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Re: [ontac-forum] Upper ontology / common semantic model

To: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 09 Oct 2005 20:58:05 -0700
Message-id: <4349E6CD.4040204@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

That would be an excellent exercise:    (02)

 > I mentioned in a previous note that I thought that it might
 > be helpful to focus initially on that part of existing UOs
 > required to formalize and relate several existing Knowledge
 > Classifications such as the UMLS-SN, FEA-RMO top level, and
 > DoD Core Taxonomy top level.    (03)

The most important question to answer is the minimum collection
of concept types that must be present in any upper ontology
that can support those classifications.    (04)

For example, time, space, and people are likely to be
very important to any practical ontology.  But the detailed
axioms and definitions for time, space, and homo sapiens
are likely to be far more specialized and far more context-
dependent than any of those classifications require.  Even
within a single domain, different axioms would be needed to
answer questions at different levels of granularity.    (05)

Both for generality and for computability, unused axioms just
get in the way.  They often create inconsistencies, and they
always slow down the theorem prover.  Therefore, the upper
levels should specify as little detail as possible, so that
the detailed choices are made at a task-oriented level.    (06)

Bottom line:  If all you're asking for is the time of day,
you don't want your theorem prover to worry about Newton
vs. Einstein.    (07)

John Sowa    (08)

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