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Re: [ontolog-forum] master data vs. ontologies

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 12:53:53 -0500
Message-id: <54E62331.6030503@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Tom and David,    (01)

> And I don't want to use "knowledge base" in that "union" sense
> of the term if there is already a well-established accepted use
> which differs from that.
> Perhaps John can enlighten us.    (02)

Thanks for your trust in my opinion on this point.    (03)

But I agree with Wittgenstein about the open-ended variety
of language games that can be played with any vocabulary
-- even in fields as seemingly precise as mathematics
and computer science.    (04)

For examples, look at the slides about knowledge soup
(which is my term for the human "knowledge base"):
http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/soup_llr.pdf    (05)

Slides 3 and 4 show the wide range of uses for the word 'chair'.
That's one of the most common words in English.    (06)

But look at slide 3 for 'number', which is the most fundamental
word in mathematics.  That slide adds the following observations:    (07)

> Concepts in science and mathematics grow and change.
> Consider the evolution in the basic terms of physics during
> the past century:  mass, energy, force, momentum, space, time,
> gravity, light, heat.
> Engineers often use different definitions of those terms for
> different components of the same system.    (08)

Slides 8 and 9 generalize those observations and apply them to
other areas, including computer science.  Slide 18 cites related
readings for more detail.    (09)

> MD may be...    (010)

Your lists of "language games" with 'MD' and 'MDM' are similar
to my examples for the words 'chair', 'number', etc.    (011)

Re Wikipedia:  Since it can be edited by anybody and everybody,
I use it for quick information.  But for anything important, I
always do more digging.  For the word 'ontology', as used in
DBs and KBs, their definition is not bad:    (012)

> In computer science and information science, an ontology is
> a formal naming and definition of the types, properties, and
> interrelationships of the entities that really or fundamentally
> exist for a particular domain of discourse.  It is thus a
> practical application of philosophical ontology, with a taxonomy.    (013)

But the phrase "really or fundamentally exist for a particular
domain of discourse" is confusing and inaccurate.  I would replace
it with "are assumed to exist in a particular domain".    (014)

I'd raise similar issues about many of the other points in it.    (015)

John    (016)

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