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Re: [ontology-summit] [BigSystems and SystemsEngineering]Relationship be

To: "Ontology Summit 2012 discussion" <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Jack Ring" <jring7@xxxxxxxxx>
From: "Christopher Spottiswoode" <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2012 18:00:30 +0200
Message-id: <1215A787DDE043F0BB9E15CB3A43D44D@klaptop>
Jack, many thanks for the wide-ranging and so rapidly-produced pointers.
Some first reactions from me:
1.  I shall definitely look at the Dijkstra, though maybe for reasons different from expecting an answer to my question.  I have in fact been strongly into self-stabilizing systems since 1972, though doubtless very simplistically then, when compared to ED's and even my own later work.  As I've already written on the web in 1996, the introductory workshop for a 1980s subset of a precursor of Ontology Chemistry was entitled "Errors: their prevention, detection and management". (Note the optimism of the first subject, and the realism of the remaining two.)  But it's true of my own work, and I'd guess of ED's too, that none of it really answers my main question.  Defined structure, and function only in-the-small, is easy.  Big Systems is the problem domain here.
2.  Until corrected, I shall assume the Cox, Love work never got past toy level.
3.  Japaridze or von Wright?  Hmmm, no thanks, not now, at least.  Kineman? I'm still to try google.
4.  Anything specific from Pizzarello?  (Google gave me no quick and easy pointer.)
5.  Bayesian Belief Networks?  Maybe, but much later from my project point of view.
6.  Conceptual Blending is very interesting.  I have quite widely perused Fauconnier and Turner; Lackoff and Mark Johnson too.  Like them, I acknowledge a debt to Koestler and his Act of Creation, having bought and absorbed that book the moment it was published in 1964.  I don't doubt it had a lot to do with my emphasis on MI and multiple contexts.  But very relevant though all that is, none of it really addresses my main question in this thread.
To summarize:  I regret to observe you mostly seem to fail to dislodge my damned preconceptions!  However, do you have an answer re Pizzarello?  Or any other insistence re my superficial assessments?
Many thanks again.
----- Original Message -----
From: Jack Ring
Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 4:48 PM
Subject: Re: [ontology-summit] [BigSystems and SystemsEngineering]Relationship between system function and system structure

Djikstra described recipes for self-healing systems.
 E. W. Dijkstra, “Self stabilizing systems in spite of distributed control,” CACM, Vol17, 11, 643-644 (1974).

In the 1980's Brad Cox, Tom Love, et al, arranged Smalltalk classes which, when asked a question, organized 'themselves' to produce a response. (before the Object-oriented crowd reverted almost everyone back to prescient programming).

G. Japaridze, “Introduction to Computability Logic,” Annals of Pure and Applied Logic, 2003 pp 1-99.
R. Back and J. von Wright, Refinement Calculus, Springer Verlag, 2008.
and the work of Prof. John Kineman, U. of CO, extending Rosen's R-theory to a relational algebra
appear promising for composing systems and even for automating composition.
Meanwhile, my OntoPilot LLC associate, A. Pizzarello, pioneers system-wide integrity checking.

Also relevant, IMO, are the instances of using Bayesian Belief Networks to simulate and even emulate systems in order to understand the function/structure effects in various contexts and formulate purposeful systems.  
and the work of Prof. Ockie Bosch, U. Queensland, Australia.

Even cognitive science is relevant, IMO, c.f., the Conceptual Blending work at Stanford U. and other places, 
The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind's Hidden Complexities by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark TurnerBasic Books

Lot's to do. You appear to be the kind of guy who can do it.


On Jan 31, 2012, at 6:41 AM, Christopher Spottiswoode wrote:

Joe, thank you for the distinctions you make here.  (And sorry I have only now opened this input from you.)
You have prompted me to open a new thread.
Whether or not you would approve of the words I use, you at least remind me of a question I have often thought but promptly forgotten to put to formal ontologists:
What work has been done on formal deduction of system function from system structure, or vice versa?
As far as I am aware, at most very little of practical relevance to our Big Systems has been achieved along those lines, but I would be absolutely delighted to be enlightened, and to study the techniques and their limits.
Please, some formal ontologist out there, point me in the right direction?!
And why might I be so interested?  Hint:  As one talking so much of "Ontology Chemistry" and composition from components, I am intrigued to note a predominance of links in the areas of chemistry and physiology.upon now, for the first time, googling /structure function deduce/.  Adding "ontology" to the search string brings about an enormous reduction in the number found, from 23M to 3M, and many of the 3M are in some biochemical field.
Perhaps I should add that I have long already proceeded on the basis of a largely negative answer to my question, and that the way Ontology Chemistry deals with that presumed problem is particularly interesting.  Oh, yes: and it would remain as interesting however much good work I stand to learn of in answer to my question, if anyone can point me to it.  Any of that would be a special bonus for Ontology Chemistry.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2012 8:59 PM
Subject: Re: [ontology-summit] [BigSystems and SystemsEngineering]Systemofsystems

For example three, now consider:

--- "system of (X)"

--- "part of  (X)"

Where X can be , laws, games, airplanes, cars, plants.. and so on..

The "system concept" may be viewed as a real world relationship that is used to order or constrain the environment.

Using this basic view, two types of definitions for a system can be constructed as well as two main types of activity for system concepts.

The two definition types are, function (rule) and constructive (rule).

The two main activity types are discovery and design.

The functional rule definition for a system was given previously and is restated here, "A system is a constraint on variety, where the constraint identifies and defines the system of interest."

The construction rule definition for a system is, " A system is a non-empty set of objects and a non-empty set  of relationships mapped over these objects and their attributes."

Humans tend to use the concept of a system for two main activities:

   ---  Discovering, documenting and discussing natural systems (systems not constructed by man).

   ---  Designing, documenting and discussing artificial systems (systems constructed by man).

Johannes Kepler's laws of planetary motion that describe the behavior of solar system under the defining constraints of natural physical forces is one example of using the system concept in the discovery mode.

The Wright brothers are an example of the application of the system concept used in the design mode.

These modes of application have different approaches, methods and techniques.

Mixing these modes may generate a high degree of semantic conflict.

Have fun,


On Sun, Jan 29, 2012 at 3:36 AM, Christopher Spottiswoode <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Joe, Anatoly,

You both make very useful points.  Here I highlight just 2 of them:

> This ontologizing-in-the-large lead to your need to define not only
> ontology-as-algorithm but also communication protocol between ontology
> components that reside in different nodes. I doubt that mantra about
> "federation" is helpful here. If you have web programming (that is in
> essence programming-in-the-large) you speak not about "federating" of
> web-server, load balancer, database, web-page generation, ad banner
> importing, etc. but have another engineering approach (while all that
> software developed by different organizations and reside on different
> computers).

As I shall be describing in some detail later, appropriate architecture
leads to good 'Separation of Concerns', hence reliable and flexible
application modularity while also enhancing the various other qualities
usually sought.  That is what a properly ontology-based architecture
should of course produce, and "federation" is a good word to describe
the result at the in-the-large level.

In contrast to what I shall be describing, the conventional web
programming you highlight is complication-inducing rather than

> I suggest that the "binding force" or "binding concept" that forms a
> number of items in to one entity  is a key feature.

Yes!  That is indeed most strongly the case in the architecture I shall
be describing (or trying once again to describe, lessons hopefully
having been learnt...).

All of which recalls that now very mainstream IS programming precept:
Larry Constantine's "high module cohesion with loose module coupling".
We don't have to reinvent that wheel.

> Have fun,
> Joe

Yes thanks, Joe, we sure will!


Joe Simpson

Sent From My DROID!!

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