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Re: [ontac-forum] Re: Semantic Layers (Was Interpretation of RDF reifica

To: "adasal" <adam.saltiel@xxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>, semantic-web@xxxxxx, Paul S Prueitt <psp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, brian.macklin@xxxxxxxxxx, timbl+speaking@xxxxxx, colette.maloney@xxxxxxxxxx, ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Azamat" <abdoul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 15:24:24 +0300
Message-id: <007901c65719$8d78a210$f802960a@az00evbfog6nhh>


The FP 6th budget is almost a history, no need to count what is consumed, although the figures i presented taken from the EC official papers. Better look at the FP 7th Budget, starting January 1st, 2007, and amounting to 72 726 million, with the indicative breakdown:

Cooperation - 12 670 million; Ideas - 11 862, People - 7129, and research infrastructure - 3961. For ICT programs, it is allocated 12 670 million.  Since the idea is to build the Europe of Knowledge, Knowledge-Intensive Society, Knowledge Base of Europe and Technological Know How, try and count what portion will be channeled towards semantic-based knowledge systems and intellectual technologies, directly through the ICT programs and indirectly through other projects : New production Technologies - 4832 million; Security and Space - 3960, Health - 8 312.


The coming European Commission 7th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration is built on better principles. First of all, it presupposes an abundant financing of individual projects under the rubric 'Ideas' (as investigator-driven frontier research by individual teams, judged by a European Scientific Council). Besides, to avoid bad misuses, frauds, self-regulation and poor deliverables allowed by 6th FP, the whole European science system is claimed to be overhauled: professional expertise and advice, quality publications, monitoring and control, trust, independent reviewing, ethical behaviour, public transparency, and financial audit.


The urgent issue is to understand what is really going on as the semantic web and the semantic-based knowledge systems, so that to avoid a harmful confounding the syntactic web with the semantic web (think the creator of the cake may as well say how it must be cooked).

If what is now going  is really the syntactic web, as John states and i intend to agree with him, then something must be done urgently. For then the SW folks make, intentionally or unintentionally, deceitful pretenses, getting and planning to obtain an underserved public funding, which looks enormous, and thus confusing both the World and the governments. Simply put, we must understand which web (or architectural pillars) most fits the matter, the formal semantic web (i.e., the syntactic web, known as the SW layer cake) or the real semantic web, something like this version:

<Real Semantic Web> ::= <Ontological Framework> < Logical Framework> <Semiotics> <the Web>
<Ontological Framework> ::= <UFO> <Upper Level Ontologies> <Domain Ontologies> <EOL>

<Logical Framework> ::= <FMF> | <  ... > <EOL>

<Semiotics> ::= <Pragmatics> <Semantics> <Syntax> <EOL>
<Pragmatics> ::= <Users> <Web Agents> <Intentions> <Actions> <Communication> < Proof, Trust> | <Truth> <EOL> 
<Semantics> ::= <Signs, Natural Language Expressions> <Meanings> <EOL>

<Syntax> ::= <Rules> <OWL Ontology> <RDF Schema> <RDF M&S> < RDF> <XML/SGML> <Namespaces> <EOL>
<the Web>  ::= <Resources, state, representation, identification, URI, Unicode> <Interaction, sofware agents, hypertext links, protocols, HTTP>  <data Formats, HTML, XHTML> <EOL>
Azamat Abdoullaev
----- Original Message -----
From: adasal
Sent: Sunday, April 02, 2006 12:41 AM
Subject: Re: [ontac-forum] Re: Semantic Layers (Was Interpretation of RDF reification)

I promissed some details about projects in the EU.
This is also in reply to AzAmat who said:-
In order to lay down the knowledge infrastructures of the upcoming Information Society the EU's Research Council and the European Parliament allocated 3.8 billion Euro for Knowledge Technologies within the 6th European Union Framework Programme (FP6) for Research and Technological Development, with a total budget of 17.5 billion Euro. Within the FP6 Programme, all the web-based knowledge technology projects are largely concerned with ontology research, design, learning, and management.
I should say immiediately that I don't see billions (1000 x millions) of Euro's in this, but my figure is for projects across one year (but a years funding would be far less, this is funding across a year for projects that last several years. It is a bit uncear to me if this is just ongoing funding, or agreed funding for 2006. I think the former, so the figures are far lower than you suggest.)
I have done the following.
Searched the Cordis web site for all projects in the 2006 6th Framework that use the word "semantic" in their description.
Truth is the Cordis web site is a mess. It returns duplicates because it can't establish that a project with a code 012345 and 12345 is the same.
Moreover it make copy and paste into a spread sheet very difficult (not a design consideration, but why not?). And on ...
I thought it unnecessary to look at other years, so I take 2006 as representative.
In millions of Euro:-
Project  Funding
241.74  181.36 
Companies will make up the difference between these two figures.
Number of projects:-
46  with avg. value ~ 5.25
All of the projects involve one or more University.
Non EU countries include:-
Country                                           no. projects
TURKEY                                                 3
AUSTRALIA                                            2
ROMANIA                                               2
LIECHTENSTEIN                                     1
CANADA                                                1
CHINA                                                    1
UNITED STATES                                     1
LITHUANIA                                             1
ICELAND                                                1

  Clearly in this group there is no relationship between their size and number of projects, but this is not the case for the bulk of the projects with the top few supporting as follows:-
GERMANY                  88
FRANCE                     46
ITALY                          45
GREECE                     40
SPAIN                         39

