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Re: [ontac-forum] Theories, Models, Reasoning, Language, and Truth

To: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Chris Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 10:04:01 -0600
Message-id: <20051216160401.GM57447@xxxxxxxx>
On Fri, Dec 16, 2005 at 08:22:20AM -0700, Paul S Prueitt wrote:
> In this case, the concept of "infinite" must be a potential but not
> actual computational structure.    (01)

The mathematical framework of the modern theory of computation -- as
well as the semantics of RDF(S) and OWL -- is classical, in which there
is no notion of a potential infinite.    (02)

> I agree that the concept of infinite is a valuable one, but one that
> might be "merely" constructed by human ability to create (induce)
> abstract formal systems.      (03)

It is hard to see what bearing this philosophical question has on the
engineering problem of creating and maintaining high-quality ontologies
and developing effective software for making use of them.    (04)

> 2) Semantic dimension is complex:  If RDF is seen as being sufficient
> only within a specific boundary (such as in dealing with simple
> relationships between data elements, then how does one address the
> semantic dimension when humans are interacting in a crisis - for
> example.)    (05)

Your question seems, at least in part, to concern the expressive
limitations of RDF, so I'll address that.  When RDF is too weak for you
to be able to say what you want, you use a more expressive language,
some variant of OWL being the obvious choice.  OWL itself (by design)
has significant expressive limitations and hence might require further
supplementation by the likes of RuleML if more expressive power still is
needed.  The new W3C Rules working group has been formed to (among other
things) bring some order to the problem of adding expressive power in a
principled way when OWL is not enough.    (06)

> 3) The separation of the ontology concepts from first order logic
> specification:  How first order logics might be separated from
> existing OWL programs and systems IN SUCH A  WAY that the logic can be
> recombined easily.    (07)

OWL is a declarative language for writing ontologies.  There's no such
thing as an OWL program within the OWL spec.  Also, OWL is based on a
language that is significantly weaker than that of full first-order
logic.  As for "separating" the underlying logic from an OWL ontology
(?) and "recombining" them, you provide no account of what this might
mean, so it is impossible to answer your question.    (08)

Cheers!    (09)

Chris Menzel    (010)

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