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   RE: [xml-dev] A Few Thoughts on an Ontology as a Self Organizing System

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If going to HTML, how about something like:

<xsl:template match="somens:*">
  <div class="{local-name()}">

And define the L&F in CSS.

Probably too simplistic but it works for us in our CMS for generic content
handling. Some well known things (tables, forms, titles, etc) are
overridden, but you get the idea.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Roger L. Costello [mailto:costello@mitre.org]
> Sent: Friday, September 26, 2003 1:57 PM
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Hi Folks,
> This is a continuation of the discussion that we had last week on
> complex systems.  I have a couple of somewhat fuzzy ideas that I would
> like to throw out.  My objective is to stimulate the flow of ideas, and
> perhaps bring clarity to my ideas.
> Mike Champion made an interesting statement last week while discussing
> semantics:
> > But how about the messy real world most of us must
> > operate in, where there is an intent to deceive
> > (spammers, virus writers, software companies with
> > patents on common sense, politicians starting wars [or
> > questioning the definition of "is"], ad nauseum)? How
> > about in pop culture contexts where meanings of words
> > are changed literally for the fun of it?
> That got me to thinking.  Suppose that we define the collection of all
> XML tags that are used within a domain as a "system".  Let me refer to
> each individual tag as a "part" of the system.  The system is
> dynamically expanding and shrinking, i.e., parts (tags) are being
> introduced/withdrawn all the time.  There are both fixed and changing
> interactions in the system, i.e., some parent/child, sibling, semantic
> relationships are fixed, others change.
> What we have is a complex system.  I could continue on with this
> description and talk about system properties, emergent properties,
> attractors, etc.  However, since the topic is semantics, I would like to
> focus on the use of ontologies in such a system.
> Ontology languages such as RDF Schema and OWL provide the ability to
> *statically* capture semantic relationships.  However, as Mike points
> out, semantics is a continually evolving thing.  As a system evolves, so
> must the ontology evolve.  In fact, an ontology must be part of the
> system.
> "The essence of self-organization is that system structure often appears
> without explicit pressure or involvement from outside the system."[1]
> To manage evolving semantics a system must self-organize as semantics
> evolve.  In other words, an ontology must be a constantly evolving
> entity.
> How can we create an ontology that evolves?  Here is a thought: express
> semantic relationships in an XSLT document!  An XSLT stylesheet has an
> interesting property of being able to output a modified version of
> itself, i.e., the output of the stylesheet is another, modified,
> stylesheet.  The output stylesheet may contain template rules that have
> been modified to reflect changing semantics, and additional template
> rules that contain new semantic relationships.
> Honestly, I am not sure how one would express semantic relationships in
> a stylesheet. For example, how would you express that a SLR is a type of
> Camera, or aperture is synonymous with f-stop?
> Well, that's it.  As you can see my ideas are rather fuzzy, but perhaps
> they will stimulate your thoughts.  /Roger
> [1] Self-Organizing Systems FAQ for Usenet newsgroup
> comp.theory.self-org-sys


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