Ontolog Mini-Series on "Database And Ontology" (Session-9) - Thu 5-July-2007    (11Y0)

Conference Call Details    (11Y5)

Attendees    (11YW)

Background    (11Z5)

This is the 9th event of the "Database and Ontology mini-series" of talks and discussions, during which this community will be exploring the landscape, issues and interactions between databases and ontologies.    (11Z6)

This is a community-driven set of activities, and is probably long overdue. On 15-Aug-2006, TatianaMalyuta (who just joined the community after participating at our 23-Jul-2006 face-to-face workshop at Stanford, brought up her request for the Ontolog Forum to delve into the subject of "Database and Ontologiy." An almost unprecedented flurry of online responses were received from the community. It was decided that we could systematically pursue the subject by mounting a min-series on the matter at hand.    (11Z7)

A planning meeting for this mini-series took place on 31-Aug-2006. MatthewWest was invited to champion the effort, and a "Program & Technical Advisory Team" was formed, comprising MatthewWest (Lead), AdrianWalker, AtillaElci, ChrisPartridge, LeoObrst, PeterYim, SusieStephens & TatianaMalyuta.    (11Z8)

See also: DatabaseAndOntology (the 'project' homepage for this mini-series)    (11Z9)

The community is requested to contribute their thoughts by posting to [ontolog-forum] or to the DatabaseAndOntology wiki page (and/or its subpages). We hope to accumulate and synthesize the knowledge gathered and compile it into a written deliverable (a paper or even a handbook) that we could publish this collaboratively authored work to other relevant media and channels (like relevant conferences or the wikipedia.)    (11ZA)

Agenda & Proceedings: "Database And Ontology" - Mini-series Session-9    (11ZB)

Topic: Data and process revisited: ontology driving a paradigm shift in the development of business application systems    (11ZK)

http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/work/DatabaseAndOntology/2007-07-05_ChrisPartridge/ChrisPartridge_20070705.jpg [Dr. Chris Partridge]    (11ZL)

Abstract (by ChrisPartridge):    (11ZM)

There are a couple of inter-related points that I will attempt to make.    (11ZN)

1) That ontology is the foundation for a revolution (a paradigm shift) in the way we develop business application systems.    (11ZO)

2) That (fortuitously) this new ontological way of building systems is well adapted to the (brownfield) legacy systems environment most development projects face today.    (11ZP)

I find a good way of explaining these points is using the Kuhnian notion of a paradigm shift – and focusing on the data-process distinction within current mainstream paradigm for systems development. I consider some of the simplifying assumptions that were made when the current paradigm was developed in the late 70s – and the way their uncritical acceptance has warped the perception of the development process. I then describe how an ontological approach helps to develop more accurate and finer-grained picture of what is actually going on.    (11ZQ)

The new picture (paradigm) reveals that current development approaches are not, as commonly assumed, based upon a pure understanding of the business domain (or what is known about the domain) but wrapped up in computational design decisions. This insight helps us to see how we need to fundamentally change the way we understand the relation between an application system and its business domain. A key element of this is being able to effectively explain epistemic divergence – the difference between the domain/ontology and applications' epistemology - and this suggests a new framework for systems development.    (11ZR)

Finally I indicate how this new framework is well adapted to the brownfield developments of today unlike the approaches that emerged from the greenfield developments common in the last century.    (11ZS)

About the Invited Speakers:    (11ZT)

Chris Partridge is the Chief Ontologist at the BORO Centre. He is seconded to 42SBS as Chief Ontologist. He currently does research work with Brunel University. He has a background in philosophy and building business application systems. He has been working in applying ontology to business systems since 1987.    (11ZU)

Since then he has divided his time between research and commercial work. His interest in ontology is using it as the intellectual foundation for rebuilding business application systems – in particular as the basis for a top ontology. To this end he has developed the BORO methodology for re-engineering application systems. An early version of this is described in his book Business Objects: Re-engineering for Re-use.    (11ZV)

Resources    (11ZW)

Questions, Answers & Discourse:    (1201)

Audio Recording of this Session    (120B)