I would like to see more focus and discussion on how ontologies are
developed and used in Watson and Google to support their processes.
These seem to be the most promising technologies for applying machines
to real human problems related to understanding the world around us.
How are ontologists being incorporated into projects involving these
How are universities preparing students to work on these projects?
How is Ontolology being incorporated into core Computer Science programs? (03)
The discussion about Schema.org was very interesting. It led me to
follow up and I think that I learned about something that may be useful
to me. (04)
On 18/02/2014 9:11 AM, John F Sowa wrote:
> John M, Henson, et al.,
> Ontolog Forum is not a philosophy debating group. All (or
> at least most) of us are participating as *engineers*, whose
> goal is to build something useful. Without appropriate tools,
> no ontology -- no matter how good -- can help us.
> I chose the above subject line to tie together several threads
> that have touched on these issues without clearly stating them.
> In the thread "What is the difference re Data Dictionary,
> Ontology, and Vocabulary?" I cited some slides from an
> introduction to ontology, starting with Aristotle:
> John McClure responded:
>> Tremendously useful/insightful slides, thank you John...
>> I wish there were ontologies which track to these (age-old)
>> classifications, encodings of core conceptualization(s),
>> the same ones the knowledge industry is stumbling towards
>> recreating (in an intensely inefficient manner).
> I often said that Aristotle's ten categories are as good or
> better than most of the upper-level ontologies that have been
> proposed for applied ontology. But all that philosophical
> thinking and writing, by itself, didn't produce anything that
> people who have a day job found useful to do their work.
> But note the slides toward the end: Slide 27 on Ramon Lull's
> rotating circles, the encodings and calculating machines by
> Leibniz (slides 28-30), and John Venn's diagrams as tools for
> streamlining Aristotle's syllogisms (slides 31-34).
> Those are tools that make ontologies more usable. Modern computers
> enable us to make even better tools. In Ontolog Forum, I mentioned
> Cyc almost as often as I mention Aristotle. But as we know, Cyc is
> still a small niche system.
> My guess about why Cyc has not become as successful as Lenat & Co. had
> hoped is that they focused on tools for building *ontologies*, not on
> tools for building *applications*. We need both.
> Henson G in the thread "Where UML models fit" wrote:
>> UML and SysML models are commonly used in engineering for both
>> representation, i.e., description of some part of the physical world
>> and as specifications for things to be built, as well as for reasoning.
> Yes. As Henson has shown, UML diagrams can be specified as a version
> of logic (in fUML). But even without a formal spec, they have been
> integrated with widely used tools for building applications.
> Medical informatics is a major application for Cyc. The Cleveland
> Clinic is their premiere example. One of the people there said that
> the biggest problem with Cyc is the "huge disconnect" between the
> tools for Cyc and the tools for their software applications.
> Just imagine how things might have developed if Guha -- who had been
> the associate director of Cyc and later the chief designer of RDF --
> had adopted UML in the mid 1990s.
> Guha said that the reason why he designed RDF is that CycL was too
> difficult for most users. I agree with him. But software developers
> in the 1990s were happily using UML diagrams. The UML notations,
> tools, and methodologies can support
> 1. Type hierarchies (the backbone of every ontology),
> 2. ER diagrams (logical signatures and cardinality constraints),
> 3. Activity diagrams (links between the logic and the procedures),
> 4. Controlled natural languages (more readable than OCL for stating
> rules and constraints that go beyond #1, #2, and #3).
> I admit that I'm making these criticisms with 20-20 hindsight.
> In fact, I blame myself even more than I blame Guha or anybody else
> -- because in the mid 1990s I was participating in ISO working
> groups on standards for a conceptual schema (i.e., ontology).
> At that time, I was proposing logic as the foundation. If I had
> proposed UML and points #1, #2, #3, #4 defined in FOL, an ISO standard
> for ontology (AKA conceptual schema) might be mainstream IT today.
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