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[ontac-forum] RE: Questions and thoughts on using a 11179 registry for o

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From: "Gary Berg-Cross" <gary.berg-cross@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 23:17:06 -0400
Message-id: <330E3C69AFABAE45BD91B28F80BE32C905625A@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
There were 2 questions I had regarding the 11179 registry for ontology registration.  This gives me a chance to expand on the first which was the initial question.  I asked whether the functionality of a 11179 registry for data could be applied to ontologies.  You proposed doing this and Frank also suggested this.  But to me ontologies are much more complex and might include modules, lattices, microtheories  and other structures. So I wasn't sure how easy the functionality of an 11179 nregistry might scale to ontology "library" requirements. It would be nice to know your thoughts on this.  Perhaps a discussion of the mangement capabilities of the  NCI system for such things.
The 2nd concerns the question you discussed in your response and my comments were not based on what you had said the first messag, but some questions I had about the relation of the "information" in an 11179 registry and an ontology and how some might use it.  Your response clarifies at least your position.
>I’m not sure what the question was?  You said you wanted to know something about the top level concepts that >categorize and organize the data elements…?

 >I don’t think that Frank meant that the ontology would be built up from data elements…I could be wrong but we >have worked closely on this whole notion of linking concepts to data elements based on the NCI model…

>The whole idea is NOT to define data elements in isolation …. And not to define the ontology from the data >elements…but to use the ontology as the basis for the naming an defining the data elements…..

 It is easy for somone to think of the data elements as some of the nodes in the ontology.  You've clarified that you don't see it that way, but they the ontology is used to "define" them.  So it seems like a one way use.  So would it be fair to say that we can't use the the 11179 registries as they exist without an ontology as a stepping stone to an ontology? 

The reason that I ask is that it seems like models like the HL7 Reference Information Model are built out of entities and data element attributes which are considered by some as at least a Domain Model.  Barry Smith has pointed out ontological weaknesses in the HL7 model, but that in itself implies that it has been taken by some to be a form of an ontology...

Gary Berg-Cross

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