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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 16:29:56 -0400
Message-id: <51CF43C4.3060109@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ray,    (01)

Thanks for going into more detail about Apache Stanbol.  I followed
some of those links to explore the various components, their design,
and their APIs.    (02)

> As one attempts to produce a system, one realizes that one will
> be thousands of years old if one produces all components by one's
> lonesome.  So, one attempts to use ideas and accomplishments of others
> - Stanbol, API4KB, etc, etc    (03)

I have no quarrels with that point.  But the main question is what
kind of platform do you intend to build on?    (04)

If all you have are APIs, you have some specifications, but no
implementations.  Stanbol is a complete system that implemented
tools and components that support many APIs at different levels.
Unless you have a large team of implementers, you need *software*,
not a bunch of spec's.    (05)

The front page of the Stanbol site said that their results are
exported in three very limited formats:  RDF, JSON, and JSON-LD.
But when you dig into their system, they have many different
APIs for linking many different reasoning components, most of
which are developed by other projects.  For each of those
components, Stanbol has to use APIs that are provided by
those components.    (06)

So that might be a useful base to start from.  But there are
many other useful bases.  The biggest of all is Cyc, which has
over a person-millennia of work behind it.  But I doubt that
many, if any, of their APIs are shared with Stanbol or API4KB.    (07)

Another very large base is IBM's Watson, which uses the UIMA
architecture, representations, and APIs.  IBM is licensing Watson
for various purposes, for which it might be very useful.  But I
doubt that it would share many APIs with Stanbol or with API4KB.    (08)

A historically important system, whose basic design is still sound,
is Ontolingua.  Following is a report by Tom Gruber from 1993:    (09)

    A translation approach to portable ontology specifications    (010)

The translation approach was the consensus of a large group
of AI experts who gathered together in a loose collaboration
called SRKB (Shared Reusable Knowledge Bases).  The founding
meeting was in 1991, and several projects came out of it:
KIF, KQML, and Ontolingua among them.  For a summary of the
translation approach, look at Fig 1 (p. 7) and Fig 2 (p. 16)
of Tom G's article.    (011)

Other projects were strongly influenced by SRKB, including UMLS
and Protege.  Another influence was the collaboration between
KIF (Genesereth & Fikes), CGs (Harry Delugach, me, and several
others), and several different NCITS committees. That eventually
led to the Common Logic standard in 2007.    (012)

The translation approach was also the foundation for SWeLL -- the
very general and expressive logic in Tim B-L's proposal of Feb. 2000:    (013)

    http://www.w3.org/2000/01/sw/DevelopmentProposal    (014)

In that document, search for every occurrence of 'swell'.  That
leads to the original Semantic Web "layer cake", which I believe is
an *improvement* on its successors.  Just below that layer cake,    (015)

Tim B-L
> The Semantic Web, then, will serve as an interchange "bus" for on-line data.
> In effect, it will allow any web software to read and manipulate data 
> by any other web software. SWeLL will enable this interchange. The pairing of
> simple, predictable, reliable systems with complex, unpredictable, heuristic
> systems is one of the novel possibilities opened by the Semantic Web.    (016)

This is a clear, concise statement of the translation approach. It is
consistent with the consensus of the SRKB project, which was implemented
in Ontolingua and other projects.    (017)

Pat Hayes participated in the SRKB project, the Common Logic project,
and the early work on the SW.  He worked with Guha to produce the LBase
specification, which is compatible with Tim B-L's proposal for SWeLL.    (018)

If LBase had been adopted in 2003 along the lines that Tim B-L had
proposed for SWeLL, we wouldn't have any of these debates today.    (019)

John    (020)

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