I am only giving these figures as it does indicate a huge amount of activity entailing a single very central theme, essentially semantics in web based technologies. (Certainly not just ontology related research as suggested by AzAmat.)
From this prespective I think it understandable that I am disappointed that John Sowa's work is not more obviously represented. I also pay head to John's point that not all eggs should be in one basket as, in a way, they are for the 6th Frame Work, since there seems to me a great deal of overlap, repetition and reinvention of the same underlying technologies, rather than reuse of established techniques and methods.
In regard to modularity and reuse it seems that there is no established policy on making project results available in the public domain. Some projects produce Open Source artifacts, while many do not. It doesn't seem appropriate to elaborate the consequences of this here.
I admit my analysis is by no means complete or necessarily accurate on these points.
I understand that, even with an average of 5.25M euro, it is by no means a simple or straight forward business to undertake funded research, but the naive thought remains that it would be well for the Information Society to make John Sowa's work central to one of these projects.
I do think that this is relevant to this list as there is a question as to what the semantic web is and, however that is answered, one aspect is that it is what it is shaped to become. Surely this level of funding will have a considerable, if not decisive influence?
Of course the other strand, I don't know how related, is that of the ground swell towards folksonomies. I would think that the just announced ActiveRDF for Ruby would act in this direction. I personally am fascinated and would like to investigate this sort of approach. There is a link between the popular and the subversive, how this will play out in the end e.g. will we end up with something like what ensued due to the invention of the pop song format - a whole culture - I can't guess.
But let me use what
Peter Maxwell Davies has said about popular music as an analogy when he said he doesn't listen to it because it is repetitious, without structure or interest. Although it may be fun in other ways, there is a need for architectural form and that can only come out of hard work, hard thought and thorough knowledge as evidenced in these discussions.

On 01/04/06, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Chris,
> I just want to comment on some seemingly minor points from
> a couple of your notes that hide a very big elephant:
> CM> ... more or less standard treatments [of extensional,
>  > intensional, pragmatic and modal approaches]
> CM> I rather admire Bunge's work, especially his emphasis
>  > on the construction of rigorous formal theories but, for
>  > good or ill, he has not been terribly influential, and
>  > his ideas are somewhat outside the mainstream.
> The words "standard" and "mainstream" suggest that there is
> some degree of consensus.  Unfortunately, whatever consensus
> exists is highly fragmented and people who subscribe to one
> fragment never cite and seldom read the works of people who
> subscribe to a different fragment.
> As you well know, many highly influential people, such
> as Quine from the formal perspective and the lexical
> semanticists from the informal perspective, say that none
> of these attempts to formalize modality, intentionality,
> etc., are likely to capture what people say in ordinary
> language.  Quine also claims that none of them are likely
> to be of any use for scientific language.  For a summary
> of Quine's mature views on the subject, see his 1981 book
> _Theories and Things_ .
> I'd also like to throw some other quotations into the pot
> from people who deserve considerable respect on the basis
> of their many years of research on related issues.
> In his book _Beyond Analytic Philosophy_, Hao Wang (1986),
> a former PhD student of Quine's and a former assistant to
> Kurt Goedel, characterized Quine's approach as "logical
> negativism":
>     Quine merrily reduces mind to body, physical objects to
>     (some of) the place-times, place-times to sets of sets of
>     numbers, and numbers to sets. Hence, we arrive at a purified
>     ontology which consists of sets only.... I believe I am not
>     alone in feeling uncomfortable about these reductions.  What
>     common and garden consequences can we draw from such grand
>     reductions? What hitherto concealed information do we get from
>     them?  Rather than being overwhelmed by the result, one is
>     inclined to question the significance of the enterprise itself.
> In support of his views, Want quoted a personal letter from
> C. I. Lewis, the founder of the modern systems of modal logic,
> about the state of philosophy in 1960:
>      It is so easy... to get impressive 'results' by replacing the
>      vaguer concepts which convey real meaning by virtue of common
>      usage by pseudo precise concepts which are manipulable by
>      'exact' methods — the trouble being that nobody any longer
>      knows whether anything actual or of practical import is being
>      discussed.
> Barbara Partee, who has probably done more to promote Montague's
> ideas among linguists than anyone else, has admitted that the
> formal semanticists have not even begun to come to grips with
> the work of the lexical semanticists, which is much more relevant
> to defining the kinds of words and concepts that people actually
> use, both in ordinary language and in scientific treatises:
>     In Montague's formal semantics the simple predicates of the
>     language of intensional logic (IL), like love, like, kiss,
>     see, etc., are regarded as symbols (similar to the "labels"
>     of [predicate calculus]) which could have many possible
>     interpretations in many different models, their "real meanings"
>     being regarded as their interpretations in the "intended model".
>     Formal semantics does not pretend to give a complete
>     characterization of this "intended model", neither in terms
>     of the model structure representing the "worlds" nor in terms
>     of the assignments of interpretations to the lexical constants.
>     The present formalizations of model-theoretic semantics are
>     undoubtedly still rather primitive compared to what is needed
>     to capture many important semantic properties of natural
>     languages.... There are other approaches to semantics that
>     are concerned with other aspects of natural language, perhaps
>     even cognitively "deeper" in some sense, but which we presently
>     lack the tools to adequately formalize.
> This excerpt is from Lecture 4 of a course she presented in 2005:
> http://people.umass.edu/partee/RGGU_2005/RGGU05_formal_semantics.htm
> And, of course, you can't ignore the logician Peter Geach, who
> dismissed Montague's work as "Hollywood semantics".
> I have some sympathy with all of the above, but I'm not completely
> convinced by any of them.  At this point, I would not bestow the
> term "standard" or "mainstream" on any of these approaches, and I
> would definitely *not* recommend that any of them be adopted as
> the foundation for any "standard" ontology.  But I would say that
> any of them might be used in an optional module in some ontology,
> if they proved to be useful for some particular problem.


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