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

RE: Ontology editor + why RDF?

From: Jim Myers <jimmyers@ncsa.uiuc.edu>
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2006 12:20:45 -0500
Message-Id: <6.2.3.4.2.20060404120605.0347ada0@pop.ncsa.uiuc.edu>
To: <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>

My two cents:

I don't know how you answer 'how much easier' at this point, but I 
think one can make a pretty good case for 'why' -

Mosaic and the Web didn't allow you to do new things as much as it 
suggested a way to look at content creation and browsing - the 
general public should be able to create richly formatted content and 
distribute it w/o help from publishers or software developers, and 
linking between information sources should be a first class operation 
(enabling browsing versus a retrieve, read references, retrieve again process).

The Semantic Web doesn't allow you to do new things as much as it 
suggests a new way to look at information - the public (at least 
domain specialists) should be able to specify models and publish 
information conforming to them without help from knowledge engineers 
or software developers, and the integration of information across 
sources should be a first class operation (versus requiring one to 
retrieve, map, retrieve again).

Behind these ideas, I think one can develop use cases that show where 
democratization of information modelling and on-demand data 
integration provide the biggest value... which is of course yet to be measured.

   Jim



At 11:22 AM 4/4/2006, Kashyap, Vipul wrote:

> > 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
>
>[VK] The only catch in the above argument is that the market has completely
>adopted and extended the Web! So in some sense these value 
>proposition questions
>have already been answered! Unfortunately, as far as the SW is 
>concerned, we may
>have to provide some answers to bootstrap adoption, at least in the 
>business and
>corporate environments.
>
> > 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
> > >conveniently?
> > >
> > >>  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!
> > >
> > >---Vipul
> >
> > --
> > 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

James D. Myers
Associate Director, Cyberenvironments and Technologies, NCSA
1205 W. Clark St, MC-257
Urbana, IL 61801
217-244-1934
jimmyers@ncsa.uiuc.edu
Received on Tuesday, 4 April 2006 17:20:57 UTC

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