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Re: [ontolog-forum] doing standards [was - Re: Webby objects]

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Obrst, Leo J." <lobrst@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 21:33:28 +0000
Message-id: <FDFBC56B2482EE48850DB651ADF7FEB01E85B12A@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Actually, if you look at SKOS, it was intended to represent (structured) vocabularies which could then easily be mapped to ontologies.


The simple way people use SKOS is to import SKOS and then use skos:altLabel for synonyms for the ontology concept name represented in OWL/RDF.


A gensymed name for an ontology class is simply a URI without any human words! I suggest you have a canonical name (it’s just a label) for an ontology concept, but use vocabularies to map to that name, because in fact ontologists (at least most of them so far) are humans using human  language, and “x23892” is not as good as “Person”.


The non-ontologists will be confused, of course, but they currently confuse terms with concepts, and think that they don’t need semantics because their column name or XML Schema entity is labeled Person, and of course everyone knows what that means. I.e., they don’t understand semantics, let alone ontology. Constructs in structural models such as relational databases, XML schemas, UML models are vocabularies.


In addition, it gets even more complicated, i.e., the vocabulary/ontology issue, in that many times other vocabularies need to be captured, i.e., a purchaser of some type (a technical purchaser) refers to a product as X, whereas a purchaser of another type (a non-technical purchasing agent) refers to it as Y, and a customer may similarly have different types (technical, non-technical), say for engineering products. So really what you need is a vocabulary, a context of use, and the ontology.


At VerticalNet (business-to-business e-commerce) in 2000 we had this issue, but never resolved it before we went out of business. Domain sales directors would see ontology class labels and say “that’s not right, we don’t use that term”, mistaking vocabulary for concept. EVERY application indeed uses (or could) its own vocabulary, depending on the nature of the application and its interface. So we distinguished “presentation” from “representation”. Presentation varies radically, but representation less so (you do have to capture the filagrees of meaning in your ontologies, but how you refer to those “nodes” is relatively independent).





From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Andries van Renssen
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 8:30 AM
To: '[ontolog-forum] '
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] doing standards [was - Re: Webby objects]


Leo, Doug, Amanda,

Separating NL vocabularies from Ontology terms is one option, but IMHO not the best one.

Creating a separate Ontologies language that only maps to NL terms unnecessarily isolates the ontology world from the application world.

There are solutions to solve synonym and homonym management and use without such a separation.




On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 5:22 PM, doug foxvog <doug@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Thu, November 22, 2012 16:59, Obrst, Leo J. wrote:
> Sure, Amanda, and that's why I (and we) advocate using natural
> language vocabularies that are linked/mapped to ontologies.

If you are referring to advocating the separation of NL vocabularies from
ontology term names, we certainly agree.  The ontology needs to express
an N-N mapping between NL terms and ontology terms.

> This was a hard lesson
> learned  (initially, by others, before my time) in the DoD in the early
> 1990s, and that I personally experienced in the metadata wars of the
> 2000s, where people will fight to the death to include their "words",
> mistaking these for the concepts behind them.*

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