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[ontolog-forum] (W3C) WAS: Re: Webby objects

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Duane Nickull <duane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2012 23:44:16 -0800
Message-id: <CCD13204.212915%duane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Not to takes sides but joining Pat's suggestion for John joining the W3C
and expressing his voice is actually fairly expensive:
2012#results?United States    (01)

The last time a company I worked for joined we paid over $50k.    (02)

Pat, I haven't read all the conditions of this and you probably have the
most experienced in the W3C policies.  Do you know if they have an
alternative path to join?  I was part of the MoU work between various
SDO's including the W3C back a decade ago and I think it is possible to
work through the W3C via one of the MoU's however the organization that
signs the MoU must have legal stature and a clearly defined IPR policy.  I
believe that the Ontolog Forum as it stands today would not qualify.
Nevertheless, there are lots of great ideas on this forum that *should*
(IMHO) be heard within the W3C and other SDO's.    (03)

One thought that crossed my mind was to consider making this forum more of
a group with a voice within the standards world.  This would take a bit of
work but is possible.  Peter and I would have to work out the IP policy
(with the help of anyone with a law degree) in more detail WRT FOSS
licenses.  My personal thoughts are that there is sufficient work being
done here to be recognized as an SDO.  This would require anyone talking
about software in the context of standards to adhere to an IPR policy that
is acceptable to other orgs.    (04)

Thoughts?    (05)

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On 2012-11-20 10:15 AM, "Pat Hayes" <phayes@xxxxxxx> wrote:    (07)

