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

To: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Lucian_Russell/ESI/CSC@xxxxxxx
From: Arun Majumdar <arun@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 13:11:21 -0500
Message-id: <43B57849.1060404@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Lucian,    (01)

Very good points indeed.    I would like to start off by straying off 
and then returning to the questions you posed by looking at how we might 
ontologically determine some simple phrases as acceptable or rejectable 
in the description of a conceptual idea:  Let me draw attention to one 
of the examples provided in the WN papers in order to illustrate. 
Consider Miller's example:    (02)

Yet most people accept *Riding* is a *part* of *driving* and reject 
*Driving* is a *part * of *Riding*
*... (from the Wordnet 5 papers).    (03)

*By consideration of the implied semantics of "part of" we might assume 
that "part-of" has an implied chronological or temporal substructure.  
Then, it makes sense that one would "Sit down in the car" (ie. "Ride") 
before "Drive".   On the other hand, there is a connection between the 
two, and hence, if one looks at the topological connection without the 
assymetric temporal "arrow of time", we can accept that if one is 
driving, one is sitting in the vehicle, and hence, driving is 
necessarily connected to riding, though not in a passive sence.  
However, each of these substructures are relational or causal or 
dynamical schemas in the sense that one gives rise to the other through 
some action.  Verb lexical semantics,  as morphisms on one hand, and 
noun qualia semantics as objects on the other hand,  may help us 
determine the basic underlying principles from a geometrical or 
topological representation as a function of *cultural semantics" (more 
morphisms!) which relates to the ontology of how one interpretation may 
dominate another.  So we would have one ontology that accepts the first 
statement and rejects the second and a complementary ontology that 
rejects the first statement and accepts the second.    (04)

Between these two ontologies, the only reason I can find that I could 
use to explain the preferences is that the ontologies represent 
"theories" over a language (not just the associative elements in the 
language).  A lattice of theories represents a lattice of ontologies 
inter-connected by the mophisms between their categories.    (05)

So, we could have a category for "Small" and one for "Large" and then 
relate them via theories ( ref:  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object_(category_theory) ).  Or, for "green 
theories" and one for "blue theories", and then relate them (as in QCD).     (06)

Hence, to answer the question you posed in (1): 1. Should a class name 
in an Ontology, especially an upper level class, be restricted to a word 
or phrase?    (07)

My suggestion is that the distinction be drawn on whether or not you are 
referring to the class name in terms of a "set", or in terms of a 
"category".  If the category refers to a Locally Small Category, then I 
suggest that it does not belong in the top --- hence, my conjecture (as 
a heuristic) is that the more constraints you have, the "smaller" the 
category and the lower down it is pushed.  Therefore, a single word like 
"Time" would be a "Large Category" (and here I suggest looking at Sowa's 
top ontology as well as others), since there is no way to describe Time 
because we get caught in Godels trap (ie. there is no way to talk about 
time without talking about "time" ... I can talk about Motion in terms 
of "time and distance" and hence, motion would not be at the top of the 
ontology)    (08)

Of course, my notions are suggestions and highly speculative, however, I 
wanted to introduce the idea of making distinctions from a CT 
perspective. The nice thing about the CT perspective is that it forms a 
lattice:  A lattice of theories to be precise :)    (09)

You wrote also:  "So for an Ontology a non-lexical class name is really 
a substitute for a mathematical description."   I agree and suggest that 
the morphism from this to its lexicalization is an approximation to our 
current understanding, where the lexicalization is a richer 
understanding (at least, perhaps, in the mind of the reader), while the 
mathematical description be used in the computer.    (010)

Therefore, fundamentally, I agree with you on the issues and am biased 
towards having no top fixed lexicalized ontology but rather a lexical 
conceptualization with a mathematical foundation that provides a rapid 
means to extend, modify or inter-operate.  Therefore, my viewpoint is 
dynamic, where I see the static elements as providing for constraints in 
the dynamism.  I have much more to say about all this, but, I believe I 
have expressed some basic ideas for consideration although I wish I were 
more eloquent and able to choose optimal examples.    (011)

Cheers,    (012)

Arun    (013)

Lucian_Russell/ESI/CSC wrote:    (014)

