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Re: Any reason for ontology reuse?

From: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2010 14:10:36 +0000
To: Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>
CC: Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>, Percy Enrique Rivera Salas <privera.salas@gmail.com>, "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EMEW3|ebee74fe324b2cb563a8f7482acfd069mB3EB602hg|ecs.soton.ac.uk|8CDBEC51-2C20-43D5-BBC6-0062FA79E495@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
This is really rather a fun reflection.
I like Toby's analogy, but I think that it can usefully be improved.
Instead of considering publishing in English, we are publishing in the equivalent of natural language.
So the different vocabularies might correspond better to the different NLs around.
If I am able to publish in English, with a significant smattering of German or Latin for words that might be missing from English, then with a little effort, someone can more easily understand what I am saying, especially given zeitgeist, context, et cetera, usw.
However i am probably best keeping to English if I can.
On the other hand, spraying around lots of words from lots of different vocabularies makes it much harder and fragile to understand than sticking to one obscure one or even inventing my own, as it means the consumer needs to go to lots of sources to work out what is meant.

In fact, grabbing words from a bunch of different NLs is quite an easy, if vulnerable, encoding mechanism.
I have been know to write down four digit numbers using transliteration of the numbers from different languages, as a mnemonic which would just be that bit of a challenge to someone who stumbled on it.
I guess that is one reason why I am not as averse to minting URIs as some people.

On 4 Dec 2010, at 13:07, Martin Hepp wrote:

> Simple rules:
> 1. It is better to use an existing ontology than inventing your own.
> 2. It is better to use the most popular existing ontology than a less popular existing ontology.
> 3. It is better to publish your data using your own ontology than not publishing your data at all.
> 4. It is better to use a good (*) private ontology for publishing your data than using a messy private ontology.
> (*) A good ontology is one that preserves the largest share of the original conceptual distinctions in your data, i.e. it does not require merging entity types that are distinct in the original data, as long as this distinction matters for potential data consumers.
> Whether option #1 is feasible depends on
> 1. how much time and money you are willing into lifting / publishing your data (that will be a matter of economic incentives).
> 2. how complicated it is to populate that ontology based on the available data and the local schemas.
> Best
> Martin
> On 04.12.2010, at 09:27, Toby Inkster wrote:
>> On Fri, 3 Dec 2010 18:15:08 -0200
>> Percy Enrique Rivera Salas <privera.salas@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I would like to know, which are the specific reason(s),
>>> for reuse terms from well-known vocabularies in the process of Publish
>>> Linked Data on the Web?
>> Consider this question: I would like to know, which are the specific
>> reason(s) for reusing well-known words in the process of publishing
>> English text on the Web?
>> Answer: When you're writing something in English, you should avoid
>> inventing new words unless you're fairly sure that a word for the
>> concept you're trying to describe does not exist. This is because if
>> you invent a new word, you need to describe what it means for other
>> people to be able to understand you. And even when you do that, you've
>> increased the cognitive load for your readers.
>> URIs are the vocabulary of linked data, just like words are the
>> vocabulary of the English language. For analogous reasons, you should
>> avoid minting new URIs when an existing URI will do. If you mint a new
>> URI that means the same as an existing one, then not only do you have
>> to go to the effort of documenting its meaning, but consumers have to
>> perform extra work (such as subproperty/subclass inferencing) to
>> understand it.
>> -- 
>> Toby A Inkster
>> <mailto:mail@tobyinkster.co.uk>
>> <http://tobyinkster.co.uk>
> --------------------------------------------------------
> martin hepp
> e-business & web science research group
> universitaet der bundeswehr muenchen
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Hugh Glaser,  
              Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia
              School of Electronics and Computer Science,
              University of Southampton,
              Southampton SO17 1BJ
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Received on Saturday, 4 December 2010 14:13:40 UTC

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