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Re: [RIF]: Expressing Ruleset differences as Meta-information for RIF

From: Mala Mehrotra <mm@pragati-inc.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 00:48:16 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: "Vincent, Paul D" <PaulVincent@fairisaac.com>, "Ginsberg, Allen" <AGINSBERG@imc.mitre.org>,<public-rif-wg@w3.org>
Hi Paul,

  I think you have made some interesting points on my use case. 
However, Allen has not misinterpreted my use case.

At 12:17 PM 2/20/2006, Vincent, Paul D wrote:
>Allen - I must admit my interpretation of Mala's comment was 
>somewhat different: that there is information regarding intent / use 
>of rules associated with rulesets that may be of value to be defined 
>in RIF for traceability / assistance with transformations.

  I was not addressing execution time issues such as traceability 
through rule sets. I was looking at more of the static 
characteristics in rule sets, such as common patterns across rules, 
that may be exploited for transformation from one rule language to another.

>This "metadata" may be:
>- there may be several rules leading to the same conclusion
>- these rules are effective for a certain context
>- these rules are designed for a particular semantics (/processing 
>engine class)

The metadata from templates is not restricted to the scenarios you list above.

>I would guess that until such metadata is proven to be required for 
>interchange, it is out of scope. However, it is intriguing enough 
>for possible addition to the use cases: requirements for rule metadata.

It can always be argued that metadata is not an absolute requirement. 
However, if done right, I think metadata can facilitate and speed up 
the translation process. Whether this is in scope or not, I will 
leave up to the RIF WG.

>PS: I would have thought that templates (of anything including 
>rules) were an orthogonal concept. I've no idea if any existing W3C 
>technology eg RDF already has explicit support for templates. You 
>could of course argue that XSL is ako "template" for XML, etc.

Allen gave me a stronger analogy of templates I am proposing by 
comparing it with C++ templates. I think that is more representative 
of the idea and philosophy of templates that I am proposing for RIF.

