While I find many of the threads here interesting, there
seems to be a lack of direction, focus and resolution. May I be so bold
as to suggest some structure?
First – process. This group will probably NOT
offer “new thought” in semantics, what it can offer is a process
for this community of interest to establish what it considers to be it’s
reference set of Ontologies along with their method of representation and infrastructure.
Debate is fine but we need a way to come to conclusion. Once we have that
way to come to conclusion we will have a way to establish our methodology and
start populating the set of concepts that will allow for interoperability and
Second, use cases – while there is a mission for the
group it is quite broad and does not really address user requirements. A valuable
task for this group would be to collect and validate user driven requirements
as well as the scenario of applying an upper ontology to those solutions. This
will help nail down the set of problems we are addressing and serve as a set of
test cases for the solutions to be applied. Such examples should be
expressed in general but backed up with user driven and specific test cases.
I suspect this kind of focus is the only thing that can resolve the theoretical
Third – Ontological structure and
representation. Much of the discussion has been about how to structure a
family of Ontologies due to the problems of a “one true vision”. Regardless
of the debate, the architecture for structuring the deliverables of this group
is necessary. This sounds like some kind of workgroup focused on that
problem but it does not need to consume the entire group. Once we
establish the goals based on the set of use cases we can use the vast experience
of this group to come to a resolution.
Forth – Infrastructure – if there is going to be
“something” that is the unifying conceptual framework of
specifications within this community there is going to be some infrastructure
to support it. The baseline assumption is probably RDF – but this
needs to be validated or challenged. Supporting infrastructure for global
virtual development is required for the abstract thought to become a useful
capability for widespread use.
Finally – the semantic concepts, we will either have a
baseline, integrate multiple baselines or start from scratch – but either
way the process needs to start populating some set of concepts. Lets get
on with it.
There is a real opportunity to form a sufficiently large community
of interest with some government sponsorship and management such that it
becomes a magnet to become an essential and important integration point. Lets
get some focus and seize that opportunity.