>John, you clearly have an overall vision for the SWeb, a passion for
>promoting it, and energy to spare. Why then are you haranguing *us*, in
>*this* forum? We have no influence over SWeb standards. Why aren't you
>proposing to the W3C to set up a working group (or better still, setting
>up the group and then proposing to the W3C that y'all do whatever it is
>that you think needs to be done)? Just writing a W3C "note" (which has no
>normative content and so can be published fairly freely) would be a way
>to get things started: if enough people rally to your flag, you have the
>beginnings of a working group and a nascent community of users right
>On Nov 20, 2012, at 9:35 AM, John F Sowa wrote:
>> Ed, Chris, Amanda, Doug, and Rich,
>> I'll start by emphasizing that I have no objection to anyone
>> developing or using any tools or notations they find useful.  My
>> primary objection to what became of the Semantic Web is the loss
>> of most of the goals stated in Tim B-L's original DAML proposal.
>> The three terms Tim emphasized were diversity, heterogeneity, and
>> interoperability.  All of them disappeared from the final DAML report.
>> Even tools that had been developed to use RDF and OWL, such as SWRL
>> and RuleML, were omitted or deprecated.
>> The letter A in DAML is for Agents.  To express messages among
>> heterogeneous agents, Tim proposed SWeLL (Semantic Web Logic Language)
>> as a superset of propositional, first-order, and higher-order logic.
>> SWeLL required high expressive power to accommodate everything that
>> could be expressed in any or all of the languages and systems cited.
>> The insistence on decidability is incompatible with heterogeneity.
>> But some of the most efficient implementations translate OWL to Prolog,
>> which is undecidable.  Some people may claim that Prolog includes
>> procedural features that are outside logic.  But there are many other
>> logic-based approaches that have been ignored.  For example, see
>>    http://www.hassan-ait-kaci.net/pdf/osf4sw.pdf
>>    A Sorted-Graph Unification Approach to the Semantic Web
>> What I am arguing *for* is the diversity that Tim emphasized and
>> cited in his original proposal, the diversity among the 22 groups
>> that were supposedly included in the DAML project, the wide range
>> of R & D that has been done since 2005, and *most* importantly,
>> seamless integration with the tools and notations of mainstream IT.
>> JFS
>>>> Note that a procedure can be decidable for some data, but
>>>> undecidable for other data.
>> EB
>>> Right.  So a desirable procedure should be decidable on all the data
>>> it will be asked to process.  No one cares whether one can write
>>> undecidable programs in the language.
>> Yes, but I'd add some qualifications.  FOL has a large number of
>> complexity classes, many of which can be distinguished by simple
>> syntactic checks on the data and/or the axioms about the data.  Cyc,
>> for example, perform such checks to see which procedure(s) to use.
>> Since most systems today have multiple CPUs, some systems start
>> a "horse race" among several procedures, pick the one(s) that
>> finish early, and stop the others.  IBM's Watson with 2880 CPUs
>> uses this approach heavily.
>> EB
>>> Industry has been using logics for the (b)/(c) cases for at least 25
>>> years, and we now know a lot about the relationships between reasoning
>>> algorithms, base theories, and decidability and computational bounding.
>>> Almost all of the logics used for (b)/(c) are constrained FOLs or "not
>>> FOL", and almost all of the algorithms used with these logics are
>>> computationally bounded.  That is why they are commonly used in
>> There are many complex reasons, and they keep changing with the kinds
>> of technology available.  My main point is that any one-size-fits-all
>> solution is going to be wrong for many important applications.
>> EB
>>> The problem of not knowing the relationship between input
>>> data -- the sets of valid sentences -- and the "not determinable"
>>> result is what causes industry to shy away from FOL reasoners.
>> DF
>>> We devised a system that could guarantee that the combined algorithm
>>> would produce a valid answer when that answer was needed (a variable
>>> amount of time with a minimum value), but could normally calculate a
>>> better answer through heuristic calculations.
>> I also cite the paper by Bill Andersen et al., in which they developed
>> a knowledge compiler that translates axioms expressed in CycL (a highly
>> expressive superset of FOL) into Horn-clause rules for an inference
>> engine and into SQL constraints for a relational DB.  That was the
>> R & D that led them to found OntologyWorks (now HighFleet).  For
>> discussion of that approach (and others), see page 6 of
>>    http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/fflogic.pdf
>> OntologyWorks took a while to build up the business, but HighFleet
>> now gets more business than they can handle.
>> CMungal
>>> I just want to point out that Ian Horrocks has developed reasoners
>>> such as FaCT which count as application programs. His group develops
>>> the HermiT and ELK reasoners which we use every day in the development
>>> of the Gene Ontology (as well as numerous other biological ontologies).
>> I'm glad that Ian is doing something useful. But a reasoner, by itself,
>> is not an application program.
>> FOL is actually easier for humans to read and write than OWL DL.
>> And it can be stated in controlled NLs.  A knowledge compiler can
>> translate FOL to whatever format is needed for whatever reasoning
>> engine and database is used.
>> AV
>>> The real valuable work comes from identifying logic languages and
>>> that maximize expressiveness, usability, and reasoning within the
>>> of statements and tasks the user needs. That is more complex and
>>> There are lots of ways to design systems to either disallow certain
>>> statements (IMHO, better done semantically than via unusably counter-
>>> intuitive or restricted syntax), or decline to process certain
>>> patters that have a high rabbit-hole risk, or cut out after a certain
>>> or use other techniques to tune performance. The line between
>>>decidable and
>>> undecidable systems is not a sweet spot for this.
>> I very strongly agree.
>> RC
>>> Constraint propagation is another example of something you can't
>>> do in a program with a tree structured design; it requires that the
>>> program investigate constraint sets that are cross coupled.
>>> that are not cross coupled are not very useful
>> Yes.  That is another problem with OWL.  No OWL ontology can specify
>> any structure that is not tree.  You can't specify the constraints
>> of a triangle or a bridge truss built up of multiple triangles.
>> AV
>>> ... by "a guaranteed finite-time result," I meant "a result guaranteed
>>> to come with an unknown, but finite, amount of time.  That's the
>>> that comes with "decidable" and is of little-to-no value in deployed
>>> applications.
>> Yes, indeed.  NP complete algorithms are decidable, but they can take
>> more time than the age of the universe.  That's not useful.
>> EB
>>> John Sowa originally wrote that no user asks for decidability, users
>>> always ask for more expressiveness.  I have yet to hear a user ask for
>>> either.  Industry users are interested in capability and performance.
>> I was quoting Bob MacGregor.  His users were familiar with DL systems,
>> since PowerLOOM included a DL reasoner as one component.   But I agree
>> with the final sentence.
>> AV
>>>> The line between decidable and undecidable systems is not
>>>> a sweet spot for this.
>> EB
>>> But the line between DLs and FOLs *is* a sweet spot for this.
>> No. The sweet spot for OWL is the subset used by GoodRelations and
>> adopted by Schema.org.  They ignored all other features of OWL.
>> For that subset, there are superfast algorithms that can generate
>> a consistent type hierarchy (actually a lattice) automatically.
>> For example, see the home page for Formal Concept Analysis (FCA):
>>    http://www.upriss.org.uk/fca/fca.html
>> In fact, FCA tools are also used to check an OWL hierarchy for
>> consistency or even to generate the OWL hierarchy automatically.
>> For details, type "FCA OWL concept" to your favorite search engine.
>> DF
>>> A multiple-method system is often the best performer. The overwhelming
>>> majority of systems I see, read about, or hear about attempt to use a
>>> single reasoning method to solving all problems. Whatever that method
>>> it may perform well on some of the problems within the domain of use;
>>> often performs poorly on many others, or even rules out addressing
>>>them at
>>> all.
>> I very strongly agree.
>> Recommendations:
>>  1. Support the original DAML proposal for message passing in a highly
>>     expressive logic among multiple heterogeneous.
>>  2. Don't reject any tools or notations that anyone has found useful.
>>     That includes all current SW tools.  But even more important are
>>     all the legacy systems of mainstream IT and all the newly emerging
>>     research projects that may become the future mainstream.
>>  3. Promote R & D on simplifying the interfaces and techniques for
>>     knowledge representation, acquisition, and use.  We need tools
>>     with better human factors and with automatic generation of the
>>     formats required for reasoning.  Better graphics, controlled
>>     natural languages, FCA, and knowledge compilation are examples.
>>  4. A smooth migration path from the tools and methodologies of
>>     mainstream IT to the new technology is essential.  UML diagrams,
>>     for example, are already integrated with mainstream IT.  They
>>     can be added to the Schema.org vocabularies to support a superset
>>     of what can be specified in OWL, but in a humanly readable form
>>     that is already familiar to most programmers.
>> Much more can be said, but this would be a good start.  It would
>> support much more of Tim's original vision for the SW, and it
>> would help bring ontologies into the mainstream.
>> John
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