                 Thanks for the feedback,
>Paul Vincent
>Fair Isaac Blaze Advisor --- Business Rule Management
>OMG Standards for Business Rules, PRR & BPMI
>mobile: +44 (0)781 493 7229 ... office: +44 (0)20 7871 7229
>-----Original Message-----
>From: public-rif-wg-request@w3.org 
>[mailto:public-rif-wg-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Ginsberg, Allen
>Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 8:02 PM
>To: Mala Mehrotra; public-rif-wg@w3.org
>Subject: RE: Expressing Ruleset differences as Meta-information for RIF
>Hi Mala,
>Thanks for your input.
>In response to this message, I have added the following possible design
>goal to the list of design goals in the category named "Design Goals
>Concerning RIF Supported Metadata Features:"
>"The RIF should support meta-level or metadata features which make it
>possible to create rule "templates" that capture patterns of semantic
>and/or syntactic structures common across two or more rules."
>I hope this captures the intent of the use-case you describe.
>       From: Mala Mehrotra [mailto:mm@pragati-inc.com]
>       Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 2:42 PM
>       To: Ginsberg, Allen; public-rif-wg@w3.org
>       Subject: Expressing Ruleset differences as Meta-information for
>       Hi Allen and RIF members,
>                In going through the Design Goals document, I believe
>that an important observation regarding capture of meta-information on
>rule-sets, (which we had addressed as "Supporting the Reuse of Rules"
>use case) has not been included. The last para in section 1 of the
>Design Goals document states the following:
>       "Besides representing an order of magnitude less effort for the
>implementation of translation algorithms, the use of a RIF has the
>potential for additional benefits. For example, in cases where
>rule-interchange mappings cannot be reliably automated, the information
>provided by the RIF representation should, at the very least, be useful
>in automatically constructing explanations of the translation impasse.
>       It is important to understand, however, that the RIF itself
>provides neither a translation algorithm nor an explicit mapping
>between rule languages. Rather the RIF includes a framework of
>concepts, represented as tags in a markup language, that can be used to
>provide information about the meaning of wffs in a rule language. For
>rule authors who wish to make their rules accessible across languages
>and platforms, the more completely, precisely, and accurately they tag
>their creations using the RIF, the more likely it is that their rules
>will be capable of being automatically translated correctly."
>       Our use case focuses on the issue of utilizing RIF tags to
>provide meta- information about sets of rules rather than just single
>rules. In my experience while analyzing rules, we have repeatedly
>encountered common patterns across rule sets in various forms,
>regardless of representation and domain that the rules are embedded in.
>In the use case cited in the RIF Use Cases and Requirements, we have
>shown how that different classes such as, MaritimeEquipmentType,
>ElectronicEquipmentType and MiscellaneousEquipmentType have been
>similarly defined in OWL. The last block, in the use case,  abstracts
>the similarities while providing <slots> which indicate the parts which
>are different across the rules. I believe that this type of
>meta-information about sets of rules, such as similarity across the
>rules, can be usefully exploited by systems that utilize RIF for both
>exchange and interoperability of rules.
>       Below I provide a similar (but shorter) example from Cyc rules
>from the spatial microtheory, that I had analyzed for the DARPA RKF
>       (#$implies
>       (#$and
>       (#$termOfUnit ?CONVEXHULLFN (#$ConvexHullFn ?OBJECT))
>       (#$termOfUnit ?CONVEXHULLFN-1 (#$ConvexHullFn ?CONVEXHULLFN)))
>       (#$equals ?CONVEXHULLFN ?CONVEXHULLFN-1))
>       (#$implies
>       (#$and
>       (#$termOfUnit ?INTERIORFN (#$InteriorFn ?OBJECT))
>       (#$termOfUnit ?INTERIORFN-1 (#$InteriorFn ?INTERIORFN)))
>       (#$equals ?INTERIORFN ?INTERIORFN-1))
>       This is a case of discovering the characteristic of idempotency
>across various rules where the functions return the same value
>regardless of how many times you invoke it. (termOfUnit in Cyc is like
>a macropredicate to store the value returned by a function call.)
>       It is important to capture such similarity in invocations, at a
>meta-level in the RIF language, so that these types of rules can be
>invoked in any other language easily and translation process can
>proceed en masse. In other words, we need a way to separate out the
>commonality in formulation of the rules, from the specific invocations
>of these rules, so that these rules can be made more amenable to
>transfer across different rule representations.
>       So far my attempt to abstracting the commonality has been in
>the form of templates, by recognizing the idempotent rules found above,
>as a UniqueFn, which can invoke the set of rules above by being defined
>in the following manner:
>       (#$implies
>       (#$and
>         (#$<UniqueFn> ?<UNIQUEFN>)
>         (#$termOfUnit ?<UNIQUEFN-TERM-1> (?<UNIQUEFN> ?OBJECT))
>         (#$termOfUnit ?<UNIQUEFN-TERM-2> (?<UNIQUEFN>
>         (#$equals ?<UNIQUEFN-TERM-1> ?<UNIQUEFN-TERM-2>))
>       Now the exchange across other rule representation languages can
>be carried out both at the syntactic level and at a meta-level  and any
>number of such rules can be invoked, with different names, in either
>one of the languages to be interoperated with.
>       Thus RIF needs to capture the meta-level formulation of these
>rules - and I see a strong role for advocating first order
>representation for such cases, so that one can invoke rules on sets of
>       Please note that I am not advocating a first order reasoner (as
>that can be a hard problem to tackle in Phase I) - as I am not
>executing the meta-rules. However it is important to represent them in
>RIF so as to generate other rules.
>       I would be happy to discuss this further in tomorrow's telecon
>and/or at the F2F in Cannes,
>                        Thanks for listening!
>                                 Mala
>       At 01:20 PM 2/16/2006, Ginsberg, Allen wrote:
>             Dear RIF-WGers,
>             At the last telecon I was assigned the action item of
>starting to
>             compile a list of Design Goal issues on the WIKI.
>             To view what I have done so far please visit
>             http://www.w3.org/2005/rules/wg/wiki/UCR/Design_Goals.
>             Here is a synopsis:
>             I list 3 design goal categories.  Each category has
>some explanation of
>             what it is, and one or more of the following
>                     1) a list of possible design goals
>                    2) a list of NOT-A-Design-Goals
>                     3) commentary
>                     4) questions
>             My next step is to go back over the messages in the
>email list and
>             build up these lists and add new categories as
>required. I hope to get
>             that done before the next telecon.
>             Any feedback and suggestions are most welcome.
>             Allen
>             Dr. Allen Ginsberg        The MITRE Corporation,
>Information Semantics
>             aginsberg@mitre.org       Center for Innovative
>Computing & Informatics
>             Voice: 703-983-1604       7515 Colshire Drive, M/S H305
>             Fax:   703-983-1379       McLean, VA 22102-7508, USA
>       Mala Mehrotra
>       Pragati Synergetic Research Inc.  MS 19-46Q, NASA Research
>Park, Moffett Field, CA 94035
>       Voice:
>       (650)-625-0274(Office)
>       (408)-861-0939 (Home Office)
>       (408)-910-4115 (Cell)
>       Fax: (408)-516-9599
>       URL: http://www.pragati-inc.com
>       Email: mm@pragati-inc.com

Mala Mehrotra
Pragati Synergetic Research Inc.  MS 19-46Q, NASA Research Park, 
Moffett Field, CA 94035
(408)-861-0939 (Home Office)
(408)-910-4115 (Cell)
Fax: (408)-516-9599
URL: http://www.pragati-inc.com
Email: mm@pragati-inc.com
Received on Tuesday, 21 February 2006 08:48:37 UTC

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