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Re: HTML version of Ontology Working Group Proposal v2

From: Alan Rector <rector@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 17:39:02 +0000
Message-Id: <06DB6390-334F-4494-ADD4-9BEA2E9D7DFD@cs.man.ac.uk>
Cc: "public-semweb-lifesci" <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
To: "Kashyap, Vipul" <VKASHYAP1@PARTNERS.ORG>

Many thanks for this.
And apologies that I've been out of the loop for a long time.  Two  
things I think are missing:

"What's it for".  You touch on this in point 5)  "How should  
ontologies be accesses and used?".  However, I think it should be  
much more prominent.  What we will use 'ontologies' for and how they  
will improve things is more important than saying what they are.  We  
can only determine if we are succeeding if we first say what we are  
trying to accomplish.

"Should" vs "Could" - the two alternate. I would suggest that a focus  
that links alternatives to outcomes would be more effective.  For a  
given purposes in a situations what are the consequences -  
advantageous and disadvantageous - of using different technologies/  
methodologies / approaches.

For illustration, I can think we can identify at least two large  
categories of use:

a)	For what I shall call "Reference Information Resources" - which  
range from things called "databases" - although not necessarily using  
"database technology" - to things called ontologies such as the OBO  
family (whether they use 'ontology technology' is not a debate I wish  
to enter into).  The question of what role ontologies and the various  
technologies associated with ontologies play in such resources is  
important.  How do the different technologies required fit together  
to meet the different purposes?

b)	For communication and interworking - from message passing to  
workflows to agent based software.

Others would undoubtedly add more or break them up differently.   
That's not the point for the Mission and Objectives.  That's for the  
work itself.  For now, what is important is to identify that matching  
purpose and use to methodology and technology are important parts of  
the group's remit.



On 14 Feb 2006, at 17:06, Kashyap, Vipul wrote:

> <Ontology Working Group Proposal v2.htm>

Alan Rector
Professor of Medical Informatics
Department of Computer Science
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL, UK
TEL +44 (0) 161 275 6188/6149
FAX +44 (0) 161 275 6204
Received on Wednesday, 15 February 2006 18:54:27 UTC

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