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RE: [ontac-forum] discussion about censorship

To: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Smith, Barry" <phismith@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 18:17:49 +0100
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>"The issue I raise is that controlled vocabularies are sets of words or
>phrases, and these can be represented as RDF statements or as graphs of
>form < a, r, b > corresponding to two nodes and a link.  BFO has
>several of
>these that are about the SPAN and SNAP taxonomy.  They can be output to
>text file and manipulated with computer programs.  Seems that a lot has
>The other ontology talked about here is an very excellent ontology that
>developed by a major effort by gas and oil industry (ISO 15926 ).  This
>ontology is organized as a set of concepts arranged in a taxonomy.  It
>very complete and Part 1 is general in nature and could be used as a
>in an ontology hub.
>The problem that holds the semantic web community back is "inference".
>Having good controlled vocabularies is not a problem.  Managing
>reconciliation issues between controlled vocabularies is what a COTS
>SchemaLogic does and does very well.  So again, there seems to be many
>things already solved.
>We have good sets of controlled vocabularies.
>This problem of inference can be fixed by separating the inference work
>the representation of sets of concepts.    (01)

BFO's relation ontology (http://genomebiology.com/2005/6/5/R46 ) 
allows the two to be handled together. It has been adopted for this 
purpose by the Foundational Model of Anatomy and by the Open 
Biomedical Ontologies consortium.    (02)

For this to you, however, it needs to be recognized that talk of 
'concepts' masks the running together of talk of types (e.g. city), 
on the one hand, and instances (e.g. Toronto), on the other. To say 
that Toronto is part of Ontario is to make a different kind of 
assertion from saying that capital city part_of country. The former 
belongs to a database of information, the latter to an ontology 
properly conceived. If one defines part_of, now, in the way proposed 
in the cited paper (other relations are defined there, too, and the 
method is generalizable), then inference becomes possible both within 
and between ontologies.    (03)

Thus, to take a trivial case, if you know that capital city part_of 
country, and country part_of continent, then if you know that Toronto 
is an instance of capital city, you can infer that Toronto is part of 
some continent.    (04)

BS    (05)

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