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RE: [ontac-forum] Single upper ontology issue

To: "ONTAC-WG General Discussion" <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Carola Catenacci <catenacci@xxxxxxxxxx>, Aldo Gangemi <gangemi@xxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Paul S Prueitt" <psp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 13:07:27 -0700
Message-id: <CBEELNOPAHIKDGBGICBGGEDHGOAA.psp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
some extended comments about formalization using classical logics
The Soviet school of semiotics developed computer systems that allowed changes to underlying defintions such as "is-a" as a means to keep up with a natural system undergoing changes.  The paper by Gangemi et al on Inflammation Ontology Design Patterns:
may be seen to advocate something similar.  (perhaps the authors, Catenacci or Gangemi, will make a communication on this).
To the focus of this working group, I ask:
If there is a percieved need to propogate a change in how subsumption (subclassOf relation) is to be treated (starting at a particular moment), how might this be possible (in DOLCE) or how does DOLCE treat deep changes to the ontology of relationships, or the notion of association?
My point has been that in biology there are often shifts in how a scientist, or other stakeholder, needs to regard the same thing (which just before had a different regard/virewpoint).  If this need is recognized and addressed by standards and working groups, then we will build ontological models that have fidality to situations. 
If not, then the models themselves may be the cause of damage somewhere.
-----Original Message-----
From: ontac-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontac-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Gary Berg-Cross
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 11:05 AM
To: ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [ontac-forum] Single upper ontology issue - was: A suggestion forontological discussions at ONTAC meetings.




Antifoundational stances in philosophy are not intuitve to many of us at first exposure,

but perhaps the analogy to Euclidean geometr and the parallel axiom provides an overly simple

bridge to see alternative foundations that provide useful theorems in different contexts


Or perhaps we need to adapt the antifoundational slogan of "having to build our boats while at sea" to

the ontological endeavor.


In response to your point:


JS>One of my criticisms of any ontology that has a fixed

upper level, such as DOLCE and many others (including

the one I presented in my KR book), is that there is only *one* upper level. 

The DOLCE design patterns have been designed to propagate design decisions

JS>made for the DOLCE upper level to every level of the ontology from top to bottom.     


Yes,  but DOLCE is the first module of the WonderWeb Foundational Ontologies Library

(WFOL).which, as I understand it from Guarino?s briefings, has no single upper level. 

 Instead it has a ?small? set of foundational ontologies that have been ?carefully?

justified and positioned with respect to a space of alternative, possible choices.


The approach is to clearly documented options using clear branching points

basic to allow exploration and easy comparison of alternative ontological options.  That

seems to be a practical strategy for not getting caught in one upper level as a first step.



Gary Berg-Cross

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