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   Re: [xml-dev] Meta-somethingorother (was the semantic web mega-permathre

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Jonathan Borden wrote,
> What is unique, and what was actually a surprisingly difficult task
> even for MT experts was the ability to express a description logic MT
> in RDF -- that is to unify the OWL and RDF model theories. As is well
> described in the WebOnt WG archives, for the longest time our logic
> experts thought it couldn't be done.

I'm not disputing that achievement. I'm questioning whether, outside of 
purely academic interest, the game's worth the candle.

> You are free to offhandedly dismiss this work as trivial and nothing
> new, however you should realize that some of this work has been done
> by people who are *very* well respected in their communities -- this
> is the sort of work that should grow on people once some of the
> technical underbrush becomes understood.

I didn't dismiss it as trivial ... I dismissed it as practically 
irrelevant. Lots of cycles were spent on OWL-DL and what it gives us is 
a system which is too weak to specify arithmetic constraints like,

  cost = unit price x quantity

for the dubious benefit of a finite decision procedure (which doesn't 
preclude the possibility that you won't be able complete an inference 
before the heat-death of the universe).

> It was thought not possible to write the OWL MT using a *syntax* i.e.
> triples, in which all statements had to be asserted as true.
> Technical? very. New? it appears so. Meaningful? remains to be seen.

The only novelty here is self-referential. Sure it's new for the OWL MT, 
but it's not new in general. I have a book published in 1992 right 
here[1] which describes the construction of non-trivial systems using 
only implication relations between positive statements. And the work it 
draws on goes right back to Gentzen in the '30s.

[1] Arnold Koslow, A Structuralist Theory of Logic, Cambridge Univ.
    Press, 1992.




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