On "accuracy"The examples you give are good, but seem unlikely to turn up in most ontologies people are building because the logics used are not designed to support heavy computation. The fact that different representations that are all important but logically inconsistent seems a great argument that logic is not the best tool for the job of representing all three things in a unified framework.
I think the more important point is that "accuracy" is not absolute; there is some notion of context or purpose that is relevant. Something can be accurate enough for one purpose, but woefully inadequate for others. Ideally both representations can seamlessly live together zooming in and out to the appropriate level of detail -- but this may not be possible, as in the cases you note.
On appealing to authority:
Perhaps you missed my smiley - it was a rhetorical comment.
On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 6:32 PM, John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Michael and Alan,
> There is a broader issue here that reasoners are only a part of. That is:Accuracy is important, but it's only one of many features that make
> "Where do you derive confidence from that your ontology is accurate"?
an ontology good. Sometimes, *less* accuracy is better.
For example, relativity and quantum mechanics are known to be
more accurate than Newtonian mechanics. But Newtonian mechanics
is preferable for large objects moving at typical speeds on earth.
As another example, the Navier-Stokes equations for fluid mechanics
are accurate, but too complex for efficient computation. Therefore,
nearly every application uses some approximations. Sometimes, the
*same* application may use *contradictory* approximations for
different aspects: laminar flow, turbulent flow, subsonic flow,
> There is a nice tool called Ontology Pitfall Scanner which allowsI checked the web site, and I noticed that many of the tests it performs
> you to upload an ontology and it will do a bunch of things like this.
can also be determined by the FCA tools (Formal Concept Analysis). But
FCA can also *generate* the hierarchy automatically in form that is
guaranteed to avoid those pitfalls.
> Still other ways to derive confidence that the ontology is accurateYes. That is a good example of how one should appeal to "authority".
> is to have it checked by experts in the field.
See my further comments on that point below.
But first, I'd like to cite Alan Rector's points on another thread:
> 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...
> 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.
> The results have not always been happy.
These are examples of "too many authorities spoil the broth".
>> Jim [Hendler] said that he liked the article very much:
> Hmm, the subtext here is scarily close to the fallacy of appealingI cited Jim in self defense. He is known to be one of the chief
> to authority. If Jim liked it it must be good.
promoters of the Semantic Web, but I've been known to criticize
many aspects of it.
In any case, citing authority is not, by itself, a fallacy. Every
academic paper cites authorities, and any paper without such citations
is suspect. What is wrong is a *fallacious* appeal to authority:
Linus Pauling was a brilliant physicist.
Linus Pauling said that megadoses of vitamin C are beneficial.
Therefore, megadoses of vitamin C are beneficial.
This reasoning is fallacious for two reasons: (1) being an expert
in physics does not necessarily mean that one is an expert in
medicine; and (2) even among experts in medicine, there is no
consensus that megadoses of vitamin C are beneficial.
Re Semantic Web: Jim Hendler is an acknowledged expert, and he has
been highly supportive of its development. I cited his authority
as evidence that my points are compatible with that development.
Senior Ontology Consultant, Semantic Arts
Skype, Twitter: UscholdM
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