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[ontolog-forum] Semantics for interoperable systems

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 12:16:43 -0500
Message-id: <54EA0EFB.8060907@xxxxxxxxxxx>
I'm continuing to add more references and commentary to the web page
on "Semantics for interoperable systems": http://www.jfsowa.com/ikl/    (01)

Following is a slightly edited version of some offline comments
and my responses to them.    (02)

I appreciate all comments -- pro or con, online or offline.    (03)

John    (04)

-------- Forwarded Message --------    (05)

> I don't read logic texts.  Most are either too simple
> or too intense for casual reading.    (06)

I admit that research texts often obscure the issues in a thick
cloud of jargon.  But in the selections on that web page, I tried
to find texts written by experts that are mostly readable at the
level of a Scientific American article.  Later sections have to
dig into details, but it's possible to read the opening sections
for an overview of the problems, issues, and approaches.    (07)

> I don't know how such a survey would relate to histories of
> notation standardization efforts, which seem to figure heavily
> in your outline    (08)

As the title says, they emphasize semantics.  Every logic requires
some notation, but the semantic issues are independent of notation:    (09)

  1. Look at John McCarthy's article "From here to human-level AI".
     He wrote it in 2007 as a summary of his whole career, and it's
     as close to jargon-free and notation-free as he could make it:
     http://www.jfsowa.com/ikl/McCarthy07    (010)

  2. From the earliest days, the conceptual schema work focused
     on notation-independent issues.  Look at Appendix A of the
     NIAM report, http://www.jfsowa.com/ikl/SILC95.pdf :
       a) Page 30 starts with a short example stated in English.
       b) The analysis stage expands it to 37 numbered, but complex
          English sentences.  (pp. 31 and 32).
       c) pp. 33 to 50 produce diagrams, rules, and tables in
          English.  They require some training to learn the
          methodology, but no training to read the results.
       d) pp. 51 to 55 expand the complex English sentences to
          simple sentences and phrases and put them in a diagram
          that's easy to read.
       e) pp. 56 to 102 map the results to detailed, but still
          readable specifications.    (011)

  3. The Semantic Web texts cited in Section 1 assume XML as the
     base notation, but the goal is to support everything in any
     notation.  More recent publications use more readable versions
     for human use and equivalent computable versions (in JSON, for
     example) that are independent of XML.    (012)

  4. The Common Logic standard is stated in an abstract syntax
     that is notation independent.  The three annexes specify
     concrete grammars for CLIF, CGIF, and XCL.  But the
     standard *encourages* the development of linear and graphic
     dialects that map to and from the CL abstract syntax or
     some well-defined subset of it.    (013)

Section 4 of that web page (which I am still extending with more
material) emphasizes the open-ended diversity of computer systems
and the need for better human-oriented interfaces and methodologies
for designing and developing them.    (014)

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