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Re: [ontolog-forum] Discussion re reasoning about Time and State with RE

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:05:53 -0400
Message-id: <53F5EEB1.90109@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Ed and Matthew,    (01)

> There is no good model for all problems.    (02)

That is the understatement of the year.    (03)

I would add that even for a single project -- say designing
an airplane, a house, or a computer -- there are a huge number
of problems that require different models.  And those models
are *rarely, if ever* consistent with one another when you
get down to the grubby details of each.    (04)

> The important thing to take from this is not that it is too
> difficult, but that you need to think about how time relates
> to the requirements you are trying to meet, and make sure
> you have a model that is fit for purpose. A particularly bad
> approach is to start with a current state model and then try
> to add change, history and time later.    (05)

For any particular model, that's true.  But note that even for
designing a house (a typical one-family home), there are a large
number of different models.  All of them have to be consistent
(to a good approximation) with the map drawn up by the surveyor
and the blueprints drawn up by the architect.    (06)

But all the subcontractors come with their own models (usually
mental):  plumbers, electricians, carpenters, landscapers,
excavators, etc.  Try discussing identity conditions with them.
A blank stare is preferable to some remarks they might make.    (07)

Now multiply those issues by thousands, if you're trying to
design a Boeing 787 or Airbus 380.  It's no wonder that those
projects weren't finished on time and within budget.    (08)

By the way, I attended a talk last week about data mining in
bioinformatics.  The speaker said that he talked with many of
the physicians at a large, modern hospital.  None of them had
heard anything about ontology or the related terms that we
kick around on this list.    (09)

If they happen to choose a formally defined term from a menu,
what is the likelihood that their intended use is consistent
with the formal definition?    (010)

John    (011)

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