But the challenge is how wide to broaden the scope of an ontology beyond that of the immediate application. If the ontology developed for an application is too narrowly scoped, it risks having to be redone when the application environment evolves, even in ways that could have been anticipated. This is the same challenge faced by those who want to develop “reusable” software or software services that are flexible enough to support uses and users other than those who are currently demanding such services (i.e., those specifying the application requirements). A key issue here is that requirements specifiers/sponsors rarely look at requirements from a dynamic, evolutionary perspective. And, of course, there has to be a business model supporting a broader scope for software/services and ontologies than the immediate application at hand. Otherwise it makes perfect sense to build an ontology just for the immediate requirements and no more, even if that risks major rework at some later date. Having said that, I believe taking a more dynamic, evolutionary perspective on requirements even in such narrow situations allows one to explore and uncover areas where the ontology could usefully broaden its scope without incurring significant additional development and test costs. Put differently, if you start out with a broader perspective, but then focus on implementing a narrower scope the end result will typically be better than if you use the reverse sequence.
From: ontology-summit-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontology-summit-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Obrst, Leo J.
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 5:56 PM
To: Ontology Summit 2013 discussion; Pavithra
Subject: Re: [ontology-summit] Scope of ontology: Issues:
Nearly every ontology development project I have been involved in since 1995 has been for specific uses and applications. Yes, you may bring in DOLCE, BFO, SUMO, Cyc, etc., and existing mid-level or domain ontologies, but it is always to address a problem, which means an application or multiple applications. We are tightly wedded to application, not just research, and even if it is research, it is focused on an application problem.
And, yes I've seen RFP's asking for ontologies or their development
for specific uses, but this is still rare.