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Re: OWL "Sydney Syntax"

From: Catherine Dolbear <Catherine.Dolbear@ordnancesurvey.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2006 14:36:29 -0000
Message-ID: <B8CAF0445DAB2A4BA8F1B04B0EFF5A4504B6169C@OSMAIL.ordsvy.gov.uk>
To: <public-owl-dev@w3.org>

 Hi Anne,
Your proposal for a Sydney Syntax looks really interesting, and we'd be
interested in participating in this work. From reading the threads on
your original mail, it looks like the consensus is to develop something
from OWL backwards to structured natural language, as that's an easier
problem than using natural language to author OWL-DL. We have been
working on the latter problem, developing a structured English (which
we're calling Rabbit), along with a GUI that steps the domain expert
through the stages of ontology authoring and writing structured

So I have some questions:
- What exactly are you going to do with this structured English syntax?
I'm guessing it'll be far too DL-like for real domain experts to use for
production (based on our experiences with teaching domain experts to
author ontologies). So is it to help them understand the OWL that
DL-ontologists have written? (useful in itself) or to help document the
OWL "code"? [we currently put all our structured English sentences into
the rdf:comment annotation as documentation; OWL 1.1 will mean we can
document each axiom individually, which will be nice]

- Is the structured English that you're proposing a stepping stone to
addressing the harder problem of helping the domain expert to author
ontologies? I doubt it, because it'll be very constrained by what OWL
can state, rather than what domain experts actually want to say. 

Anyway, we're planning to do some user testing of Rabbit, in terms of
domain expert understanding and (un)ambiguous interpretation, and we
could include the Sydney syntax in the experiments as a comparison if
you'd like.


Dr Cathy Dolbear 	
Ordnance Survey Research Labs 	
Southampton, United Kingdom.

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Received on Saturday, 2 December 2006 01:50:38 UTC

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