I believe a lot of this current debate about scoping is based on a
misunderstanding about defining or specifying a concept. Our ontology
does not need to *define* mass or length; indeed, it had better not
try, since nobody knows how to define mass. What it can do, however,
is refer to mass as a property and say a few uncontroversial things
about it, eg that its values are additive and hence can be multiplied
by real numbers, that it has a zero, etc.. This is not to *specify* it
or to *define* it, but it is also not to completely ignore it or
exclude all mention of it from our ontology, or to refuse to even
think about how discussions of mass units can be related to statements
about actual physical things. It seems to me that if we completely
ignore this aspect of the business, then we will not have done the job
we set out to do. (01)
Pat Hayes (02)
On Sep 25, 2009, at 10:13 AM, John F. Sowa wrote: (03)
> Gunther and Martin,
> Any application of the UoM ontology (for either computers or people)
> will require a great deal of additional information about the specific
> problem and about general issues dealt with in physics and other
> sciences. Axioms for them do not belong in an ontology for UoM. (04)
True, but we ought to provide some axioms relating our notions to
appropriate higher-level categories, if only in order to provide a
guide to those whose task it is to write such axioms. Can people use
'mass' as a function on physical objects, for example? OK, then, what
are the domain and range of that function? Those are the kind of
questions we need to give answers to, and are exactly what the current
discussions (as opposed to meta-discussions) are actually about. (05)
> JFS>> People have been successfully using units of measure for
>>> without having formal definitions and axioms.
> MSW> People, yeah. Computers have a nice history of catastrophes.
> Your example omitted crucial information that is equally important
> for both people and computers.
> MSW> She received calls from other people who failed to say whether
>> the 10 by 20 was in feet or yards and width by length or length
>> by width.
> MSW> Ergo, kind of quantity is a must.
> My recommendation stands: VIM has proved to be useful for a wide
> range of applications. Any term that is not defined in VIM, is
> one that would be defined in either an upper level ontology or a
> problem-dependent ontology. That is where the computer would get
> whatever details it requires.
> Any duplication in the UoM is either redundant or worse -- it may
> be inconsistent with the other sources.
> GS> ... it may well be that your detailed analysis finds some
>> inconsistencies and ambiguities with the VIM that would be
>> worthwhile to feed back and improve the VIM.
> Yes, of course. But that point is independent of the question
> of what terms we should define in the UoM ontology.
> John Sowa
> Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/uom-ontology-std/
> Subscribe: mailto:uom-ontology-std-join@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Config/Unsubscribe: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/uom-ontology-std/
> Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/work/UoM/
> Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?UoM_Ontology_Standard
IHMC (850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973
40 South Alcaniz St. (850)202 4416 office
Pensacola (850)202 4440 fax
FL 32502 (850)291 0667 mobile
phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes (08)
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/uom-ontology-std/
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/work/UoM/
Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?UoM_Ontology_Standard (09)