While I understand your desire to promote Controlled Natural Languages
like Tala, I think it important that folks who haven't delved into Cyc
realize that the formal logic expressed in CycL also can be viewed in
a controlled subset of English that is derived from, and is an
alternate form of the same logical expressions. (02)
I am a strong advocate of CNLs, as most of the long-term Ontolog
readers know, but I also want the system to be usable to support
existing computer systems (my personal experience is in Medical
Informatics), and support drawing conclusions and collecting data
usable in quality reporting. (03)
On Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 7:45 AM, Philip Jackson
> [corrected typo]
> John, Ed, and Leo,
> Although my thesis did not discuss ontological questions in general, I
> would propose following the thesis approach to represent ontologies: Use an
> artificial language, such as Tala, based on the syntax of a natural language
> such as English, to represent ontological information in general. Use other
> formal languages and notations to represent ontological information as
> appropriate in various domains.
> This supports a point made earlier in this thread by Ed and John, that no
> single model (or language) is adequate for representing all ontological
> Thesis information:
>> Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:19:22 -0400
>> From: sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx
>> To: eslowry@xxxxxxxxxxxx; ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Discussion re reasoning about Time and State
>> with REST interfaces
>> Ed and Leo,
>> > 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.
>> 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.
>> > 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.
>> 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.
>> 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.
>> > 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.
>> Since Cyc was founded in 1984, I would consider 1991 fairly early.
>> They have been using CycL for over 23 years.
>> 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.
>> 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.
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