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

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W. E. Perry wrote:

> Perhaps we should consider a different example. Suppose that an instance
> of your SLR is presented to an application for customs duty collection.
> The task of that application is not to infer that an SLR is a sort of
> camera but to infer that the particular instance presented is an example
> of dutiable luxury consumer goods. This application is a valuable use of
> the SLR/camera ontology which you are creating, but probably not one
> which you expected, nor one which you have provided 'hooks' for in the
> ontology you are building. Yet our larger purpose here is to build (and
> more abstractly to build the principles for) ontologies distributed
> among processing nodes on a worldwide internetwork.

OWL has been explicitly designed such that Roger's camera ontology might be
extended/incorporated by some other customs ontology. He does not need to
provide for "hooks" because the language provides that by design -- OWL is
not the first ontology language, what makes it unique in a large part is
this feature.

In that effort,
> harnessing the unique perspective and uniquely expert processing at each
> node is the particular value we hope to add by building out the ontology
> to worldwide scale. Clearly the customs application cannot function
> without its own ontological distinctions between dutiable and
> non-dutiable, consumer and industrial goods. Equally clearly we do not
> want to burden every camera hobbyist's SLR ontology with the
> distinctions which are most crucial to the customs agent. The only
> workable way to reconcile those goals, and the only way to build out any
> non-trivial ontology to worldwide scale, is to require as a matter of
> design that semantics are locally elaborated to fill the local needs of
> expert processes. Being local means that these semantics are not shared,
> nor understood in some common way.

I'd say that OWL's 'solution' does work *and* provides for shared semantics
as per the OWL S&AS http://www.w3.org/TR/owl-semantics/


<owl:Class rdf:ID="DutiableItem">
    <owl:oneOf rdf:parseType="Literal">

The above is what puts the "W" in "OWL"



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