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Re: [ontology-summit] Scope of ontology: Issues:

To: Ontology Summit 2013 discussion <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Alan Rector <rector@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 09:35:29 +0000
Message-id: <014A83FC-1A88-4B5A-8736-82A185F9C371@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Leo, Fabian    (01)

I agree with you in principle.  Sadly, the experience in the medical community 
is that this has not always been the case.     (02)

The link between the applications and ontology development has often been week. 
 Ambitions for global "reference terminologies" lead to artefacts built by 
committees some of whose originators - e.g. IHTSDO/SNOMED CT - even disclaim 
responsibility for how they should be used - e.g. for the "interface 
terminologies" necessary to make them accessible - and leave this to others.       (03)

Large scale reference ontologies - or models of any kind - can also be caught 
by conflicts of requirements from multiple potential users - clinical care, 
statistical reporting, billing, speed of use, etc.    (04)

The results have not always been happy.    (05)

Hence my concern to emphasise on issues of scope.     (06)

Regards    (07)

Alan    (08)

On 20 Dec 2012, at 02:07, John F Sowa wrote:    (09)

> Leo, Fabian, et al.,
> Leo
>> application is always in mind, I think, when you develop an ontology.
>> What, after all, are requirements? Requirements for what? ...
>> The application may be very general or very specific: provide
>> a superstructure for mid-level and domain ontologies for semantic
>> interoperability (of systems)...
> Fabian
>> Yes, the development of reference ontologies are influenced
>> by the requirements of several existing or expected applications.
>> I completely agree.    (010)

Alan Rector
Professor of Medical Informatics
School of Computer Science
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL, UK
TEL +44 (0) 161 275 6149/6188
FAX +44 (0) 161 275 6204
http://clahrc-gm.nihr.ac.uk/    (011)

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