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[ontac-forum] Proceedings of the Upper Ontology Summit -2006.03.15 - UOS

To: "ONTAC-WG General Discussion" <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Cassidy, Patrick J." <pcassidy@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2006 17:41:29 -0500
Message-id: <6ACD6742E291AF459206FFF2897764BE9E5E0D@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
ONTACWG  members:
   The Upper Ontology Summit that was announced over a month ago was
held this week at NIST, and the results were very encouraging for those
who were hoping that some movement might be initiated at finding
relations among the existing upper ontologies.  If successful such an
effort will help those using one ontology to translate their formalized
knowledge into the representation paradigms of the others.  The eight
"custodians" of the most widely used existing upper ontologies were all
present either in person or by telecom. Two of the European custodians,
Nicola Guarino and Matthew West, came in person, which I think helped
greatly to improve the chances that whatever ultimately results will be
recognized as of international and not only local significance.  The
complete list of custodians is at the bottom of the communique below.
Peter Yim has already provided the references and communique, so I will
reproduce those from his note, below.    (01)

  One of the projects of the ONTACWG, the Common Semantic Model
(COSMO), is closely related to the purpose for organizing the Upper
Ontology Summit.  In both cases, the motivation was to find a mechanism
to permit builders and users of semantic systems covering diverse
topics to describe their knowledge in an expressive logical language
that will allow the systems to convey the meanings of their information
to each other and interpret it accurately.  The upper ontologists will
be discussing methods to relate their ontologies in such a way as to
permit such information interchange among the existing upper ontologies
and among ontology-based systems using those ontologies, to specify the
meanings of their domain ontology elements.  Some possibilities are to
create mappings, or a common subset, or possibly even a larger union of
the existing upper ontologies, which would be compatible with all of
them.  Such efforts will require funding, and we will be closely
following the progress of the upper ontology custodians in preparing
for and executing projects aimed at finding relations among them.   We
will keep the ONTACWG aware of developments in those studies.    (02)

In the interim, we will continue to work on finding a COSMO for use of
the ONTACWG.  If the collaborative projects of the upper ontologists
result in a modest size high- or mid-level ontology that is compatible
with each of the existing upper ontologies, that may serve the same
intended purpose as the COSMO, and could supersede our effort.   But it
is not anticipated that that will take place in less than six months,
and at this point we cannot predict the direction or timing of their
efforts. Some of the issues we are dealing with in the COSMO project
are also similar to issues that the upper ontology group will deal with
in creating relations, and it may be helpful to that effort for those
same issues to be raised and explored in our forum.    (03)

Many of us who have been involved in the COSMO project have been
diverted recently to work on the Upper Ontology Summit.  I hope that we
can now resume the COSMO efforts, keeping a close eye on related work
that may be done by the Upper Ontology group.    (04)

Pat    (05)

Patrick Cassidy
MITRE Corporation
260 Industrial Way
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Mail Stop: MNJE
Phone: 732-578-6340
Cell: 908-565-4053
Fax: 732-578-6012
Email: pcassidy@xxxxxxxxx    (06)

-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Peter Yim
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2006 11:38 AM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Cc: Upper Ontology Summit Organizing Committee; Upper Ontology Summit
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Proceedings of the Upper Ontology Summit
-2006.03.15 - UOS Joint Communique    (07)

I am happy to report that we had a REALLY successful Upper
Ontology Summit event yesterday (2006.03.15).    (08)

As usual, the proceedings (speakers' slide and all) are available on
the respective session pages on our wiki. See:    (09)

(a)  for the Upper Ontology Summit (3/16/06 pm meeting proper): 
   (KG5)    (010)

(b) for the Upper Ontology Application Dialog (3/15/06 am):
http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?UpperOntologySummit/UosApplicationDialogMeeting_2006_03_15    (011)

Apart from the fact that we were able to pool together most of the top
public Upper Ontology experts from around the world to this summit,
the highlight of the event has been the release of a Joint Communique
by the custodians of all key public formal upper ontologies, which I
will enumerate below:    (012)

Upper Ontology Summit
Joint Communiqué
March 15, 2006    (013)

[1] The theory and technology of knowledge representation, reasoning
and conceptual modeling have advanced to a stage where meanings of
terms can be formally specified in computer systems with great detail
and precision.    (014)

[2] With the success and expansion of the internet, the potential for
achieving semantic interoperability across interconnected applications
has become widely recognized, and the number of teams and individuals
creating knowledge classifications of varying degrees of logical
formality has dramatically increased. As this technology develops
further, it will enable deployment of computer applications with
increasing ability to make reliable knowledge-based decisions that
currently require human effort. Programs with such enhanced capacity
will increase the speed, efficiency, and sophistication of automated
information analysis and exploitation.    (015)

[3] Much recent emphasis has been focused on creating common syntactic
formalisms for representing knowledge, but syntactic formalisms alone
do not provide an effective way for describing what counts most:
semantic content.    (016)

[4] The complementary technology for effectively representing the
semantic content of complex widely used concepts is also available,
but agreement on standardized conceptual building blocks has not yet
been reached.    (017)

[5] The need for such agreement is increasing rapidly as many isolated
projects of varying complexity have been initiated to capture
knowledge in computer-interpretable formalisms. Without the means for
specifying intended meaning by means of well-understood conceptual
building blocks clearly related and contrasted with each other, the
great potential for sharing knowledge usable for computer reasoning
will not be realized.    (018)

[6] Several candidate upper ontologies are available, reflecting
decades of research and development.    (019)

[7] Each upper ontology has an existing community of users, but each
community only has access to a fraction of the total resources
available.    (020)

[8] To promote interoperability and the exploitation of these upper
ontologies, we intend to find a principled means of articulating the
relationships (including differences) among them. As a result, this
initiative will significantly enhance the value of the knowledge in
each of the communities whose knowledge bases are linked to these
interrelated upper ontologies.    (021)

[9] These upper ontologies are available and should be rigorously and
independently evaluated. They must also be easy to use and assess by
developers of domain ontologies and applications.    (022)

[10] For the forseeable future, we anticipate there will be multiple
upper ontologies. We will articulate the commonalities and the reasons
for the major differences in the upper ontologies.    (023)

Hereby unanimously supported by the following upper ontology
  John Bateman - Spatial Cognition, Robotics and Natural Language
  Aldo Gangemi - DOLCE - Description & Situation extensions
  Michael Gruninger - PSL / ISO 18629
  Nicola Guarino - DOLCE
  Doug Lenat - OpenCyc
  Adam Pease - SUMO
  Barry Smith - BFO
 Matthew West - ISO 15926
//    (024)

)    (025)

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