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Re: [ontology-summit] Criteria for evaluating ontologies at different le

To: "'Ontology Summit 2013 discussion'" <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Matthew West" <dr.matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 16:35:39 -0000
Message-id: <50e06d58.ec5ab40a.253f.fffff507@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear John,    (01)

> Some comments on your comments.
> >> The point I was trying to make is that the *metalevel* terms should
> >> be limited to the words used to describe the syntactic units of the
> >> logic
> >> -- eg, 'relation', 'quantifier', 'variable', 'Boolean operator'.
> MW
> > As I said repeatedly, a logic, or other formalism for representing an
> > ontology should not make any ontological commitments.
> I completely agree.  But the only meaning that the computer can use and
> relate to an application is encoded in the logic.  Therefore, any
> discussion about what the computer "knows" or can infer must ultimately
> be related to the logic.  Anything else is informal commentary.    (02)

MW: Quite.
> >> But you still have to relate those terms in the upper level ontology
> >> to the words that the domain experts or SMEs use to talk about their
> >> subject.  I agree with Doug Lenat that the mid level and lower level
> >> ontology is the most important for applications.
> MW
> > Actually it is the other way round. The principle purpose of an upper
> > ontology is that you relate the terms of domain experts and SMEs to
> > that upper ontology together, thereby bringing together similar
> > concepts, and distinguishing different uses of the same terms. You
> can
> > then also apply templates from the upper ontology to the domain terms
> > and improve the consistency of the ontology at the domain level.
> This gets into the issues about how to develop an ontology.
> My recommendation seems to be close to yours: start *middle out* and
> keep iterating until it covers upper, middle, and lower levels.    (03)

MW: Yes, that is how I started, but once you have a good upper level
ontology, you just map new stuff too it (and improve it if there are
problems).    (04)

> By the way, I said that I wasn't going to quibble about the details of
> your terminology.  But the word 'class' creates far more confusion than
> it's worth.  For example:
> > kind_of_activity
> > A class_of_activity all of whose members are of the same kind.
> Much simpler:
> kind_of_activity:  a one-place relation that is true of every activity
> of the same kind.    (05)

MW: I disagree. Class_of_activity is the supertype of kind_of_activity, and
you leave no place for it. For end users, class is much easier to relate to
than one place relations, which is a logic view point. I would not with to
burden users with that. I might not choose class if I had my time again, but
in ISO 15926 that is history now, and changing it would be more confusing
than leaving it the same.
> > member_of_ :
> > OPTIONAL SET [1:?] OF class_of_class_of_spatio_temporal_extent;    (06)

MW: Now you are looking at a bit of EXPRESS, and you have missed some
important bits.    (07)

ENTITY class_of_spatio_temporal_extent
SUBTYPE OF (class);
member_of_       :      OPTIONAL SET [1:?] OF
...    (08)

What this means in plain English is that each
class_of_spatio_temporal_extent may be a member_of_ one or more
> That is an unbelievably complex way to define the basic primitive of
> set theory.      (09)

MW: It does not define it. You can look up set theory elsewhere.    (010)

Regards    (011)

Matthew West                            
Information  Junction
Tel: +44 1489 880185
Mobile: +44 750 3385279
Skype: dr.matthew.west
http://www.matthew-west.org.uk/    (012)

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