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## Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives

 To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" "Bruce Schuman" Fri, 9 Aug 2013 08:43:19 -0700 <008001ce9517\$32c5e6e0\$9851b4a0\$@net>
 Good morning from Santa Barbara.  As a new member of this very interesting forum, thanks to all for being here. On this issue of “primitives” – my instinct is to go to the basic theory of concepts, and ask how any concept is defined or “constructed”.  For me, the answer is more or less found in the Aristotelian approach to definition, as described by John Sowa in slide 17 of http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/kdptut.pdf  -- a process which defines a “distinction within a genus”. When I look at systems defined by primitives – to my eye and understanding, these elements are usually not what I would call primitive – not fundamental – not truly “ontological”.  They are most often composite/holistic objects with a complex but undefined and implicit internal structure, that we are asked to take on faith, on the assumption that these “units” are somehow basic. I want to see an approach to primitives that constructs everything – every possible concept – from a simple fundamental algebraic process of “drawing a distinction”, as per the Aristotelian method. As I see it, the concept of “distinction” or differentiation is related to the fundamental mathematical concept of “cut” – as per the Dedekind Cut at the foundation of mathematics and the definition of continuity and the real number line.   From my point of view, we should be building our fundamental conceptual units from this foundation. As regards the “atoms/molecules” analogy – for me, the right approach is to look for a “fundamental particle”.  Even atoms are composite structures.  If we are going to take a bottom-up approach to constructing every possible cognitive unit, we need to build these units from something truly fundamental. In pursuit of this basic approach, I am developing a model of conceptual structure based on dimensionality and taxonomy that I call “synthetic dimensionality”.  I put a brief intro written for this list online:  http://sharedpurpose.net/groupdocs/introtoontolog.docx Thanks so much for this discussion. Bruce Schuman(805) 966-9515 Santa Barbara From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Patrick CassidySent: Thursday, August 08, 2013 8:30 PMTo: '[ontolog-forum] 'Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Case realtions as Practical Semantic Primitives - was Context and Inter-annotator agreement Gary,       On two points:[GB-C]`> He provided a highlight of work, but in that list I didn't see Fillmore's Case grammar,``which did have an important role in other part's of John's postings such as the``Verb Semantics Ontology project.  This might not provide ultimate primitives, but are`perhaps molecules of a deeper chemistry.    I have been tempted to refer to primitive concepts as “atoms” that build up “molecules” of meaning, but there are important differences that make the analogy misleading.  Many “primitive” concepts that are types within a hierarchy will be distinguished not by necessary and sufficient conditions (a logical “definition”), but only by necessary conditions.  This leaves a lot of potential instances unspecified, and differs from the fixed properties of atoms; I believe that is indeed the way people use the primitives – they are only as specific as necessary for particular communication tasks.  Perhaps even in the ‘atom’ analogy there can be some flexibility, since the isotopes of elements can have differing properties, but even that variability is much less than one sees with many conceptual primitives. [GB-C]`> Case relations may not be the final word, but they provide a``starting point for core meta-relations that can be used to develop canonical propositions.`     Yes, case relations are among the relations I believe are primitive, but they are still only a small part of the total number of primitive relations.    As my earlier note suggested, these hypotheses (however well motivated) need careful experimental testing to warrant strong assent, but the current trends in funding of NL research suggest that proper testing is still years in the future. Pat Patrick CassidyMICRA Inc.1-908-561-3416 From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Gary Berg-CrossSent: Thursday, August 08, 2013 3:47 PMTo: [ontolog-forum]Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Case realtions as Practical Semantic Primitives - was Context and Inter-annotator agreement `The Context and Inter-annotator agreement topic seems to have wound down, but along the``path of that discussion there was this idea of semantic primitives. `` John Sowa provied an historical  list of people who have addressed this seductively, common sense ``idea of selecting a small number of primitives for defining everything. It is, as he noted:``" one of the oldest in the history of philosophy,``logic, linguistics, and AI.  It can be traced back at least to 500 BC``with Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle. " ``He provided a highlight of work, but in that list I didn't see Fillmore's Case grammar,``which did have an important role in other part's of John's postings such as the``Verb Semantics Ontology project.  This might not provide ultimate primitives, but are``perhaps molecules of a deeper chemistry. Case relations may not be the final word, but they provide a``starting point for core meta-relations that can be used to develop canonical propositions.``As John noted, more research is needed but this is one tool that can be used for now.`` `` `Gary Berg-Cross, Ph.D.   NSF INTEROP Project  SOCoP Executive SecretaryKnowledge Strategies     Potomac, MD240-426-0770 On Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM, John F Sowa wrote:Pat,PC> The point at issue is whether all of the senses of a particular word> needed for language understanding can be included in a semantic lexicon.> My experience suggests that they can, even though new senses are being> developed all the time.  The new senses can also be included in the lexicon,> if they are important enough to warrant the effort.That claim is vague enough to cover all bases.  If you want a projectthat includes all word senses anyone considers important, I suggestWiktionary.  It has "3,476,017 entries with English definitions fromover 500 languages":    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Main_PageLarge numbers of people around are actively updating and extendingWiktionary.  When the number of senses is in the millions and growing,it seems hard to claim that there is any finite upper limit.PC> JFS seems to be saying that failure of some groups to achieve a goal means> that no amount of effort trying a related but different way can succeedMore precisely, the idea of selecting a small number of primitives fordefining everything is one of the oldest in the history of philosophy,logic, linguistics, and AI.  