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[ontac-forum] The concept of 'purpose' relative to the construction of o

To: <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Allen Matthew" <allen_matthew_d@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 10:14:17 -0500
Message-id: <957D059ECD790745A11259BB3B400C821A4C30@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
ONTAC-WG:    (01)

I'd like to pose a question in this forum, with the hopes that someone
might point me to any relevant research to satisfy my curiosity.  Based
on past threads in this forum, it seemed like a promising place to ask
the question.    (02)

Has their been any work done on how the purpose behind building an
ontology affects the chosen conceptualization?  In this case, I know
from the start that I'm using the word "purpose" loosely, and one of my
goals is to find a good operational definition of "purpose" relative to
ontology construction.  Most would acknowledge that there are multiple
ways of conceptualizing a particular domain, and that the way we choose
to do it in any particular situation is tied to what we want to use the
ontology for, or a particular perspective on that domain.  For example,
the concept of "Scorpion" might be understood as "thing that lives in
the desert", or "thing that is an animal" (or both) dependent upon why
we're interested in scorpions in the first place.  This "why we're
interested in scorpions in the first place" is what I'm referring to as
"purpose".    (03)

Is there any way of creating a formalization of the purpose for a
particular ontology?  Wouldn't that be useful in identifying whether a
particular ontology was applicable in a any given situation?  Has any
research been done on how particular aspects of a purpose inform better
ontology construction (i.e. perhaps incorporating desired aspects of the
outcome into the modeling methodology)?    (04)

Any pointers or comments would be appreciated.  
M. David Allen
Booz | Allen | Hamilton
(703) 377-1498 (Office)
(804) 787-0289 (Mobile)    (05)

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