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Re: [ontolog-forum] [ontology-summit] Ontology Summit 2015 Theme

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Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2014 11:54:18 -0500
Message-id: <546633BA.30903@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Folks,    (01)

I don't disagree with any of your points, but I'd like to put them
(and the related R & D on ontology) in perspective.    (02)

I dusted off the proceedings from a workshop in 1980, which brought
together researchers in AI, databases, and programming languages.
http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=800227&picked=prox&cfid=599076166&cftoken=73172702    (03)

Some notables and their papers (in alphabetical order):    (04)

Jaime Carbonell, "Default reasoning and inheritance mechanisms
    on type hierarchies"
Ted Codd, "Data models in database management"
Pat Hayes & Gary Hendrix, "A logical view of types"
Ray Reiter, "Databases:  A logical perspective"
John Sowa "A conceptual schema for knowledge based systems"
Jim Thatcher, "Data abstraction, databases, and conceptual modeling"    (05)

Reiter emphasized logic, including his work on nonmonotonic logic
and the open and closed world assumptions (OWA and CWA).    (06)

Thatcher discussed his collaboration with Joseph Goguen on using
logic and category theory to specify abstract data types.  The
recent draft of the OntoIOP standard is based on related ideas.    (07)

Codd's data models are indistinguishable from formal ontologies:    (08)

> A data model is a combination of three components:
>  1. a collection of data structure types (the building blocks
>     of any database that conforms to the model):
>  2. a collection of operators or inference rules, which can be
>     applied to any valid instances of the data types listed
>     in (1) to retrieve or derive data from any parts of these
>     structures in any combinations desired;
>  3. a collection of general integrity rules, which implicitly or
>     explicitly define the set of consistent database states or
>     changes of state or both -- these rules may sometimes be
>     expressed as insert-update-delete rules.    (09)

Codd's definition of type is consistent with the definitions by
all the others cited above (and probably those I did not cite):
a unary predicate.  But various authors discussed issues about how
to analyze a subject to determine the types and how to specify the
operations, rules (axioms), and methods of reasoning and computation
that use those types.    (010)

As Pat mentioned in some notes to Ontolog Forum, he's discouraged
by the glacial pace of progress in the past 34 years.  I believe
that the analogy with glaciers is especially relevant, since they
have *retreated* since 1980.  Goguen made similar observations in
a review article that I strongly recommend:
http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~goguen/pps/tcs97.pdf    (011)

Excerpt by Goguen: "... computer science is increasingly seen
as marginal to its applications, and this is particularly true
of theoretical computer science."    (012)

Goguen also said "The relevance of [the sociology of computing]
to user interface design and team management is clear, but I will
argue in Section 3 that it also has a much broader relevance to
computing."    (013)

I came across an article about "Heidegger's Marketing Secrets",
which makes some points that Goguen would probably agree with:    (014)

http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/185129-heideggers-marketing-secrets-what-german-philosophers-know-about-selling-tvs    (015)

Two major clients of ReD Associates, a consulting company, are
Samsung and Lego.  Samsung executives considered electronics
as their business.  But ReD noticed that women usually make the
final decision in buying a TV.  They were more concerned about
the way the TV looks when it's turned off.  In effect, the
customers thought of a TV as furniture, not electronics.    (016)

To compete with video games, Lego was thinking of "dumbing down"
their sets.  But ReD found that Lego enthusiasts wanted *more*
challenge, not less.    (017)

ReD emphasizes interpretation (hermeneutics) not statistics.  In
hiring consultants, they don't look for MBAs, engineers, or data
miners.  They look for people "mostly out of graduate programs in
sociology, philosophy, political science, history, and anthropology."    (018)

When they mention "philosophy", they definitely do *not* mean the
kind of formal ontology that puts everything in a rigid hierarchy.
An ontology that classified a TV as an electronic device would
discourage (some would prohibit) a reclassification as furniture.    (019)

And by the way, I'll be discussing some of these issues in a talk
next week for the Mexican AI conference.  I'm still making slides,
but I wrote a short paper that accompanies the talk:    (020)

Title:  "Why has AI failed?  And how can it succeed?"    (021)

John    (022)

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