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   RE: [xml-dev] Issues with XML and Semantic Web ?

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Yes, this is exactly right. Semantic Web is all about working with simple
unitary ontologies and having software agents go at them.

I don't think you are missing anything. One of the motivations for common
"upper" ontologies is that you support the interoperability of your
ontologies by maiking them all consistent with the UO. So this could be a
solution, but I have difficulty believing in the feasibility of making this
happen, although there are people who swear by it. I know of some work on
reasoners that manage contexts, so that you don't have to import all of your
foreign ontology to do reasoning, but this still has the issue of how one
knows it is consistent when you do.


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Champion [mailto:michaelc.champion@gmail.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 3:31 PM
To: Irene Polikoff
Cc: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Issues with XML and Semantic Web ?

On Tue, 09 Nov 2004 15:09:19 -0500, Irene Polikoff <irene@topquadrant.com>

> In theory, the modularity of ontology models should provide the 
> flexibility needed to accommodate different contexts. One could also 
> only reference/use part of an ontology - parts one can "agree with" - 
> without committing to the entire ontology. In practice, we are still 
> figuring out how this will all work.

Forgive me if this is something I should have learned in SemWeb 101, but
doesn't any inferencing mechanism based on logic assume that the ontologies
are consistent?  How does one ensure that the parts of multiple ontologies
that one "agrees with" are consistent with one another?  And if they're not,
an inferencer could come to any conclusion whatsoever (e.g. the possibly
apocryphal story of Bertrand Russell proving that he is the Pope from the
premise that 2+2=5) ...
or what am I missing here?

In practice, what DOES one do, other than work with simple and unitary
ontologies that don't imply anything remotely interesting, but let software
agents automate the grunt work of generating queries, transformations, etc.
that are just too tedious for humans to do quickly and accurately.  That's
use case for the semantic web technologies that I can both grok and see an
application for, FWIW.


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