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   Re: [xml-dev] ANN: White Paper - "Using OWL to Avoid SyntacticRigor Mort

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Dave Pawson wrote:
> Isn't is necessary for the same grouping to agree terminology?

OWL provides the semantics of "subclassOf", "equivalentProperty",
"sameIndividualAs", etc.  Ontology creators must define the terms and
their relationships.  The idea I espouse is to reach agreement on the
logical model and encourage diversity of physical expressions.

> I guess this is where the human aspects come in?

Those who define the ontology specifies the terms and their semantics. 
Note that OWL is a "Web" technology.  Thus, an Ontology may evolve in a
distributed fashion (just like the Web itself!)

For example, suppose that when I build my application the Camera
Ontology only defines these terms:

   Camera, aperture, (lens) size

I then construct my application to understand physical expressions (XML
instance documents) which uses these terms.  Now, suppose that time
passes and the Camera Ontology evolves to include these additional

   SLR, f-stop, focal-length

Further, these relationships are specified in the Ontology:

   "SLR is a type of Camera"
   "f-stop is synonymous with aperture"
   "focal-length is synonymous with (lens) size"

Now, without any modifications to my application, I can process this
physical expression:


How are this be?  After all, it is using terms (SLR, f-stop, and
focal-length) that my application was not constructed to understand. 
Well, when my application encounters a term that it does not understand
it "consults" the Camera ontology:

   "What do you know about SLR?"

The Ontology returns:

   "SLR is a subclassOf of Camera"

My application understands:

   - "subclassOf" since it's part of the OWL vocabulary
   - "Camera" since my application was constructed to understand this

So, my application now understands that this physical expression is
talking about Cameras.  Further, it is talking about a particular type
of Camera.  

Thus, without a-priori agreement my application is able to process a
trading partner's document!  /Roger


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