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   Re: A Light Rant On Ontological Commitment

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  • From: Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>
  • To: Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 07:40:57 -0700 (MST)

> Great list Len.  Here are some I would suggest modification to:
> > Specify mappings between multiple standard controlled vocabularies if
> > multiple
> > vocabularies are standard in the domain(s) of interest.
> Specify mappings between multiple standard controlled vocabularies wherever
> their domains of interest overlap. (This helps vocabularies to grow)
> > Specify semantics of terms.
> Provide multilingual mappings for terms and definitions

This is indeed where a tremendous challenge lies.  I used to be believe
such mapping was just a matter of effort: lock a few dozen people in a
room with multi-lingual dictionaries.  I now know much better.  However,
even in cases where I've dealt with businesses willing to work with
ontologies (and this is a very sophisticated subset, of course), I've
found that the old idea is still very entrenched.  The attitude is "we've
built multi-lingual apps before.  The challenge is no different when
building a knowledgebase".

> > Specify domains and ranges of roles (for example, the domain of
> > "leader-of-country"
> > is "person" and the range is "country").
> Specify region and timeframe over which domains and roles apply. (What dates
> will George Bush be leader-of-country? Which country? How does this differ
> from being leader of Texas?)

I think this is something good to write on a reminder list, but I don't
think it's a fundamental specification to be made.  First of all, not all
domains and roles require this modifier.  And even where they do, it's
not, IMO, a much differentiated task from any other meta-statement.  For
instance, you can solve the problem in the same way you can solve the
problem of mensuration (units).

OTOH, I do certainly think that the multilingual matter you brought up
deserves special care.

> Chair, CEN/ISSS EC Workshop working group on Defining and Managing
> and Datatypes

Interesting.  Do you folks see any chance to recharge the moribund ISO BSR
project?  Or any replacement?

Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com               +1 303 583 9900 x 101
Fourthought, Inc.                         http://Fourthought.com
4735 East Walnut St, Ste. C, Boulder, CO 80301-2537, USA
Software-engineering, knowledge-management, XML, CORBA, Linux, Python


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