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Re: [ontology-summit] Ontology Summit process [was - Re: [Big Systems an

To: ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2012 23:17:55 -0500
Message-id: <4F24C873.1010400@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Henson, Barry, and Amanda,    (01)

> A “system of systems” is a specialization of a “set or collection
> of systems” as system of systems as it is commonly used in engineering
> implies some form of interaction between the component systems    (02)

This just one example of the kind of vague debate that has been going
on for the past week or two.  Could any of it address the following:    (03)

Fundamental questions:  Why haven't semantic technologies been adopted
as an integral part of the IT mainstream?  What success stories are
there?  What problems prevented the technology from being adopted?
What can we do to develop better technologies or better ways of
using the technology that we already have?    (04)

> Any speaker should be asked to provide empirical evidence to the
> effect that Cyc did indeed bring benefits to any real system    (05)

Good question.  The best evidence is that people pay real money
for applications to mission critical projects that they use on
a daily basis.  Research grants don't count.    (06)

But I believe it's important to have *comparisons*.  The reason why I
recommended Bill Andersen is that his group used Cyc for DoD projects.
They found the results so promising that they founded Ontology Works
about a dozen years ago.  But they discovered that they had to revise
their assumptions in order to develop something that people were
willing to pay for.  But they have now been getting more business
than they can handle.    (07)

The fact that they are still in business by implementing applications
that people are willing to pay for is the kind of empirical evidence
we need.  And I'd like to hear Bill's explanation of what works now
and how it compares with what they thought would work in 1998.    (08)

> I doubt that *any* use case owner is going to be willing to share
> their case or lessons openly if they feel that the summit will be used
> as a trial venue for them, their system, their methods and such overall.    (09)

I'm not asking for use cases.  I want to know what Bill (or anybody
else who might have similar experience) thought would work based on
his experience with Cyc in 1998.  Then I'd like to know how his way
of working on customer problems changed over the years.  How did that
experience change their views of ontology, reasoning methods, and
application development?    (010)

> We will lose that opportunity if we treat them either as promotional
> sessions or adversarial encounters.    (011)

That's why I wanted to emphasize comparisons by the same person with
two very different kinds of systems.  I used Bill Andersen as an
example, but comparisons of other changes from something that did
not work to something that did would be useful.    (012)

There was an online seminar with Guha about schema,org, but he
didn't go into detail about why "RDF did not catch on" and
why Google et al. believe that schema.org has a better chance.    (013)

Big question for the Summit:  Why do we need to tell people that
ontology is important?  When the WWW came out, there was a chain
reaction that led to explosive growth in a few years, and it's still
growing rapidly every day.  No sales pitches were necessary.    (014)

But when the Semantic Web came out, there was a huge amount of hype,
a lot of research funding, but no uptake by the IT mainstream.  Why?    (015)

John    (016)

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