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

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Thomas B. Passin wrote:
> Walter, even though I agree with your remarks generally, I do not think
> 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
> 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
> 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
> set.

There are several ways to do this:

1) The Customs ontology uses the SLR ontology "camera" class directly using
its URI. e.g.


2) One can explicitly state the logical equivalence between two classes (the
sets have identical members) as:

customs:Camera owl:sameClassAs camera:camera .

3) With the appropriate "surrounding information" an OWL inferencing engine
can *infer* that the classes are identical.

i.e. given a bunch of triples/statements the OWL engine spits out
customs:Camera owl:sameClassAs camera:camera .

> The key is not for each ontology to clutter up the other (as you
> might have to happen), but to establish the equivalence.  OTOH, I
> think that is the hard part!  One problem among many is to how to know
> 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.

Right, or just use the term directly and there is no question that customs
is talking about a camera. That's the point of shared ontologies: you don't
need to redefine everything in every ontology.



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