It can be traced back at least to 500 BCwith Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle.  For summaries and references,see http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/kdptut.pdf .Slides 13 to 18:  Aristotle's categories, definitions, and the Tree    of Porphyry for organizing them graphically.Slides 91 to 93:  Universal language schemes in the 17th and 18th    centuries.  John Wilkins developed the largest and most impressive    set of primitives (40 genera subdivided in 2030 species).  Wilkins    got help from other members to define 15,000 words in those terms.    For more information about these and other schemes, see references    by Knowlson (1975), Eco (1995), and Okrent (2009).Slides 94 to 97:  Ramon Llull's Great Art (Ars Magna), which included    Aristotle's categories, the Tree of Porphyry, rotating circles    for combining categories, and a methodology for using them to    answer questions.  Leibniz was inspired by Llull to encode the    primitive categories in prime numbers and use multiplication    to combine them and division to analyze them.Slide 98:  Leibniz's method generated a lattice.  For modern    lattice methods, see FCA and Ranganathan's facet classification.    Click on the URLs to see FCA lattices that are automatically    derived from WordNet and from Roget's Thesaurus.Slides 99 to 101:  Categories by Kant and Peirce.  A suggested    updated version of Wilkins' hierarchy that includes more    modern developments.Slides 102 to 107:  Issues about the possibility of ever having    a complete, consistent, and finished ontology of everything.For modern computational linguistics, the idea of selecting a setof primitives for defining everything was proposed and implementedin the late 1950s and early '60s:1961 International Conf. on Machine Translation.  See the table    of contents: http://www.mt-archive.info/NPL-1961-TOC.htm .    At that conference, Margaret Masterman proposed a list of 100    primitive concepts, which she used as the basis for lattices    that combine them in all possible ways.  Yorick Wilks worked    with Masterman and others at CLRU, and he continued to use    her list of primitives for his later work in NLP.  For the    list, see http://www.mt-archive.info/NPL-1961-Masterman.pdfTINLAP (three conferences on Theoretical Issues in Natural Language    Processing from 1975 to 1987).  The question of primitives was    the focus of these conferences.  Yorick Wilks was one of the    organizers.  Roger Schank (who also had a set of primitives for    defining action verbs) was prominent in them.  For summaries,    see http://www.aclweb.org/anthology-new/T/T78/T78-1000.pdf    and http://www.aclweb.org/anthology-new/T/T87/T87-1001.pdf .Anna Wierzbicka spent many years working on issues of selecting and    using a proposed set of primitives for defining words in multiple    languages.  From Wikipedia:  "She is especially known for Natural    Semantic Metalanguage, particularly the concept of semantic primes.    This is a research agenda resembling Leibniz's original "alphabet    of human thought", which Wierzbicka credits her colleague, linguist    Andrzej Bogusławski, with reviving in the late 1960s."  Many people    tried to use her "semantic primes" in computational linguistics,    but none of those projects were successful.I never said "No amount of effort trying a related but different waycan succeed."  In fact, I have been proposing and *using* relatedmethods, but I always insist on keeping all options open.There is no evidence that a fixed set exists, and an overwhelmingamount of evidence that Zipf's Law holds:  there is an extremely longtail to the distribution of word senses.  But if you keep your optionsopen and *if* a fixed set of primitives is sufficient, then you willdiscover that set.  That is my recommended strategy.> So the statistical approach has become vastly more funded than> the ontological/analytical.I certainly agree with you that a deeper analysis with ontologies andrelated lexical resources is essential for NL understanding.  I believethat statistical methods are useful as a *supplement* to the deepermethods.   At VivoMind Research, we use *both*, but the emphasis ison a syntactic and semantic analysis by symbolic methods.> the current strong emphasis on the statistical approach is, I believe> retarding progress by failing to develop even the most basic resources> needed for the analytical stage 2 function.I wholeheartedly agree.  But from a selfish point of view, that givesus a competitive advantage.  We got a contract with the US Dept. ofEnergy based on a competition with a dozen groups that used theirfavorite methods of NLP.For the test, all competitors were asked to extract certain kinds ofdata from a set of research reports and present the results in a table.The scores were determined by the number of correct answers.  Our scorewas 96%.  The next best was 73%.  Third best was above 50%, and all therest were below 50%.For analyzing the documents, we used very general lexical resourcesand a fairly simple general ontology.  But we supplemented it witha detailed ontology that was specialized for chemical compounds,chemical formulas, and the related details of interest.For an example of a spreadsheet with the results, see slides 49 & 50of http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/relating.pdf .John_________________________________________________________________Message Archives: 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 Current Thread Re: [ontolog-forum] Case realtions as Practical Semantic Primitives - was Context and Inter-annotator agreement, Gary Berg-Cross Re: [ontolog-forum] Case realtions as Practical Semantic Primitives - was Context and Inter-annotator agreement, Obrst, Leo J. Re: [ontolog-forum] Case realtions as Practical Semantic Primitives - was Context and Inter-annotator agreement, Patrick Cassidy Message not available Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives, Bruce Schuman <= Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives, Obrst, Leo J. Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives, John F Sowa Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives, Patrick Cassidy Message not availableRe: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives, Bruce Schuman Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives, Gary Berg-Cross Message not availableRe: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives, Bruce Schuman Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives, Gary Berg-Cross Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives, Phil Murray Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives, classification, henson graves Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives, classification, William Frank