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Re: [ontology-summit] [Making the Case] Elevator Pitch

To: ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2011 10:02:56 -0500
Message-id: <4D46CF20.4030204@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 1/31/2011 3:30 AM, Matthew West wrote:
> “Did you know we lost an important customer last week/month/year? We
> billed him for $100k twice, and kept on pursuing him when he had paid
> the bill because of the second bill. That was all because he had
> different names in different systems.”    (01)

That has been happening forever, and a good ontology, by itself,
won't solve it.    (02)

If you want more examples, I recommend Bill Kent's book, _Data and
Reality_, which was written in 1978 and reissued in paperback in 2000.
Bill presented many good examples about databases, which are just
as appropriate for ontologies.  (There is nothing new under the sun
-- or in the Semantic Web.)    (03)

Example:    (04)

An oil company had different definitions of 'oil well' in their
geology department and their financial department:    (05)

Geology:  An oil well is a hole drilled or dug for the purpose of
obtaining oil, whether or not it turned out to be dry.    (06)

Finance:  An oil well is a pipe connected to one or more holes
that produce oil -- no records of dry holes and the data for
multiple holes is merged.    (07)

They wanted to relate the two databases in order to correlate
the production data with the geological data.  But the two
definitions were incompatible.    (08)

Another example:    (09)

A mining company used mules to pull ore out of their mines because
they wanted to avoid sparks that might trigger an explosion.  To
keep track of their mules, they assigned them employee numbers.
When they automated their databases, they added an extra option
to the sex field:  Male, Female, or Mule.    (010)

John    (011)

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