[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontology-summit] who cares about the definition of ontology?

To: Ontology Summit 2007 Forum <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Lisa <lisadawncolvin@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2007 19:33:19 -0800 (PST)
Message-id: <622657.67036.qm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

--- Tom Gruber <onto@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:    (01)

> Did I get your attention?  :-)    (02)

Yes! I was wondering if Clay Shirky was lurking. :)    (03)

> If we start here we can get on to the important business of talking about what
> kinds of specifications (or formalisms, if that is your medium) are better
> than others for which purposes.  For knowledge sharing, the specification
> can be evaluated on the basis of its properties as an interface (minimality,
> context independence, etc).   For encoding knowledge for reuse, one could
> apply the same criteria with the added advantage of lots of real examples
> where a concept in a real theory needs to be said and a specification
> formalism can or cannot say it.      (04)

This is a great way to start describing the continuity of ontology-like 
systems.     (05)

The concept of "ontologies" has been riding the hype curve for some time now. 
As a result, people
in a variety of disciplines want to know what they are and how they are useful.     (06)

In the information architecture world, I see some people equate taxonomies only 
as browsable
structures that are used to index documents to facilitate search. In their 
world, any hierarchical
classification scheme where an element can have multiple parents, is called an 
ontology. Because
they relate ontologies to indexing and search findability, the comparison to 
folksonomies is
frequent. I was originally baffled by this comparison, but once I thought about 
how this community
uses taxonomic structures, this comparison made more sense.    (07)

> For representing linguistic knowledge, the criteria are harder to make
> objective, and I think this is the source of a lot of heat on this list.
> The conceptualization for case three has domain content such as assertions
> about which concepts are specializations of other concepts.  So the value of
> an ontology for NL seems to be tied up with how well it reflects language
> use in a culture and not so much about its structural properties.  In other
> words, it's about the conceptualization and not the specification.  And if
> my linguistics knowledge is up to the current fashion, the meaning of
> language in a culture is rather fluid and messy.  The valor of such an
> ontology, it seems, would be in the magic performed by the NL application,
> which is the usual pragmatic cop-out for which I offer no alternative.    (08)

I think an ontology for NL could also be about the structural properties of the 
ontology if I am
approaching NLP from a formal logical representation point-of-view. This could 
be included, but
not the focus of our discussions.     (09)

> Conclusion?  Let's talk about ontology *use* and not ontology definitions.
> Let's talk about what can be achieved, even what can be imagined, if
> ontologies were part of the infrastructure in use by the real world.    (010)

Shall we start with Leo's "Tightness of Coupling and Semantic Explicitness" as 
a starting point?
The presentation from the 10/12/06 Ontolog Panel is very informative.    (011)

Lisa    (012)

Msg Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontology-summit/ 
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontology-summit/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontology-summit-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Community Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/work/OntologySummit2007/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?OntologySummit2007
Community Portal: http://ontolog.cim3.net/    (013)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>