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Re: [ontolog-forum] Exchange of notes by Zadeh & Suppes

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: conrad.bock@xxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2014 15:13:29 -0400
Message-id: <5325F7D9.6010303@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Bruce and Conrad,    (01)

I agree with Bruce's point:    (02)

On 3/16/2014 9:53 AM, Bruce Schuman wrote:
> Any model is defined for a purpose, and involves selecting aspects
> of something pertinent to that purpose.  So we have to ask, "Why are
> THOSE aspects pertinent in this context, and those not?"  It's a matter
> of ad hoc choice, and essentially makes the definition stipulative.    (03)

And thanks to Conrad for the following article:    (04)

On 3/6/2014 11:37 AM, Bock, Conrad wrote:
> This is from a OMG-related community, approaching similar problems...
> http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10270-010-0172-x    (05)

 From the abstract of the article, "Modeling Modeling Modeling"
> At the heart of modeling, there is a relation that we establish to
> represent something by something else. In this paper we review
> various definitions of models and relations between them.    (06)

 From page 1
> Rothenberg:  “It is widely recognized that the purpose of a model
> must be understood before the model can be discussed”.    (07)

Yes!  Purpose is always an answer to the question "Why?"  It should be
the first question to ask about any project to do anything.  Questions
about how, what, when, where, and who are irrelevant without a good
answer to the question why.    (08)

p. 2
> Bézivin:  “A model is a simplification of a system built with an
> intended goal in mind. The model should be able to answer questions
> in place of the actual system.”
> Brown:  “Models provide abstractions of a physical system that allow
> engineers to reason about that system by ignoring extraneous details
> while focusing on the relevant ones.”    (09)

Yes.  Models -- *and* any ontologies derived from them -- are always
simplifications and abstractions that eliminate extraneous details.    (010)

But what is extraneous for one application (purpose) may be critical
to another.  About a century ago, one engineer "proved" that it was
impossible for anything to move faster than the speed of sound.    (011)

But it turned out that his so-called proof was based on equations
derived from a model based on the approximation that all velocities
were much less than the speed of sound.    (012)

Also from p. 2
> According to Stachowiak a model needs to posses the following
> three features:
>   – Mapping feature: A model is based on an original.
>   – Reduction feature: A model only reflects a (relevant) selection
>     of an original’s properties
>   – Pragmatic feature: A model needs to be usable in place of an
>     original with respect to some purpose.    (013)

Two points:    (014)

  1. This definition is almost identical to Peirce's definition of the
     word 'sign'.  In fact, CSP would say that every model is a kind
     of sign.    (015)

  2. But I would generalize the word 'original'.  An engineering model
     is usually designed, analyzed, tested, and revised before the
     object is built.  In fact, it may go through multiple iterations.    (016)

p. 4
> Intentional modeling answers questions such as who and why, not what.
> The intention of a thing thus represents the reason why someone would
> be using that thing, in which context, and what are the expectations
> vs. that thing.    (017)

My only change would be to delete the word 'intentional'.  Similar
things can arise from similar causes.  But every model of something
is always the result of some intention.  Even when you choose some
previously existing thing *as* a model, that choice is intentional.    (018)

John    (019)

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