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Re: [OEP] Units and Measures

From: Deborah L. McGuinness <dlm@ksl.Stanford.EDU>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 14:02:09 -0700
Message-ID: <41251551.6070201@ksl.stanford.edu>
To: ewallace@cme.nist.gov
CC: public-swbp-wg@w3.org
i brought up the issue of where we stood with respect to the units and 
measures conversation on today's telecon.
I brought it up because i thought I had read in some irc logs a while 
ago that there was a request for us to provide a best practices note on 
units and measures ontologies.  Because I had missed a few telecons I 
was not sure where we were with that  and i wanted to make sure that we 
understood that doing a good job on a survey of ontologies could be a 
lot of work.

There was some belief in today's telecon that guus may have offered to 
look at a particular units and measures proposal and provide some 
comments.  (There is a caveat to this statement - we did not verify in 
real time exactly what guus had offered to do so we should check in with 
guus to find out what actually was agreed upon.)

I also think that before we took on a conversion use for the semantic 
web, it would be useful to identify a prototypical use case that would 
be used to refer to to help make any modeling decisions.

Gruber's ontology set on ontolingua does seem to have had a fair amount 
of visibility and reuse so it is a strong starting candidate.
i do not know the answer to evan's question of work to add precision to 
it though.


ewallace@cme.nist.gov wrote:

>Where was this on the meeting agenda?
>Anyway, I agree that a pragmatic approach to this would be to pick an 
>existing ontology and convert it for SW use.  Furthermore, the Gruber 
>ontology looks like a good starting point for this.  However, as an 
>engineering math ontology it is deficient.  Precision is an important
>part of such math, and it is blissfully ignored in the Gruber and Olsen
>paper.  Without it there is not much one can say about Measurements for 
>that matter (with the exception of counts).  Does anyone know of any work 
>to add precision to the Gruber ontology?  If not, then perhaps we should 
>call any SW rendering of it merely a Units Ontology.
>Uschold, Michael F wrote:
>>There was some discussion at the recent telecon about what the OEP group
>>might do related to units and measures. Possibilities include:
>>1.	Conversion activity: Take a single [the best one, ideally] units
>>and measures ontology and convert it.
>>2.	Conduct a survey of existing ontologies for units and measures, 
>>a.	Evaluation Activity: evaluate the various proposals
>>b.	Conversion activity: recommend the best one and convert it to
>>3.	Adaptation/Creation activity: Adapt and improve the best
>>existing ontology and have it be a formal recommendation.
>>The only one of these activities that has a reasonable chance of success
>>with modest effort is 1. However, unless someone feels confident to pick
>>a good one, it will be some effort to survey existing ones first.  I
>>have a lot of experience with Gruber's ontology, and can say with high
>>confidence that it is very good, and would be a perfectly reasonable
>>place to start.  It could be a stake in the ground, and others could
>>critique/evolve/adapt it as they saw fit.
>>As Deb G. said in the telecon today, the other two tasks are opening
>>Pandora's box. It is a lot of work to do a good survey and even more
>>work to take those results and start on an official recommendation for a
>>units and measures ontology. I belive this kind of activity is OUT of
>>scope for the SWBPD WG.
>>It is also possible that converting the Gruber ontology into OWL might
>>itself be a challenging task, once you start to think how to do thing
>>the *best* way, as opposed to a straight-forward translation.

 Deborah L. McGuinness 
 Associate Director Knowledge Systems Laboratory 
 Gates Computer Science Building, 2A Room 241 
 Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-9020 
 email: dlm@ksl.stanford.edu
 URL: http://ksl.stanford.edu/people/dlm
 (voice) 650 723 9770    (stanford fax) 650 725 5850   (computer fax)  801 705 0941
Received on Thursday, 19 August 2004 21:02:46 UTC

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