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Re: First Order Logic and Semantic Web RE: NPR, Godel, Semantic W eb

Pardon me for jumping into the middle of this. I'm naive, so if my questions
are off target, tell me so. (Or ignore me.)

> >
> > Yes, the problems of amplification and catastrophe
> > in a feedback system:  well, essentially, at onset,
> > you have to *feel* it and put your palm on the
> > strings before the speakers blow... ;-) (the answer
> > is in the feedback formula;  the control
> > or policy for returning output to input).
> Yep. But on single source to single output, the feedback solution is easy
> define. The web is a web (clever ontology, no?). Knowing where the inputs
> and output lie is the tricky part, and there can be many. I think this is
> harder problem than first appears.
> Reminds be of a simple computer simulation, called voters. You start with
> grid of cells, randomly populated with 1's and 0's. The feedback mechanism
> here is your eight immediate neighbors. If you have four 0 neighbors and
> four 1 neighbors, you vote your conscious, otherwise you vote along with
> majority of your neighbors. Unlike the real world, eventually the
> collapses to a single-party system: everybody votes the same. Thus, any
> in the initial random scattering of 1's and 0's is reinforced. Once an
> advantage is gained, it is maintained under these rules.

Many countries do gravitate towards the one-party system. Political
stability in a multi-party system is (historically) a relatively rare thing,
and a fairly recent phenomon.

Of course, real stability in a single-party system is even more rare. Single
party systems, on the other hand, are very good at providing an illusion of
stability, at least for a few years.

Is that what you mean by "unlike the real world?"

> >
> > Let me ask you this, how does a human negotiate for a
> > used car?  In other words, many contracts start out with
> > only a minimal amount of trust among the partners in
> > the transaction.   Ask yourself in any trading situation
> > what procedures or tasks do you do to ensure the situation
> > meets your needs.  How do you express those needs to a
> > potential partner?
> I think there's all sorts of trading scenarios, some zero-sum. One factor
> car dealing is trust in oneself. Do I have confidence in my negotiating
> skills? When gleaning information off the Semantic Web, do I trust my
> agent's ability to discern right from wrong? Again, it goes back to track
> record. It's more along the lines of auto repair, how do I trust a
> Takes experience, you can get burned often in the meantime. Or you can
> become your own authority and do it yourself.

Can SW be implemented and still leave room for DIYers?

> > I see these as separate issues:  logical procedures
> > for negotiating a basis for trust, maintaining a
> > private registry of trusted partners, creating a
> > trustworthy knowledge base.  How does the Survivor
> > game on TV work (never watch it myself - degrading)?
> See enough of Survivor at work, thank you. It does point up another factor
> in trust: understanding motivations. So track record isn't enough. Some
> authority can become untrustworthy on subjects of vested interest. This is
> why I don't read certain computer rags: too much self-interest in
> their ad revenue.

Icckkk. Sorry. That's not a question. Uhmm. Is watching Scurvivor part of
your job, or does a co-worker insist on watching it? (If you avoid the
ad-rags, I assume you are not watching it voluntarily.)

I guess that's still not a question.

Can SW be implemented without leaving the web open to Scurvivor sites? If it
can, would the danger of closing it to Scurvivor sites be worth whatever is
saved thereby? (Looking at the use of stereotypes from an abstract point of

> >
> > I should think one would look at the UDDI/WSDL service
> > model and find the place where the ontology fits.  What
> > service is it providing?
> >
> > As to **how does one train an agent**, I should think that
> > the critical question.   See DAML.  What is the agent
> > allowed to DO?  Get to that first.
> >
> > How do we constrain human agents?  Protocol, policy,
> > backups, reviews, etc.   I submit one has to look very
> > hard at negotiation in contexts of policy and opportunism.
> This all gets back to checks and balances. This can't be ad hoc.

If it can't be ad hoc, how does the SW community propose to do checks and

> >
> > Style counts for humans.  For SW?  It depends on just how
> > complex a logical layer you want to devise, the kinds of
> > agents, how much analogical reasoning you enable, etc.
> The fact is, I won't train my agent; easier to buy one. What I'm concerned
> about is the infrastructure in which it operates. Is it robust?
> Self-correcting? We shouldn't make this up as we go along. The role of an
> expert is not only knowing what he knows, it's knowing what he doesn't
> The SW had better understand it's limitations.

Self-training agents? Auto-adjusting stereotypes?

> >
> > If you want a thought experiment, the hottest domain for
> > research at the moment is using an avatar or virtual human
> > interface as the GUI.  What would you need to make that
> > believable (not real, but believable in the sense that
> > you know Bugs Bunny is not real, but he is believable)?
> >
> > Building the knowledge base, as hard as it looks today,
> > is probably tedious but easier than what follows.  After
> > that, the layer that enables the agent semi-autonomous
> > capacity to evolve a strategy in moreorless real time
> > is the hard part.  It is a problem similar if not identical
> > to the problems of interactive fiction and believable
> > characters (which is why some of us work in that field -
> > fun, artsy, and illuminating).
> Well, yes. The vastness of scale is nothing to be trifled with, though.
> SW isn't just War and Peace. Getting a handle on the cast of characters is
> challenge in itself. Not that it can't be done, and by people much abler
> than myself, but let's not underestimate the task. It's a long walk from
> concept to fruition.

I like that metaphor. Does any interactive fiction of the complexity of War
and Peace exist yet?

> >
> > So good question:  how does one train an agent?  Well,
> > first the agent needs memory, both of specific
> > facts and what was once called, episodic memory so it
> > has the capacity to work with stereotypes and match
> > reactions to events (feel it; put palm on strings).  If a stereotype
> > is identified, how can it avoid falling into local minima?
> > Annealing was once a topic of discussion in that context.
> Perhaps what an agent needs is self-doubt. We don't need a bunch of
> agents changing our world for us. True, it's how software is done, but do
> really want to follow that model? :-)

Just had a thought. All this talk about making the system do things that
humans are way better than computers at, what would the dangers of putting
humans in the loop be? And would that defeat the purpose of SW?

> >
> > But before we get that deep, basic WSDL, routing of application
> > data to application, transforms, etc.   Most of the business
> > documents and business logic are tested long before you
> > commit a mission critical operation to them.   The applications
> > in those domains are actually unlikely to be as open as the
> > web.  That is the flaw in open vs closed system assumptions.
> > There is a middle ground (the keiretsu) in which the operational
> > chain is defined by contract, tested, and known.   It is closed
> > in the sense that expectations are defined and tested prior to
> > committing resources to it, so it is not chaotically seeking
> > patterns; it is opportunistic.
> Yeah, I think we're in basic agreement. It will take a long time.

I, for one, hope that Bill and company are not breathing over anybody's
shoulders to get SW out the door.

Joel Rees

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