[Top] [All Lists]

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

To: Ed Lowry <eslowry@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:19:22 -0400
Message-id: <53FAB94A.2070002@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ed and Leo,    (01)

> Cyc ... expressed its knowledge in a formal language which
> was deficient on 7 simplicity-related leading edges compared
> with a language design distributed at IBM in 1973.    (02)

As you know, I was favorably impressed with your PROSE language
(Properties and Relations of Objects Simply Expressed) and the
software you developed to support it.  I have always believed
that we needed highly readable languages supported with tools
to integrate them with mainstream commercial software.    (03)

> I would propose translating the Cyc ontology into a better
> language, redeveloping the Cyc inferencing capabilities to
> exploit the simplicity, and seeing what improvement is made.    (04)

PROSE or something like it might have been a good step in the right
direction in 1991.  I believe that a PROSE-like notation that could
integrate procedural programming *and* logic programming *and* DBMS
might have been a winner -- it would have been like Java on steroids
with logic-based tools.    (05)

In 1991, Cyc was still a part of MCC, which had a group working
on advanced software development tools.  But the MCC structure
did not promote any collaboration between projects.  In any case,
Lenat wanted to do AI research, not software development.    (06)

> Cyc wandered in the wilderness... before eventually settling on a
> mostly first-order logic language, CycL. But this was fairly late.
> Lenat, Douglas; Ramanathan Guha. The Evolution of CycL, The Cyc
> Representation Language... SIGART Bulletin, June, 1991, pp. 84-87.    (07)

Since Cyc was founded in 1984, I would consider 1991 fairly early.
They have been using CycL for over 23 years.    (08)

Around that time, I urged Lenat to devote more effort to applications.
But he said that they had a limited amount of funding, and he wanted
to devote all the funds to research.  I tried to make the point that
application development would bring in more funding than it would
consume.  But he still believed that he needed to a bigger knowledge
base before he could begin to develop applications.    (09)

I don't know the details of why Lenat and Guha split.  Guha said that
the typical users needed a simpler subset of logic than CycL.  He went
to Apple, where he developed an early version of RDF, but he continued
to use a LISP-like notation.  In the late 1990s, Guha collaborated
with Tim Bray at Netscape on what became RDF.    (010)

John    (011)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J    (012)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>