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RE: Comment on "Named Graphs, Provenance and Trust"

From: John Black <JohnBlack@deltek.com>
Date: Thu, 6 May 2004 18:04:26 -0400
Message-ID: <D3C8F903E7CC024C9DA6D900A60725D9057C2657@DLTKVMX1.ads.deltek.com>
To: "Pat Hayes" <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: <public-sw-meaning@w3.org>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@ihmc.us]
> Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2004 3:11 PM
> To: John Black
> Cc: public-sw-meaning@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Comment on "Named Graphs, Provenance and Trust"
> >I am excited by the paper, "Named Graphs, Provenance and Trust" -
> >http://www.wiwiss.fu-berlin.de/suhl/bizer/SWTSGuide/carroll-i
> swc2004.pdf.
> >I think that the ideas in this paper solve several of the 
> problems that
> >have been discussed on this list in a elegant and compelling 
> way.  But
> >even more, a general method is proposed that can be used to 
> solve many
> >more problems.  Great kudos are due to the authors, IMHO. I hope work
> >proceeds on this with all deliberate speed, as they say in 
> the courts.
> >
> >Using the ideas in this work, I can now resubmit a previous idea in
> >these terms.  In addition to the performatives cited in this paper,
> >asserting, promising, naming, marrying, etc., I would like 
> to work out
> >the syntax and semantics of a *defining* performative, if possible.
> Right, I had your emails in the back of my mind while working on 
> sections of the paper :-)
> >This is what I previously referred to as a 'stipulative 
> definition' or
> >'stipulative ontology'.  What I am trying to get at 
> intuitively is the
> >ability to say, "When this term is used in this context it SHALL be
> >interpreted to mean that".  And as a crude example of its 
> use, imagine
> >I had need to import two ontologies, one a universal 
> business language
> >ontology of commercial transactions, and the other, Bijan and Peter's
> >alternative ontology of transactions, both of which 
> contained some terms
> >I needed but which had an incompatible "invoice" term that caused an
> >ambiguity (inconsistency).  Now I want to be able to eliminate the
> >ambiguity by stating that within this named graph, when the term
> >"invoice" is used, it SHALL be interpreted according to the 
> UBL ontology
> >(or vice versa).
> But the performative story only gives you a kind of act, not a 
> stipulation about other's acts or interpretations. So let me try to 
> rephrase this a little: suppose we say that the intuitive force of 
> such a stipulative definition is to declare that *your intention* is 
> that the terms shall have the meaning you give to them, and that any 
> usage (such as Bijan and Peter's, in the example) which clashes or is 
> incompatible with your meanings is not intended by you. This of 
> course does not *prevent* P & B from misusing your terminology (how 
> could it?) , or force anyone else to believe you rather than them (so 
> all this foolish analogizing with tyranny, oppression and freedom is 
> beside the point): but it does give any third party a clear, 
> unambiguous, machine-readable and traceable-to-you indication that 
> would enable them to follow your indicated intentions if they wish to 
> do so, without your stipulative definitions being muddled by 
> information received from elsewhere without your authority.
> Consider the following strategy: you owl:import the UBL ontology into 
> yours, and then assert your ontology using an appropriate warrant. 
> The result would be in effect asserting the conjunction of the UBL 
> 'definitions' and your ontology together as a single unit: anything 
> that contradicted the definitions would be in effect contradicting 
> your assertion. Would that do the trick?

Yes. According to the way you interpreted my example this would work.
However, I intended my example to include one additional complication, 
which I didn't spell out properly.  Namely, suppose I wanted to owl:import 
both ontologies, because both had useful descriptions for terms that I 
wanted to use.  But there was this conflict over just that one term, 
'invoice'.  It creates a logical inconsistency, which I am saying is 
analogous to an ambiguity.  I still want to owl:import both ontologies, 
but I want to stipulate that one or the other meaning of 'invoice' is 
my intent and I want that to remove the logical inconsistency.

As for the "...SHALL be interpreted..." clause, true, it is not 
necessary, and for a first example, distracting.
But in very serious cases, I may want to include in my 
performative the promise to submit any dispute to an adjudication 
agent, lets say.  In that case, it is to this adjudicator that the 
"...shall be interpreted..." is directed. If there was a contract 
based on those terms, the adjudicator would be required to interpret 
those terms of the clauses of the contract according to the stipulated 
definitions provided for those terms.

Of course then I want to abstract out just the two acts of:
1) stipulating a description for a term; and 
2) compliantly interpreting a term according to a stipulated 

> >I'm also wondering if you all had thought out the implications of
> >these ideas for the semantics of the actual web.  I mean, would it
> >be better to view URIs and web sites as performatives?
> Well, Im not sure what that would mean exactly, but I think this is 
> more or less the de facto situation we have now, where publishing is 
> kind of generally assumed to be asserting. As many folk have pointed 
> out, thought, this is likely to not be workable when things get 
> larger, which is why we tried to come up with a way to rationalize 
> this.
> >  rather than
> >as identifiers, names, or statements?  They seem to have something of
> >the same self-describing quality.  They mean what they return
> >because they return what they mean.
> Ah, I may see what you mean. The fact that a URI is seen as an 
> identifier which can be used to retrieve something, rather than 
> simply a referring name, may be related to the performative idea (??) 
> I hadnt thought about that before. Hmmmm....
> Pat Hayes
> >
> >
> >John Black
> >Senior Software Architect,
> >Time & Expense Collection Group,
> >Enterprise Systems Division,
> >Deltek Systems, Inc. www.deltek.com
> >Office: 703-885-9656
> >Mobile: 434-825-3765
> >JohnBlack@deltek.com
> -- 
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Received on Thursday, 6 May 2004 18:04:30 UTC

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