I have just caught up with the thread on "Some thoughts on hub ontology
and merging sources" and because I am unaware of how to post a response
to an archive (I don't think it can be done) this note is posted as a
In response to John Sowa's posting "Re: [ontac-forum] Some thoughts
on hub ontology and merging sources" at http://colab.cim3.net/forum/ontac-forum/2005-11/msg00040.html.
To the piece:
"Merging and integration are required to achieve tight
We agree whole-heartedly. Our work with ontology-based systems has
always required modularity of approach. FEA-RMO was done this way.
Because of the modularity we have been able to use FEA-RMO with a DODAF
ontology. The SRM of FEA-RMO we have used independently. In our work
with NASA, the ontologies we have been working on are also small and
diverse across a number of disciplines. At the University of Texas
Medical Center, the SAPPHIRE ("Situation-Awareness and Prevention of
Public Health Incidents using Reasoning Engines") ontologies are
also decoupled, in fact, used within a mediation architecture. For
these reasons we have created an ontology for experessing the
dependencies between ontologies. This is called OARS, which stands for "Ontology
Architecture Requirements Specification".
but not every system requires tight coupling. Loose coupling is
much easier to build and maintain than tight coupling. (013)"
In response to Paul Prueitt's posting "RE: [ontac-forum] Some
thoughts on hub ontology and merging sources" at http://colab.cim3.net/forum/ontac-forum/2005-11/msg00034.html.
To the piece:
"The white paper introduces the OWL standardization process
as if completed
and completely satisfactory. But this hids the fact that Protege, and I
assume that Top Quadrant used Protege to encode the FEA RMO? (016)"
FEA RMO was indeed developed in Protege 2000, although certain Protege
limitations present at that time required us to manually create and
maintain one of the 'bridging' ontologies. In fact, a longer version
of the white paper we have submitted to GSA included some reflections
on the state of the tooling. The work has been done about 10 moths ago
now. Protege has moved on (at least partially) and some of the problems
are now fixed.
We made sure that the model was 100% percent standard compliant with
the current OWL-DL spec. If the paper gave an impression that the
standartization was fully complete, it was not intentional. I just came
back from the 2005 ISWC and can report that a lot of interesting things
are happening with rules (including a change to the semantic web layer
cake), further development of OWL (for example, to support composition
statements) and with semantic web services. As standardization of OWL
(and rules) continues, see http://www.w3.org/2005/Talks/1110-iswc-tbl/#(12)
for Tim Berners-Lee's talk at ISWC2005, we look forward to ways of
expressing modular ontologies with the possibility of selective imports.
One of the most forward-looking aspects of our current work is in
pluggable architecture for reasoning engines. The goal is to be able to
use different types of reasoning over a given knowledgebase combining,
for example, probablistic (bayesian) reasoning with rule-based
One thing that has changed in the last year, which we are glad of, is
that a semantic solution no longer has to be a 'cutting edge', research
project. Many projects can be (and are being) done using standards and
tools 'as is'. They've gottent to the point where they are good enough
to deliver value.
One of our current projects is, for example, building a production,
ontology-based system to match job requirements with a database of
available candidates. The idea is not to remove the human beings from
this process, but to assist them by producing a higher quality
candidate 'short lists'. Another project has to do with integrating
ontologies with an enterprise search portal. We are also doing a data
interoperability project where ontologies are used to translate outputs
of different tools. All of these projects are possible with standards
'as is', but they will definately benefit from improvements and
advancement in the standards.
TopQuadrant, Inc., www.topquadrant.com
Office: (724) 846-9300 ext. 211,
Direct: (703) 960-1028, Fax: (425) 955-5469, Cell: (781) 789-1664
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