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   RE: Schemata are not just constraints [was: "RDF + Topic Maps" = TheFutu

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  • From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
  • To: ricko <ricko@geotempo.com>, xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 10:05:04 -0600

The site cited (ooooh) notes that ontology meant a 
logic of existence.  If we go that deep, we lose 
ourselves in the ratholes of meaning which any good 
chaos guru can tell you gets fuzzier and fuzzier at 
the edges of universality for all the usual 
non-linear dynamic system reasons.

But the SW as as far as I can tell isn't that.  It 
becomes just as DTD/Schemas are, locally originated 
and by syntax, globally sharable assertion 
databases mapped to the resources available.  It 
is a means to get a feedback loop in place over 
these to narrow hits, discover associations, test 
and initiate transactions, and so on.  Again, 
if we concern ourselves with the quality and 
operational issues, this is probably a slam 
dunk technically.  I think the issues of 
poli-sci, costs of development, cost recoupment, 
authority and credentials are a lot tougher. 
OTOH, those who need ontological services 
will find ones that fit their own opinions, 
the usual inter-ecological dance at the 
boundaries happens, and parts of the 
web which interoperates (let's say a 
different class from Surfing 101) will 
tighten up the descriptions and get the 
desired results.

Let's face it, using a knowledge base 
or expert system to augment the controls 
of a manufacturing process is a known 
bear.  They are expensive and require 
substantial testing, but they do work 
in limited domains.   We will find a lot 
of heat at the overlaps as usual, so 
as we discussed earlier, we will spend 
a lot of time on the interlayer (extra-domain) 
interfaces.   As Martin mentioned, we can 
look at the utility of substitution groups.

Len Bullard
Intergraph Public Safety

Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

-----Original Message-----
From: ricko [mailto:ricko@geotempo.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2000 4:10 AM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: Schemata are not just constraints [was: "RDF + Topic Maps"
= The Future]

 From: "Martin Bryan" <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
 . As Len Bullard
> pointed out, http://www-ksl.stanford.edu/kst/what-is-an-ontology.html
> defines ontology as:
> "definitions associate the names of entities in the universe of discourse
> (e.g., classes, relations, functions, or other objects) with
> human-readable text describing what the names mean, and formal
> axioms that constrain the interpretation and well-formed use of
> these terms".

"Ontology" in general means the study of forms, as a branch of metaphysics,
the philosophical study of things beyond science and mathematics (e.g. the
basic pieces of mental or analystical furniture, such as
"substance/accident" or "essense" or "property" or "class" or "type" etc.)
and has a long history.   "An ontology" as defined above is a more
specialized usage.

Rick Jelliffe


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