I think the criticism that Ron and John have been making of Pavithra's sound
bites rather miss the point of the very basic levels at which Ontologies can
help with data integration within an enterprise and through the supply
The most important thing that is required is identity management, i.e. both
you and I are calling a spade a spade, and not a shovel. So most of
ontological work that is done in major companies and government
organizations is in what is widely referred to as Master Data Management.
For practical purposes this is the set of terms used across an enterprise's
systems, whether they are SAP or Oracle HR, or home grown Payroll systems.
There is plenty of reasoning to be done to discover anomalies in Master
Data, and to interface it to various different systems with their own fixed
ontologies (database schemas).
For many on this forum, I suspect this will sound very mundane and boring.
However, there is probably more money in addressing this problem that in any
of the exciting and wizzy things that you hear about.
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontology-summit-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Behalf Of Tim Wilson
> Sent: 30 January 2011 01:01
> To: ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: [ontology-summit] [Making the Case] Elevator Pitch
> While I understand what you are saying it still sounds rather defeatist
> to me. What do you see as the magic core that will enable these diverse
> ontologies (or something else, perhaps) to understand each other?
> Tim Wilson
> System Engineer
> University of Rochester
> Rochester, NY
> On 1/29/2011 1:37 PM, Ron Wheeler wrote:
> > On 29/01/2011 12:39 PM, John F. Sowa wrote:
> >> On 1/29/2011 12:03 PM, Pavithra wrote:
> >>> "With Ontology say the same thing, mean the same thing, process the
> >>> thing,
> >>> "Ontology enables semantic interoperability by presenting information
> >>> consistently across organizations and domains and machines"
> >> Both of those statements require a huge amount of qualification.
> >> As stated, they are false.
> > +1
> >> For many purposes, a highly underspecified definition is essential
> >> for interoperability. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers,
> >> for example, do not require a detailed specification of the
> >> nature of human beings, geography, or communication systems.
> >> Different applications may require radically different amounts
> >> of detail and formats for totally different purposes.
> >> For example, consider medical records, educational records,
> >> employment
records, financial records, purchasing records,
> >> and Facebook sites for the same person. You definitely do
> >> *not* want the same kind of information specified in the
> >> same way in all of them.
> > You are also never going to get agreement between all of the software
> > vendors and industry standards groups about what describes a person.
> > Too much of the discussion here seems to presume that we are going back
> > to the 1950s and 1960s were companies each built their own business
> > systems from scratch.
> > In the modern world, companies assemble a custom information structure
> > using software packages that come from several vendors.
> > If - BIG "if" - the world adopts ontology as the basis for future
> > generations of systems, then companies are going to have deal with
> > ontologies that have some level of compatibility and some adapters that
> > allow concepts and information to flow from one to the other.
> > SAP will have a description of a person that is different from ORACLE's
> > HR view of the person which will be different from the payroll service's
> > view of the person or the LMS's view of the person or the insurance
> > company providing medical insurance or the government regulator that
> > monitors workplace safety and so on.
> > However, these will all have to cooperate and provide adapters or
> > interfaces that allow the company's IT organization to make the whole
> > thing work.
> > Developers will need tools to "configure" ontologies to reflect the
> > company's view of the universe and to verify that these changes do not
> > affect interoperability.
> > Is there a discussion about the metadata required to support the
> > management of such a lattice of ontologies?
> > This would seem to be a key thing to understand before trying to build a
> > useful repository and set of tools to use it.
> > Ron
> >> John
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> Timothy C. Wilson
> Graduate Student in Knowledge Management
> Kent State University
> Expected Completion: August 2011
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