involves that proposition coupled with a command “put”, a directing agent (me?), and a directed agent (Tom).    I agree that A is a speech act (imperative, performative), but what is it in an ontology?  Are we saying that
-          “speech act” is an object in an ontology, and
-          that “command” is a kind of “speech act”, and
-          the compound proposition A is an instance of “command”?

Quick answer: the proposition "put the cat in the box" is the *theme* of the speech act . Tom is the *recipient* of the speech act. Being an event, the structure of a specific speech act can be described by so-called "thematic relations" (also mentioned by Leo in a previous message). "theme" and "recipient" are examples of such relations.

For an ontological analysis of services that relies on events, see

Ferrario, R., Guarino, N. 2012. Commitment-Based Modeling of Service Systems. In M. Snene (Ed.), IESS 2012, International Conference on Exploring Services Science, Springer Verlag, Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol. 103, Berlin Heidelberg 2012, pp. 170-185 (downloadable at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7903842/EIT%20ICT%20Labs%20Business%20Plan%202012.pdf)

If that command is issued by one software agent to another (e.g., in a SOA-based workflow), is it still a “speech act”?




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