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RE: Proposed issue: What does using an URI require of me and my s oftware?

From: John Black <JohnBlack@deltek.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2003 15:11:47 -0400
Message-ID: <D3C8F903E7CC024C9DA6D900A60725D9025F34D9@DLTKVMX1.ads.deltek.com>
To: "pat hayes" <phayes@ihmc.us>, "LYNN,JAMES (HP-USA,ex1)" <james.lynn@hp.com>
Cc: <public-sw-meaning@w3.org>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: pat hayes [mailto:phayes@ihmc.us]
> Sent: Friday, October 03, 2003 1:48 PM
> Cc: public-sw-meaning@w3.org
> Subject: RE: Proposed issue: What does using an URI require 
> of me and my
> s oftware?
> >  > -----Original Message-----
> >>  From: Bijan Parsia [mailto:bparsia@isr.umd.edu]
> >>  Sent: Friday, October 03, 2003 10:09 AM
> >>  To: Tim Berners-Lee
> >>  Cc: public-sw-meaning@w3.org
> >>  Subject: Re: Proposed issue: What does using an URI require
> >>  of me and my
> >>  software?
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>  Sorry for the delay in replying.
> >>
> >>  On Friday, September 26, 2003, at 10:42  AM, Tim 
> Berners-Lee wrote:
> >>
> >>  >
> >>  > In-Reply-to Bijan's original  
> >>  > <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-sw-meaning/2003Sep/
> >>  > 0054.html> , clarifications.
> >>  >
> >>  > - Use of an HTTP URI as a symbol in an RDF statement
> >>  >  refers to one thing which the URI owner intended.
> >>
> >>  So, this is broken out of the gate, right? I mean, why
> >>  "intended"? Did 
> >>  you mean, "What the current URI owner current intends"? 
> And what if 
> >>  they intended it to refer to more than one thing? Why is the
> >>  one thing 
> >>  important, anyway. (I tend to strongly agree with Pat on
> >>  this. And to 
> >>  go further that I'd rather that the use of a URI mean 
> what *I*, the 
> >>  document author, intended it to mean.)
> >>
> >>  > - The URI owner puts true, consistent, hum &/or machine
> >>  > readable information in the
> >>  >   document that you get should you chose to dereference the URI.
> >>
> >>  And this seems compatible with "And I assert other things 
> about the 
> >>  'one thing' that may or may not be consistent with what the
> >>  URI owner, 
> >>  fool that they may be, sez about it. And I'm taking my 
> 'may' rights 
> >>  very seriously and not going to chose to dereference that URI."
> >>
> >
> >I'm curious about exactly what each of you, or anyone else, 
> envisions as the
> >problem scenarios here. Is it
> >
> >1. An owner, A,  defines a URI to have a meaning
> That isn't a well-enough-defined notion for this 
> to be an actual scenario. Lets agree to talk in 
> terms of things that really do have a crisp 
> operational meaning, like publishing an ontology.
> A publishes an ontology AO which uses a URI owned by A.....
> >  which some other author, B,
> >redefines or misinterprets to have a different meaning in 
> his document,
> .... and B publishes another ontology BO which 
> uses A's URI ...to do what, exactly?
> 1. TO say something that could not be inferred 
> from AO alone? But that is going to happen all 
> the time: when I order a book, I say something 
> about the book that the bookstore didnt say, viz. 
> that I ordered it.
> 2. OR, did B say something in BO that A feels 
> does not reflect A's intentions when A published 
> AO? Well, that's an interesting case, but surely 
> we cannot expect B to be telepathic; B could 
> argue that A should have made A's intentions more 
> explicit when writing AO. In any case, this seems 
> clearly to require that A and B communicate in 
> ways that go outside the SW framework, so I 
> suggest that we just don't say much about this 
> other than maybe acknowledge that it could 
> possibly happen.
> 3. OR, did BO actually contradict AO (possibly, 
> when taken in conjunction with some background 
> assumptions mutually agreed by A and B, or by the 
> general assumptions of the culture, or whatever, 
> to be correct) ? Now, I think, we have a case 
> where we can get down to some details. If B 
> publishes something that contradicts what A 
> publishes, and if it uses A's vocabulary, then A 
> should feel entitled to claim that if C draws 
> some conclusions from BO, then C is 
> misunderstanding the intended meaning of A's URIs 
> in a way that might be called SW-egregious, and 
> we could reasonably require that such uses are 
> naughty. And there is some wriggle room here to 
> talk about assumed shared background assumptions, 
> and so on, which might in turn give some real 
> bite to this word "social":  for example, any 
> imported ontologies would of course be required 
> to be relevant to the contradiction-detection 
> issue.
> >and
> >then a consumer, C, reading B's document mistakenly assumes 
> that A's meaning
> >is intended.
> Draws a conclusion (validly, using extant SW 
> semantic specifications) which A does not 
> like.... or didn't think of .... or something (?)
> >
> >2. An owner, A, defines a URI to have some meaning, and then 
> B takes some
> >liberty with the use of the URI; maybe something along the 
> lines of the use
> >of the word 'infinite' in the phrase 'infinite wisdom'. A 
> mathemetician
> >might argue that this is an improper use of the word, but 
> most of us don't
> >see it as a problem.
> I agree, but a liberty on the SW might be a 
> rather different category from a liberty in 
> English metaphors or poesy.
> >
> >The reason I digress to these somewhat simple examples is 
> that it seems to
> >me that once the tools evolve, these judgement calls will be 
> made not by
> >computer scientists, but by businessmen, supervisors, etc. I 
> suppose we
> >could build some kind of semantic consistency checker into 
> the tools; MS
> >Word RDF/OWL Check?
> >
> >Naively curious,
> >James
> Not naive at all, right on the button. Like, what 
> problem are we setting out to solve here? What 
> might go wrong that our declarations of Policy 
> and Correct Architecture and so on are aiming to 
> prevent? I for one am completely unclear what the 
> issues are supposed to be that so concern us 
> here, and I am extremely worried that we will 
> make declarations based on mistaken ideas about 
> meaning rather than on any actual problems.
Ok. ACorp creates a acorp:uri123 which is a serial 
number of one of its acorp:StandardWidget, which 
is the product ID of its standard widget and has property 
listPrice = $2.00 according to its ontology acorp:catalogue.
BCorp, thru their sw-agent, buys a batch of these including 
acorp:uri123.  Now BCorp turns around and sends the batch to 
CCorp's sw-agent with an RDF invoice that states that 
acorp:uri123 a ACorp:DeluxeWidget.  CCorp can verify that 
the list price of a ACorp:DeluxeWidget is $10.00 and happily 
pays BCorp their asking price of $5.00.

