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RE: [ontac-forum] Surveyed Ontology "Library" Systems

To: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Barry Smith <phismith@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 12:23:47 -0400
Message-id: <>
In response to the valuable KOS document posted by Dagobert, I would 
like to draw the forum's attention to current developments on the 
ISO/CEN front regarding ambiguities in use of the word 'concept'.    (01)

It is clear that the concepts represented in concepts systems stand 
in meaning relations such as narrower_than, broader_than, etc. It is 
correct, for example, that the concept structured document 
narrower_than the concept document.    (02)

The problems arise with respect to    (03)

3.1.3    Associative relationships    (04)

for example part_of, causes, located_in, derives_from, adjacent_to, etc.    (05)

It is not correct to say, for example, that the concept heart part_of 
the concept human, or that the concept cell nucleus part_of the 
concept cell, or that the concept lung located_in pleural cavity.    (06)

Rather it is instances of types in reality which stand in such 
relations, and it is these relations, and the corresponding instances 
and types, which are the proper object of ontology:    (07)

See http://ontology.buffalo.edu/concepts/ConceptsandOntologies.pdf    (08)

BS    (09)

On a proposal    (010)

At 12:07 PM 10/24/2005, you wrote:
>We do not have the resources to create an ontology library 
>system.  Rather we should adopt one once we are further along.  At 
>that point we can use the criteria in the Ding & Fensel article but 
>need to update the survey.
>Right now we need an ontology registry, which is a much more 
>light-weight proposition.  Since much information for constructing 
>full-fledged rigorous ontologies can be gleaned from other types of 
>Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS), we actually need a KOS 
>registry.  There are many attempts at creating such registries 
>(going back to the sixties), but none has been successful in the 
>sense of being maintained continuously. However, it is now possible 
>to set up a web-enabled database where authors (individuals or 
>organizations) can register their own ontologies and other KOS in a 
>structured format.  (A WIKI is not the best tool for this.)  Such a 
>registry should also cover use cases for ontologies
>I am working on possibly using a database tool for this purpose that 
>was prototyped by a government agency.
>Attached are two documents, one a set of evaluation criteria for KOS 
>and one giving templates for describing KOS and KOS use cases in a 
>database.  This materials have been developed with more traditional 
>schemes such as MeSH or Snomed or the Art and Architecture Thesaurus 
>in mind, so they need to be extended to capture characteristics and 
>uses of formal ontologies.
>In the registry, the KOS must be identified by subject domain.  Many 
>different approaches to this can coexist, and the scheme that Roy 
>suggests can certainly be one of these approaches.  The concepts to 
>be used for this subject indexing of KOS need to be understandable 
>for people but need not to be as carefully specified as concepts in 
>a formal ontology.
>We formed a subgroup to consider registries.  It seems that we need 
>to establish for sure who wanted to participate.  Pat and I believe 
>the group includes at least the people listed below, but we also 
>believe there were more.  So please add your name if you are 
>interested.  The group should meet soon to work on the problems 
>outlined above and get this going, as a registry is a step that 
>should logically precede working on comparing ontologies.
>Ontology/KOS registry WG
>Pat Cassidy
>Roy Roebuck
>Olivier Bodenreider
>Dagobert Soergel
>At 10/22/2005 01:18 PM, Roy Roebuck wrote:
>>Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
>>Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
>>         boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C5D72C.9A2912C9"
>>Excellent!  I've reviewed the material Gary cites, and agree that 
>>an "ontology library" capability would be very useful in the COSMO, 
>>ONTAC, SICOP, and Web-Service collaborations.  I also submit that a 
>>"natural" outline of ontologies (i.e., packages of functions, 
>>processes, and process input/control/output/mechanism resources 
>>such as metadata, data, funds, skills) as services could be 
>>organized using the General Ontology (GO) as outlined below:
>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
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>Community Wiki: 
>http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG    (011)

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