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[ontolog-forum] Levels of Interoperability

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2013 09:47:06 -0400
Message-id: <5140835A.6060500@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Interoperability is essential, but people and computers interoperate
at many different levels.  On the email list for the Ontology Summit,
Hans Polzer recommended the following PDF:    (01)

https://www.ncoic.org/apps/group_public/download.php/8504/SCOPE_MODEL_VER1.0.pdf    (02)

Following is a slightly edited version of my response.    (03)

John    (04)

-------- Original Message --------    (05)

The PDF makes some very important points.  In particular, the table
of five levels of interoperability on page 13 has terminology that
could clarify a lot of the debates on Ontolog Forum.    (06)

Most of the discussions for the Ontology Summit have assumed that
interoperability is at the top two levels:    (07)

  4. Enterprise level (Universal).    (08)

  3. Domain level (Integrated).    (09)

But the overwhelming amount of interoperability among systems
(and the people who use them) is at the three lower levels:    (010)

  2. Functional level (Distributed).    (011)

  1. Connected level (Peer to peer).    (012)

  0. Isolated level (Manual).    (013)

Interoperability at the lower levels is a prerequisite to every level
above them.  People have been collaborating at level 0 long before
Homo became sapiens -- and they continue to collaborate at that level
even when they log on to their computers and smartphones.    (014)

The Enterprise and Domain levels are essential for integrating computer
systems of any business or government.  But customers, suppliers, and
their computers interoperate with them at levels 2, 1, and 0.    (015)

The word 'universal' for the highest level is misleading -- because
no enterprise can make a profit without selling to customers, buying
from suppliers, and working with people at levels 2, 1, and 0.    (016)

Level 1 is still the level for Big Data, which is growing at a much
faster pace than level 2.  And you cannot begin to think about levels
3 and 4 until you have terminologies (underspecified) at level 2.    (017)

Please don't forget *people*.  They are more *universal* and important
than computers.  And the overwhelming majority are still at level 0,
even when they are -- so to speak -- "connected".    (018)

John    (019)

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