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

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Matthew West" <dr.matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 07:32:40 -0000
Message-id: <50b86115.0461b40a.23bc.ffff936d@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Ed,    (01)

> My approach to disambiguating word senses is to add qualifying terms to
> disambiguate the meanings. So for example, "data" has a handful of
> different definitions, one of which is:
> d.1.d pl. The quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations
> are performed by computers and other automatic equipment, and which may
> be stored or transmitted in the form of electrical signals, records on
> magnetic tape or punched cards, etc.
> So instead of just using this definition I would call it say "computer
> data". There is a trade off here between clarity and verbosity, but I
> know which side of that compromise I wish to be. You can use this in
> other areas to distinguish between say accounting asset and maintenance
> asset etc.
> [EJB] I agree that this is a useful way to disambiguate homonyms.  But
> the problems we have encountered are thornier:
> - The community does not, perhaps refuses to, recognize the concept if
> you don't use the their term for it
> - Disagreement among members of the community about the relationship of
> terms to concepts, e.g. 'class' is a synonym for 'type', or a
> specialization of 'type', or a reference to  extension. If you use
> 'extensional class', you are unlikely to achieve wider understanding.
> Part of the community says "oxymoron", and another part asks if you are
> talking about types whose instances are aggregates.    (02)

MW: There are really two basic problems:
1. The same term with different meanings.
2. The same meaning with different terms.
You seem to be pointing to a combination of those. The answer here must be
first to separate the two.
In EPISTLE we overcame the second problem by simple concatenation. So for
example, for what I would now probably want to call Physical Quantity, we
had three names (property, characteristic, value) with vociferous camps. We
completely failed to reach agreement on a single term, so we concatenated
them to property/characteristic/value, and it ran like that for a couple of
years until we agreed the long name was not that useful and settled on
property. The concatenation meant everyone could see their own name, until
they were comfortable to give it up.    (03)

I agree it is entirely about how you deal with the human side of reaching a
common understanding, and that that is what is really going on. The secret
is to have approaches that do not start by making people feel their position
is necessarily either right or wrong with winners and losers.    (04)

Regards    (05)

Matthew West                            
Information  Junction
Tel: +44 1489 880185
Mobile: +44 750 3385279
Skype: dr.matthew.west
http://www.matthew-west.org.uk/    (06)

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