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RE: A Light Rant On Ontological Commitment
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: Bill dehOra <BdehOra@interx.com>, email@example.com
- Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 10:34:49 -0600
Thanks for those citations, Bill. Interesting reading.
I recommend it not only for the insights into the
language design but so advocates of RDF and Topic
Maps can compare their designs to the author's advocacy
of Prolog. No flames, please. It is a learning
day every day.
However, I would place "speech acts" and other
such classifications squarely in the domain of
the business protocols and yes, such events
can be used to determine the required behavior.
It is useful to observe the behavior to determine
if the actor is staying inside the predicted or
contract boundaries. Bounding named events is
precisely why we want languages such as XLang
and possibly the ontological services. That
is what a project design is: boundaries.
That is why Tit-for-tat strategies have been
exhaustively studied. Simple strategies typically
produced the highest survivor rates in simulations
of negotiations where the Prisoner's Dilemma is
assumed as the environmental constraint. The author
of your cited article alludes to this by the constraint
"Treat this message as you do all messages of this
type unless there is a demonstrable reason not to
do so." Humans do this when an RFI or RFQ comes
in. If we cannot understand it, we invoke a process
to consider if it is worth considering. Making a
machine do this is what the machine language must
enable and why the author of the article is investigating
the design of such languages.
What we seem to be saying is that the first negotiation
is to establish the negotiation pattern or strategy
for deeper communication. That is precisely why
businesses issue RFIs before RFQs. These are both
acts of discovery to deepen the inquiry prior to the
act of negotiation of a contract. We negotiate the
environment prior to instantiating controls that can
then alter the environment itself. We try to avoid
the n-body problem because an environment cannot
be managed or costed. Consider the discussion of the
problem of using Extreme Programming methodologies
in fixed price projects. Method must match management
contracts. The ability of the programming language
to adequately define and then interact with the environment
is a key consideration in choosing it as a tool.
The cultural problem, as my GE manager
expressed it in 1989 is, "what you are talking about, Len,
f**ks up the game". Where the game is prized more
highly than the potential to improve the results
for all parties, he is right. But times change
and so should cultures. Choose wisely.
Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h
From: Bill dehOra [mailto:BdehOra@interx.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2001 6:31 AM
Cc: Bullard, Claude L (Len)
Subject: RE: A Light Rant On Ontological Commitment
> One problem is that the *intent* of language is
> determined in the context of the culture from
> which it emerges and within which semantics
> evolve. A relationship of language to culture
> (domain to environment) is a reciprocal
> control over the evolution of the thing(s)
> described. We must know both what is *meant*
> (the semantic measure within the system)
> and the *intent* (the semantic measure of
> the sender to receiver). This becomes very expensive.
Not neccessarily. Speech acts can determine intent.
> Multi-lingual and muli-cultural are reciprocal
> issues. We are typically better served as
> you point out by dealing with the transaction/contract
> level where we can make constraints testable
> and predictable based on observable behaviors.
Michael Covington: <http://www.ai.uga.edu/~mc/>: "On Designing a Language
for Electronic Commerce" and "Speech Acts in Electronic Communication, KQML,
and X12", both available at the url. And Scott Moore's FLBC:
> An ontology is just a document.
An ontology can be put into document form, yes.