Now the RDF invoice used two of ACorps URIs to 
commit fraud.  Those URIs belong to ACorp and it was never 
ACorps intention that acorp:uri123 be called anything other 
than a acorp:StandardWidget.  How could ACorp make this 
clear to CCorp?  One solution would be to publish at 
acorp:uri123 the statement, this is <> a acorp:StandardWidget.

Note that this is a boring, trivial example.  There is no 
inference, semantic search, or other sw-interesting ideas 
in it.  I'm using it to point out that URIs have 
social meanings that will become represented and 
communicated by the Semantic Web.  

> Rather than quarrel over the meaning of words 
> that have no exact meaning (like "meaning" for a 
> start) or that some of us think have exact 
> meanings but others think are meaningless (like 
> "resource"), why don't we try to get a bit more 
> precise about why we feel that something - 
> ANYTHING - needs to be said about this issue.  If 
> nobody can point to anything that is likely to 
> break if we say nothing, then the best thing to 
> do is to agree to say nothing.  And if they can, 
> then at least we will have some example scenarios 
> to help us focus discussion.
> Right now, the only machine-detectable symptom 
> that something is wrong seems to be that an SW 
> reasoning engine might detect a contradiction, 
> perhaps using information which comes from 
> non-SW-ontology sources, perhaps using many other 
> kinds of background assumptions such as widely 
> used standard ontologies, whatever: but somehow a 
> contradiction is detected by a piece of software. 
> That is definitely a sign that something is 
> screwed up somewhere, or that two sources of SW 
> content disagree with one another. So maybe we 
> could restrict the discussion to the question: 
> what should an SW agent do when it finds a 
> contradiction? What protocols or guidelines can 
> we suggest for how to handle that situation? 
> Because as long as none of them do find any 
> contradictions, I think the SW will just kind of 
> work by itself, and what we say about "meanings" 
> will have about as much relevance to the actual 
> operation of the SW as farting.
> Pat Hayes
> -- 
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Received on Friday, 3 October 2003 15:14:27 UTC

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