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Re: [ontolog-forum] API4KB and diverse ontologies (was: RDF and XML)

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "ontology@xxxxxxx" <ontology@xxxxxxx>
From: "Barkmeyer, Edward J" <edward.barkmeyer@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 12:18:19 -0400
Message-id: <63955B982BF1854C96302E6A5908234417E21700BA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Viable or no, the API4KB and the InterIOP projects are the work of people who 
are seriously interested in dealing with the problem of useful ontologies in 
different forms and reasoning systems with different skills.  A major issue is 
converting ontologies so that they can be used by reasoners appropriate to a 
problem (InterIOP).  A related issue is access to information that is 
maintained in or can be inferred from a knowledge base without having to know 
what the stored form and technology is (API4KB).  Both of these projects are 
about taking 'linked ontologies' beyond 'linked RDF triple stores' and SPARQL 
as the universal query language.  

If I need to know whether a snark with three specified additional properties is 
a Boojum, and some service can tell me that, I should not care whether that 
service is a tableaux reasoner with an OWL repository or a production rules 
engine with a JDBC link to some relational database.  But I do need to know how 
to query it, and that is what API4KB is about.  

The InterIOP problem is related:  How to make it possible for a reasoner to 
work with a distributed ontology whose modules may not all be in the same 
language, and how to work with other reasoners to obtain relevant axioms in a 
form the primary reasoner can use.

Obviously there are limits on the feasibility of these projects.  Where the 
limitations lie is about the scope of the proposed standard, when there is one, 
not about the possible scope of the projects.  And it is my impression that 
these projects are being led by people respected in the knowledge engineering 
community generally, who come with the formal background needed to address the 
theoretical problems as well as the practical ones.

By their fruits shall ye know them.  So let's not cut  the sapling down just 
because we know that it is not possible for it to bear the watermelons we read 
into its description.
If you think your principles may be valuable to the work, I recommend your 
participation in the projects.


Edward J. Barkmeyer                     Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Systems Integration Division, Engineering Laboratory
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8265             Work:   +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8265         Mobile: +1 240-672-5800

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-

> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F Sowa

> Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 6:02 PM

> To: '[ontolog-forum] '

> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] RDF and XML


> Following is a note to the OOR list.  But the general principles are also

> relevant to this thread on Ontolog Forum.


> John


> -------- Original Message --------

> Subject: Re: [oor-forum] OOR Team Meeting

> Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2013 14:19:12 -0400

> From: John F Sowa

> To: oor-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


> On 6/25/2013 9:55 AM, kenb wrote:

> > Davide Sottara presented API4KB at an Ontolog meeting last year.  See

> >

> > http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?ConferenceCall_2012_11_08#nid3

> > HJO

> >

> > The slides are at

> >

> > http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/work/OntologyBasedStandards/2012-11-

> 08_On

> > tology-based-Standards-II/API4KB_API-for-Complex-Knowledge-Bases--

> Davi

> > deSottara_20121108.pdf


> Thanks for the references.  I did not listen to the audio, but I compared

> Sottara's slides from 2012 (URL above) to his slides from an OMG

> presentation in March 2013:


> http://www.omgwiki.org/API4KB/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=api4kb-sottara-

> 20130321.pdf


> I must say that I preferred the older slides.  They discussed the problems 

> challenges of trying to get heterogeneous KBs to interoperate.  And they

> showed that the problems are nontrivial.


> But the 2013 slides focused on proposed solutions, which I seriously doubt

> are workable.  Slide #2 makes a very bad assumption:


> > Problem:  Provide uniform access to Knowledge Bases


> If you attempt to provide uniform access to heterogeneous KBs that were

> designed for different purposes, assumptions, and levels of granularity, you

> will get garbage.  Just look at slide #3:


> > Composite KBs :

> > ● Ontologies (T-box + A-box)

> > ● Rulebases (Rules + Facts)

> > ● Predictive Models (Models + Datasets) ● Business Processes

> > (Processes + Instances)


> If the same group developed all four KBs on the same subject, they would

> probably be compatible -- and they could probably use and reuse much or all

> of the same ontology.  But if four different groups developed four such KBs

> on the same general topic, I would bet that


>   1. They could interoperate with a very vague upper-level, such

>      as the extremely underspecified Schema.org.


>   2. But any reasoning done at a more detailed level in any of those

>      four KBs would not be consistent with similar reasoning at a similar

>      level of detail in any of the others.


>   3. However, it would be possible for general *results* of an inference

>      performed in one of the four KBs to be exported for use by another

>      KB.  Example:  one of the KBs might use special-purpose techniques

>      to locate addresses based on limited info about a person.  That KB

>      could export the resulting address without being able to share most

>      of its internal knowledge or its methods of reasoning.


> Slide 5 shows an attempt to micromanage the reasoning process:


> > API Categories

> > ● Parsing & Translation

> > ● KB Construction

> > ● Query

> > ● Reasoning

> > ● Meta


> First of all, parsing and translation depend on low-level syntactic details.  

> knowledge sharing should be independent of syntax.


> For the other four points, just consider a merger between two banks, both

> of which use SQL databases, have similar kinds of clients, and have similar

> kinds of accounts.


> Many bank mergers have occurred during the past 20 years or so, but

> *none* of them merged their databases.  In every case, they continued to

> run both DBs indefinitely -- and transfers from one DB to another of the

> merged bank were processed *as if* they were going to and from

> independent banks.


> If you can't depend on knowledge sharing among SQL DBs that are owned

> and operated by the same organization, can you seriously believe that

> sharing among more complex KBs would be easier?


> Just imagine trying to share anything at a detailed level between Cyc,

> Watson, SUMO, and the Rulelog system that Benjamin Grosof discussed last

> week.


> Kinds of knowledge that could be shared:


>   1. The results of reasoning expressed as low-level facts

>      (i.e., something closer to RDF than to OWL).


>   2. Underspecified definitions at the level of Schema.org.


>   3. More general information that was derived by some fairly

>      complex process, such as Formal Concept Analysis (FCA)

>      or the kinds of techniques that are being developed by

>      the Ontoiop project.


> In all three cases, the *results* of some extended processing are being

> shared -- not the details of the original sources or methods.


> John


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