[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontac-forum] Future directions for ontologies and terminologies

To: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "Lichtblau, Dale" <Del@xxxxxxx>
From: Nicolas F Rouquette <nicolas.rouquette@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 05:02:22 -0800
Message-id: <43B3DE5E.3080703@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
John,    (01)

Cory's remarks about the lack of focus/direction/etc... are timely.
In that constructive spirit, I would find it enlightening if your
response addresses a few questions that might help clarify/focus things
a bit
along the lines Cory is aling for.    (02)

1) what constitutes the universe of ONTAC problems are we trying to solve?    (03)

You're convinced that the "one-size-fits-all" upper ontology is doomed
for failure.
But failure for what kind of problem? When you mention juries,
committees, etc...,
this is a loose and partial characterization of the context for some
unspecified problem.
The characterization is partial because we have not specified either
what kind of
problem-solving meta-ontology with which we could specify a minimum criteria
to adjucate when a particular problem context has enough information to
some kind of analysis.    (04)

2) what kind of meta-ontology of problem solving do we need to
organize/classify/recognize/discriminate ONTAC problems?    (05)

If we had, say, 100 use-case scenarios, we could be none the wiser
unless we have a meta-ontology that helps us organize these use-cases
into classes or problem solving situations. Even if the problem-domain
is fixed (e.g., a frozen legacy system) we might still evolve the
meta-ontology by which we catalog, organize, group, cluster, and
among the various legacy use-case scenarios.    (06)

As Chris eloquently mentioned, problem solving activity can range
from local reasoning with unidirectional information transfer
to bidirectional information exchanges required for negotiating/reasoning
about coordinated problem-solving activities.    (07)

3) what figures of merit are relevant to assess the effectiveness and
utility that information sharing has w.r.t. problem-solving performance?    (08)

Again, Chris emphasized the need to look at information sharing at the
scale of an entire ONTAC problem context:
are there sources of semantic ambiguity that may be counter-productive
to successful problem solving endeavor?
An analogy w/ control systems might equate semantic ambiguity with
signal noise and semantic discord with
poles in a Nyquist stability diagram.    (09)

4) what language of sentences do we get from the upper ontology
associated  to an ONTAG problem?    (010)

I am trying to be careful w.r.t. scoping this language relative to the
upper ontology that is purportedly "shared"
and therefore should constitute a common ground to describe (1), (2) and
(3).    (011)

5) what semantics are available to logically assess matters of
consistency, discriminability, etc...    (012)

I believe semantics for the "upper ontology" (i.e., for the problem
domain) are most useful when
we can "pit" them against another body of sematics (e.g., from (1), (2),
3)).    (013)

-- Nicolas.    (014)

Lichtblau, Dale wrote:    (015)

> John:
> Regarding your general observations:
> 1. Are you implying that the "one-size-fits-all ontology" of the
> contemporary physicist looking for the "theory of everything" (TOE) is
> a "disaster"? Do they know that?
> 2. You say, "committees, juries, legislatures, advisory boards, etc.
> are the only means for making good evaluations." No doubt. But
> shouldn't (couldn't) their collective wisdom inform the designer?
> 3. A "lattice" of theories is the current (me thinks rightly)
> scientific paradigm. (The word "lattice" connotes, however, an overly
> rigid structure that is not amenable to most "ontologists." Isn't it
> more a "mesh"?)
> 4. Indeed. Time marches on. But a computer program, in some sense, is
> necessarily (internaly) consistent (at each point in time)--else it
> would "crash."
> 5. I'd submit that every highly-specialized "field" of "scientific"
> (medical or otherwise) endeavor has an inplicit, but coherent (more or
> less) (i.e., self-consistent) "ontology" that serves that community
> very well. Being able to "expose" that ontology in a formal language
> requires a logician.
> Best to all,
> Dale
> -----Original Message-----
> From: John F. Sowa [mailto:sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx]
> Sent: Wed 12/28/2005 11:37 PM
> To: Lichtblau, Dale; ONTAC-WG General Discussion; Lichtblau, Dale
> Subject: RE: [ontac-forum] Future directions for ontologies and
> terminologies
> Chris, Pat, Dale, Nicolas, and Barry,
> I'll respond to the detailed points later, but I'd just like
> to make a few general observations:
>  1. All the responses confirm my point that the kinds of
>     axioms, the level of detail, and the granularity required
>     are problem dependent, and any attempt to enforce a
>     one-size-fits-all ontology would be a disaster.   
>  2. Chris talked about distributed reasoning systems in which
>     different agents use different axioms.  We have them today.
>     They're called committees, juries, legislatures, advisory
>     boards, etc.  They're often good for making evaluations,
>     but no so good for designs (cf. the proverbial camel).
>  3. I agree with Pat that a single ontology would promote
>     interoperability among the systems that adopt it.  But
>     nobody has addressed the problem of legacy systems and
>     future systems.  Pat does not want to talk about "fixed
>     and frozen" systems and wants to let the ontologies evolve.
>     So do I.  But I maintain that the fundamental design
>     must accommodate evolution from the beginning.  That's
>     the point of the lattice of theories.
>  4. Dale's quotation from Steiner is very apt.  I would just
>     add two lines to the following:
>     "No two historical epochs, no two social classes, no two
>     localities use words and syntax to signify exactly the
>     same things, to send identical signals of valuation and
>     inference. Neither do two human beings."
>     My addition:
>     Neither do any two large computer programs nor even any
>     two releases of what is called the "same" program.
>  5. Barry mentioned the "biomedical field", but that field,
>     like most, breaks down into an enormous number of subfields
>     and specializations.  Some of which (such as patient records)
>     are well served by terminologies with very few axioms, and
>     others (such as research and diagnostics) require much more
>     detail that is *extremely* problem dependent.
> John Sowa
>Message Archives: http://colab.cim3.net/forum/ontac-forum/
>To Post: mailto:ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Shared Files: http://colab.cim3.net/file/work/SICoP/ontac/
>Community Wiki: 
>    (016)

Message Archives: http://colab.cim3.net/forum/ontac-forum/
To Post: mailto:ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://colab.cim3.net/file/work/SICoP/ontac/
Community Wiki: 
http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG    (017)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>