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Re: [ontolog-forum] What is the role of an upper level ontology?

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 11:04:44 -0400
Message-id: <bedb3fc64da2cb9ef335e8d085e37a65.squirrel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Sat, May 18, 2013 21:11, Hans Polzer wrote:    (01)

> The key point is that the context and associated frame(s) of reference
> used to specify identity should be made explicit
> (in-line or via indirection to some source specifying said context
> parameters).  The NCOIC has developed a
> set of net centric principles, one of which, "entity primacy", grapples
> directly with this identity issue.
> Several of the other principles also deal
> with this identity issue in a supporting fashion (like "explicitness").
> Entity primacy is a bit of a somewhat intentional misnomer. It is intended
> to force people to consider that however they might identify/name    (02)

The "identity" which we have been discussing is not the name/label
attached to an entity, but the conceptual boundaries of that entity.    (03)

> some entity, at whatever level of specificity or atomicity,    (04)

This "specificity or atomicity" of the entity is what we are discussing.    (05)

> other people/institutions in other contexts may use
> some other identity for the same entity.    (06)

Here, by "identity", you seem to mean "label".  That is a different
subject.    (07)

> Entity primacy is worded this way to set it off from
> "collective primacy", the usual way that entities are identified
> (e.g., name, SSN, Passport number, ...). Put differently,
> any entity has a multiplicity of identities, ...    (08)

Let's call this a multiplicity of "identifiers" or "labels", since the
use of the term "identities" conflicts with what we have been
discussing.    (09)

> The point is that the entity has existence
> independent of the collective context in which it is identified -    (010)

Certainly.    (011)

> hence "entity primacy".    (012)

Which still leaves the question of identifying the boundaries of that
entity.  Different contexts/purposes are interested in some of the
boundaries and are not concerned with others.    (013)

> Unfortunately, many information system contexts treat the
> identity
> they assign to entities as the only operable
> identity.
"label"    (014)

You bring up interesting points, but it seems to me that they belong to
a different discussion:  Entities can have multiple labels of different
types, with specific labels/label types being important in different
contexts.  This suggests that specifying the contexts for various
labels and label types is useful.  It also suggests that a term should
accept multiple labels and that information about something can
be accumulated by accumulating information specified using different
labels, so long as they can be determined to refer to the "same"
entity.  Of course, care should be taken because many labels are
not unique outside a narrow context (e.g., in a family, a given
name may be unique, while in a small town, the given name must
be paired with something else (family name, occupation, place
of origin, residence name, ...) to become a unique label;  however,
in a broader context, many such pairings are not unique and some
other label is needed to ensure a unique identifier.    (015)

-- doug f    (016)

> ...    (017)

> Hans    (018)

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