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[ontac-forum] Supporting the FEA-RMO and modular ontology: Was Some thou

To: <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Gary Berg-Cross" <gary.berg-cross@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2005 14:57:55 -0500
Message-id: <330E3C69AFABAE45BD91B28F80BE32C905629D@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>


I wanted to follow up on Pat’s response to my issue on the  FEA-RMO and DoD core taxonomy.


Pat> The DoD Core doesn't pretend to be an ontology, and the FEA-RMO is, as Gary points out, closer to a Reference Model, though expressed in ontology format.  There are nevertheless good reasons to try to connect these to the UMLS.  (a) The FEA-RMO is an active project, which may well form part of any common ontology ultimately developed for use within that federal government.  There are expectations that the SICoP will help in some way in the development of that model.  The ONTACWG could be helpful in making recommendations on the best way to formalize the FEA-RMO and align it with other knowledge representation efforts within the government, even if much of the work will in fact be done by contractors.   I think it would be unfortunate if we ignored it, since we can bring a broad perspective that can make ontologies developed from or related to the Pat> FEA-RMO more functional.


I was in favor of taking the FEA DRM into account as I said in my message to Denise of  Fri, 7 Oct 2005 11:54:53 -0400


Gary> Denise, , which current ontology model were you referring to in your message?  At the meeting I suggested that we might look at the FEA/DRM draft ontology to see what we thought of it.  I didn't assume it would be an adequate base, but many of us do work that has models that have to map to the FEA view of business, so this might be an area that several of us could work on related to our current work and we could leverage this combined effort to a much better ontology.  In general, I believe that modeling efforts need to have a focus or else we may wind up

 Gary> modeling the ocean boiling....


The point I would make is that the FEA has categories by fiat that are not themselves an adequate model of enterprises, but could be related to such an enterprise ontology,  The DRM is perhaps the best of the set in that the method proposes taxonomies to classify data concepts, however, at this point it is up to submitters to build there own taxonomies.  So we will have dozens and dozens of different ones for 2.0.  Based on what we see in these submissions we can probably see ways to harmonize these.  So I’d be in favor of work this way to improve the DRM not use it as it is now or will be in the near future. 


I also said in that Oct. message “In general, I believe that modeling efforts need to have a focus or else we may wind up modeling the ocean boiling”  Now this idea in the context of DRM data interoperability is given substance by Rick Murphy and John Sowa.


John>  That may be true, but we should ask the next question:

If we want Program A to interoperate with Program B, why

should we merge every aspect of the ontology that was used

by the developers of Program A with every aspect of the

ontology used by the developers of Program B?    (012)


One term I like is "task-oriented interoperability":  if

you try to merge two ontologies, you have to look at the

*union* of all the categories in both.  But if you want

to enable two programs to interoperate, you only need

to look at the subsets that are relevant to the task.    (013)


Merging two small ontologies is much, much easier.  And

more importantly, if you are only looking at a specific

task, it is very likely that the subsets appropriate to

the task will have similar perspectives.    (014)


Recommendation:  Shift attention from the unsolvable problem

of building, merging, and coordinating global world views to

the task of developing an open-ended collection of modules

that can be selected, assembled, and tailored for particular

John> tasks or collections of tasks.   


Taking a few of the discussions as a whole some will favor this modular approach and others the core/hub idea and perhaps we should launch both efforts based on interest and gut feeling and have them share work on a regular basis.


Best Regards

Gary Berg-Cross


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