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

To: "ONTAC-WG General Discussion" <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "West, Matthew R SIPC-DFD/321" <matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 09:20:32 +0100
Message-id: <A94B3B171A49A4448F0CEEB458AA661F027A1B58@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Dagobert,    (01)

See below.    (02)

Regards    (03)

Matthew West
Reference Data Architecture and Standards Manager
Shell International Petroleum Company Limited
Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA, United Kingdom    (04)

Tel: +44 20 7934 4490 Mobile: +44 7796 336538
Email: matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx
Internet: http://www.shell.com
http://www.matthew-west.org.uk/    (05)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontac-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:ontac-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of 
> Dagobert Soergel
> Sent: 09 October 2005 20:19
> To: ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [ontac-forum] Upper ontology / common semantic model
> I am separating out this part of the thread.
> I apologize if some of this is obvious.  It is often "hard to 
> understand what is understood".
> This is a suggested plan of work for the upper ontology subgroup
> 1       Collect suggested upper ontologies
> 2       Compare and determine differences
> 2.1             In elements (presence / absence and, more difficult, 
> definition)
> 2.2             in relationships    (06)

MW: It is very easy for this to become sterile if it is not grounded in
doing something practical, so I would suggest mapping some limited set of
lower level concepts into each of them would be a better way to discover
the similarities/differences - which may be as much in the approach to
analysis as the concepts contained.
> 3       Try to resolve differences, creating a superstructure 
> that incorporates
>          the non-contradictory parts of various schemes    (07)

MW: This would doom the exercise to failure. People whose treasured
ontologies were marginalised would leave rather than see what they
had done "wrecked". It was trying to do this that largely stopped progress 
in the SUO WG effort (IMHO).     (08)

Of course, identifying concepts that were identical would be a useful
exercise in all this.    (09)

Rather what I think is necessary is to identify what John Sowa would call
a "lattice of theories" so that contradictory as well as non-contradictory
elements can be included from upper ontologies. That way you keep people
on board, and perhaps we all learn something from the different perspectives,
and over time move more closely together. (I believe some collective learning
is a prerequisite for success).    (010)

> 3.1             By adding elements
> 3.2             By adding relationships
> 4       Articulate the remaining differences so that they are clearly 
> understood
> In addition, the subgroup should deal with ontologies that can be 
> reused in many contexts, such as an ontology of time concepts.
> My reworking of the WordNet top level (attached) may be 
> useful in this context.
> DS
> Dagobert Soergel
> College of Information Studies
> University of Maryland
> 4105 Hornbake Library
> College Park, MD 20742-4345
> Office: 301-405-2037     Home:  703-823-2840        Mobile: 
> 703-585-2840
> OFax:   301-314-9145        HFax: 703-823-6427
> dsoergel@xxxxxxx     www.dsoergel.com 
>     (011)

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