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   Re: [xml-dev] Roger Costello: My Version of "Why use OWL?"

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[W. E. Perry]

> [Last week Roger Costello initiated a discussion of OWL and OWL
> ontologies both here on XML-DEV and also on the RDF-interest list. This
> week he has posted a follow up to RDF-interest but not here on XML-DEV.
> Without wishing to cross-post, I believe that the topic remains of as
> much interest here as on RDF-interest and I am therefore initiating a
> new thread based on my response to Roger on the RDF-interest list.]
> Your example on slide #9 of the Mars probe disaster--one application
> interpreted the data in inches, another application interpreted the data
> in centimeters--is actually a counterexample to what you hope to
> illustrate.


Walter, even though I agree with your remarks generally, I do not think that
Roger's work here is as far off the mark as you say.  Your counter example
of a Customs application is good and right on the point, but consider this.
If the Customs application knows what a "Camera" is - according to both
ontologies - then it probably has enough info to decide if the thing is a
dutiable good or not by consulting its own expertise.  If it can use the SLR
ontology to bounce from SRL up to Camera, and __if__ it can find out that
the SLR's Camera is equivalent to the Custom's Camera, then the app is all

The key is not for each ontology to clutter up the other (as you suggestesd
might have to happen), but to establish the equivalence.  OTOH, I personally
think that is the hard part!  One problem among many is to how to know when
two terms are in fact "equivalent" since that will usually imply a lot of
background knowledge that may or may not be articulated or shared.

In fact, establishing equivalence is essentially the database mapping
problem[1] in another disguise.


Tom P

[1] The recent xml-dev thread "Re: [xml-dev] ANN: Article on using RDF to
provide extensibility and modularity"


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