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Re: [ontolog-forum] API4KB and diverse ontologies

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2013 01:15:48 -0400
Message-id: <51CE6D84.8040306@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Elisa and Benjamin,    (01)

When I hear something like that, alarm bells go off in my head:    (02)

> One of the primary goals of the APIs is to provide standard interfaces
> for constructing hybrid reasoning systems, so that
> classification-oriented reasoners can be incorporated in a standard way
> with enterprise quality rule engines, predictive analytics, data mining
> and other such capabilities to solve real world problems.    (03)

To build a hybrid system, you can't just take some random components
and hook them together with an API.  What you need is a systematic
*framework* -- which includes much, much more than just APIs.  And
it's premature to standardize any kind of framework until *after* you
have a string of successful applications that demonstrate its value.    (04)

Ed cited several companies that have designed products that combine
multiple components.  But those companies did not start with an API.
They started by building custom-designed *applications* in which they
developed software that used several different components.  After
building enough applications, they were able to abstract and
generalize the commonalities and design reusable APIs.  But they
also had more than just APIs.  They also had supporting tools
and a methodology for using them.    (05)

As just one example, look at UIMA.  The A is for *architecture*,
not *API*.  It does indeed have APIs, but those are part of
an architecture that includes tools and a methodology for linking
and coordinating multiple interacting components.  IBM demonstrated
the potential in that architecture by using it in the Watson system.    (06)

I'm not recommending UIMA as the ideal architecture, but I would
have more confidence in the API4KB project if they had discussed
it (and/or other architectures) -- either positively or negatively.    (07)

> I have a lot of experience with design and implementation of KB/KRR
> interoperability, which has been a major part of all the systems
> I've built and released since the mid 90s.    (08)

I'm glad that you pushed the button to send your note to the entire
Ontolog Forum.  That kind of experience is essential.    (09)

John    (010)

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