On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM, Amanda Vizedom <amanda.vizedom@xxxxxxxxx>
I, at least, am not talking about an ontology without any NL involved.
I'm talking only about the advantages, in at least some cases, of moving (the
illusion of) NL out of the unique-concept-names.
Yes, I understand now the problem of people thinking a name OR label
has to accurately express the meaning they want the concept to have. An
effective way of creating this shared perception is needed.
In fact, I think that NL rich and accurate enough to be used for good
generation, visualization, parsing, disambiguation, indexing, retrieval, and
all those great things is missing and wanted in many ontologies.
I say semi-NL, because to make concept names unique, somewhat
disambiguating to core users, and syntactically acceptable, NL-based concept
names end up somewhat artificial anyway, not exactly matching NL
Sure, as in
I say (the illusion of) NL, because what's captured in these names isn't
lexically rich enough or accurate enough to support those great ontology uses
I mentioned above.
Concept names can't really do the work of supplying this semantic
assignment role. One reason is the complexity, contextuality, and dynamic
nature of how linguistic reference and usage really work. Another reason is
the tension between the requirements on names - unique, short and manageable
in developer tools, unambiguous -- and the nature of NL expressions of a
So, the question for me is not NL vs no NL. It's how the NL should
be incorporated into the ontology. I think that in most cases, if you have
diverse users (effectively different NL communities, over language, dialect,
domain, role, *or time*), the NL aspect of the ontology needs to be handled in
a way that supports processing according to NL principles. It also needs to
support things like localization and change (don't want to change IDs because
usage changes or new users step in - change/extend the lexical assertions as
To me, this is the best summary of the problem and the solution.
I would like to see a set of guidelines to effect this kind of
solution. I have tried to do so by assiduosly insisting on highly
structured, fullsome, entirely English definitions of domain concepts, as a
preparatory step to constructing an ontology in a formal language.
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