> Static vs. Dynamic Queries
> Hello from a former lurker. My name is Lucian Russell and my specialty 
> is applying the principles of uncertain reasoning to data, all kinds. 
> I have been in the computer science field for several decades.
> One of the decisions one needs to make about an upper Ontology is 
> whether it is needed at all.  If the answer is “yes” then the choice 
> is to create a single upper Ontology that categorizes all human 
> knowledge into a small number of categories. This is by definition 
> static. The other alternative is to have a large number of categories 
> which can be combined on the fly; this is by definition dynamic. This 
> decision entails recognizing the form it would take.  
> This initial submission will lay out one issue: the need or not for 
> concept lexicalization for the highest level of a static Ontology. As 
> John Sowa cited the philosopher Aristotle’s timeless insight, I will 
> cite the timeless insight of Gloria Estphan who in the 1980s sang the 
> hit “The Words Get in the Way”.
> First off, let me recommend to those who know of WordNet but have 
> never read the book to do so, especially Chapter 1 (nouns) and Chapter 
> 3 (verbs); subsequently read Chapter 2 (adjectives and adverbs) and 
> re-read the two surrounding chapters. To those who have read the book, 
> congratulations for being so well organized and prescient. For those 
> not following WordNet it is up to Release 2.1 and is completing a 
> mapping of words in explanations to senses in WordNet. This latter 
> work will be finished up in April. The current release is available 
> for downloading; it is also on-line for any single word.
> Prof. Christiane Fellbaum is the current Principal Investigator (PI) 
> on the WordNet project (Prof. George Miller who started WordNet is old 
> enough that I had him as an instructor for a General Education course 
> while an undergraduate, so is no longer working full time).  She makes 
> the following distinction between WordNet and other Ontologies. 
> WordNet is a lexical ontology. That means that it is based on words in 
> the English Language, though some noun phrases are also included (the 
> words are separated by the underscore character). Although this is 
> generally true, even WordNet contains some non-lexicalized nodes, 
> which brings me to the key question:
> 1. Should a class name in an Ontology, especially an upper level 
> class, be restricted to a word or phrase?
> It would seem that there is something to be said on both sides of this 
> issue.
> On the “no” side, for example, WordNet shows that in English verbs 
> there are two senses of the verb “move”. One is movement with a 
> translation in space and one is movement without this change in 
> special position (e.g. spinning). The two senses are not lexicalized 
> but are rather distinct senses of a word with a given spelling 
> (homograph).
> On the “yes side” if for a static Ontology there is a single word (or 
> a well known noun phrase) that is used for the name of a class then we 
> have a sound basis for looking at sub-classes and the class membership 
> of instances. In this case we say that the concept is lexicalized.  
> A further “yes” argument is that if a concept in the Ontology is not 
> lexicalized then we have to create a name for that concept’s class. 
> But to name it is not to claim it: we cannot claim that our work is 
> done just because we have stung two or more words together. Lacking a 
> linguistic history of our new phase we need to either (1) enumerate 
> the subclasses (in set theory an extensional description) or (2) 
> define a set of inclusion rules (in set theory an intensional 
> description).
> Of course we could lexicalize the concept by taking a word from 
> another language that does lexicalize the concept, but if the Ontology 
> is meant for English speakers that new word still needs to be 
> explained to them (the same is true for any language whose words are 
> used to name concepts).
> In practice the class membership criteria for instances of an Ontology 
> are specified by a set of constraint rules on property values. Using 
> Descriptive Logic one must be able to reason about the assertion “if X 
> is a class and x in an instance of a thing with property values (a1, 
> a2 …..an) then x is a member of the class X “. The answers are “Yes” 
> and “No”. So for an Ontology a non-lexical class name is really a 
> substitute for a mathematical description.
> Static Ontologies, therefore, should probably be ones that primarily 
> use lexicalized concepts in classes. That being the case, it would 
> seem that the logical consequence is that for the top Ontological 
> categories one should use WordNet’s “beginning names” unless there was 
> a REALLY good reason not to do so.
> Some researchers in Artificial Intelligence claim they have a better 
> top level Ontology, and maybe they are justified. However, WordNet has 
> some 15 years behind it, so the set-descriptions of the any different 
> concepts should be carefully spelled out so that we may judge.
> In the end we can choose what we want; we just should be sure of why 
> we made the choices and know the consequences.
> If I have repeated well worn arguments, I will take my deserved newbie 
> lumps and be suitable chastened :-)
> Lucian Russell, PhD
> ___________________________
> Lucian Russell, PhD
> Sr. Architect - Principal
> Federal Consulting Practice
> Computer Sciences Corporation
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