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

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 16:16:06 -0400
Message-id: <51CB4C06.2030506@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ed,    (01)

I think that we both agree on the general principles.    (02)

As I said in my previous note, I liked the API4KB slides from 2012
because they gave a few examples of working systems.  They talked
about gathering use-cases.  That's a important prerequisite.    (03)

But the API4KB wiki and the slides from March 2013 do not cite any
examples of working systems or any use cases of any kind -- either
derived from working systems or from Gedanken experiments.  That is
a sign of a *research* proposal, not a candidate for a standard.    (04)

> A major issue is converting ontologies so that they can be used
> by reasoners appropriate to a problem (InterIOP).    (05)

I'm well aware of Interiop, since I've called in for most of
their telecons.  I'm not objecting to that approach.  It's not
easy, but at least they have a working prototype and some well
defined goals.    (06)

> 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).    (07)

I agree.  But the API4KB slides showed that they were ignoring some
fundamental problems.  I'll repeat an excerpt from my previous note:    (08)

> 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)    (09)

The underlying semantics and pragmatics in these four kinds of systems
are represented and used in radically different ways.  There are working
examples of systems of these four kinds that have *started* with some
common ontology.  That kind of sharing can be and has been done.    (010)

There are also examples of systems that been built from scratch to
be compatible with the semantics of previously implemented systems.
That is called *legacy re-engineering*.  It's not easy, but it
can be and has been done.    (011)

But we have *zero* examples of independently developed systems of
these four kinds that have successfully extracted their implicit
ontology and shared it a form that could be used by the others.    (012)

> So let's not cut the sapling down...    (013)

I've never seen and would never attempt to cut down a *sapling* --
i.e., a working prototype -- that enabled semantic sharing among
independently developed systems of each of those four types.    (014)

As I said, API4KB would be a reasonable research proposal, but
without even a *seedling*, it's not a candidate for a standard.    (015)

John    (016)

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