W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org > April 2006

RE: Ontology editor + why RDF?

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 12:06:41 -0400
Message-Id: <p06230930c0584927dedd@[]>
To: "Kashyap, Vipul" <VKASHYAP1@PARTNERS.ORG>, "Phillip Lord" <phillip.lord@newcastle.ac.uk>, "deWaard, Anita \(ELS\)" <A.dewaard@elsevier.com>
Cc: <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>

hmm, interesting questions - tell you what - if someone will tell me 
what the answers are for the Web, then I can think about how we might 
make similar answers for the Semantic Web -- seriously, the goal is a 
cross-cutting technology, not a single solution engine.  That said, I 
do agree that some compelling success stories (esp in Life Science) 
would be good.  One thing I'd love to see would be some 
interoperability between the products of various publishers by 
linking their thesauri/vocabulary/ontologies.  We had a small demo of 
this playing with linking some Nature cancer work to some EPA cancer 
work via the NCI cancer ontology, but it was just a very small set as 
we had no funding to push this - might be an interesting thing to 
look at something larger scale than this as a use case...

At 7:17 -0400 4/4/06, Kashyap, Vipul wrote:
>>  To be honest, I think that this is a recipe of despair; I don't think
>>  that there is any one thing that SW enables you do to that could not
>>  do in another way. It's a question of whether you can do things more
>>  conveniently, or with more commonality than other wise; after all, XML
>>  is just an extensible syntax and, indeed, could do exactly nothing
>>  that SGML could not do (when it came out -- XML standards exceed SGML
>>  ones now). XML has still been successful.
>[VK] I think Anita and you are not actually in disagreement. The SW community
>together needs to concretely define and measure:
>- "how much more conveniently (at a lower cost?) can things be done in
>comparison to other technologies"
>- "how much commonality can be invoked using SW technologies"
>IMHO, if the answer to the above questions is not yes, then we are 
>just doing SW
>for intellectual entertainment.
>>  It's more a question of whether, RDF or OWL provides a combination of
>>  things that we would not get otherwise. With OWL (DL and lite), I
>>  rather like the ability to check my model with a reasoner, and to be
>>  able to apply the ontology automatically in some circumstances. With
>>  RDF, you have a convenient technology for building a hyperlinked
>>  resource, but with added link types.
>[VK] But how useful are thee artifacts? Do they result in improving the
>performance/quality of certain things or do they help doing things more
>>  Of course, you could do the latter with straight XML (well, since RDF
>>  is XML, you are doing so). And the former could be done without OWL,
>>  just with a raw DL; of course, then you wouldn't get some of the
>>  additional features of OWL (such as multi-lingual support which
>>  derives directly from the XML).
>[VK] Are these features really important and useful? Does 
>multi-lingual support
>help alleviate or solve existing problems? Are there any studies which
>conclusively demonstrate this?
>>  Having said all that went before, I agree with this; having a set of
>>  RDF/OWL life sciences success stories which explained why the
>>  technology was appropriate (if not uniquely appropriate) would be a
>>  good thing, if it has not been done before.
>[VK] Exactly! See! I said we are actually in agreement!

Professor James Hendler			  Director
Joint Institute for Knowledge Discovery	  	  301-405-2696
UMIACS, Univ of Maryland			  301-314-9734 (Fax)
College Park, MD 20742	 		  http://www.cs.umd.edu/~hendler
Web Log: http://www.mindswap.org/blog/author/hendler
Received on Tuesday, 4 April 2006 16:07:12 UTC

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