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Re: [ontology-summit] System Components

To: ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 01:01:57 -0500
Message-id: <4F263255.4050404@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Matthew,    (01)

I certainly agree with that point:    (02)

> Ontologists need to step up to the mark here and provide proper recognition
> for system components.    (03)

But it is just part of the *disconnect* between semantic technology and
mainstream AI.    (04)

> if ontology is going to gain traction within the systems world, it needs
> to get a better understanding of this central idea in systems engineering.    (05)

I also agree with that point.  But trying to state abstract definitions
about systems is not going to bring ontologies into the mainstream.    (06)

Just look at the tools and methodologies that people use to build large
systems.  Those methodologies don't begin with definitions.  They start
by providing the tools to build systems.    (07)

Aristotle defined the first upper level category, but in his writings
on biology, he took a bottom-up approach.  Instead of stating top-
down definitions, he said that the first thing to do is to examine
actual specimens and describe them precisely.  The generalizations
only come *after* you have a sufficient number of specimens from
which you can generalize.    (08)

That is the point I've been trying to get across:  we need to start
with examining actual cases.  That's why I suggested Cyc as a place
to start.  When they first started to implement applications, they
*failed*.  They had to go through quite a few iterations before
they could connect their abstract ontology to real applications.    (09)

That's also why I suggested that we ask Bill A. to talk about their
experiences because they tried to learn from their experiences with Cyc.
And when they started their new business, they had to go through
several iterations in their methodology they got it right.    (010)

John    (011)

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