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Re: [SE] Ontology Driven Architectures

From: Phil Tetlow <philip.tetlow@uk.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 06:23:18 -0500
To: Alan Rector <rector@cs.man.ac.uk>
Cc: SWBPD <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF946AFA92.29B2109A-ON80256F81.003E1DA1-85256F81.003D01F6@uk.ibm.com>




Alan,

Of course. Who are we to stand in the way of Harry Potter ! :0)

Seriously, you of course have a very valid point. Thanks.


Kind Regards

Phil Tetlow
Senior Consultant
IBM Business Consulting Services
Mobile. (+44) 7740 923328


                                                                           
             Alan Rector                                                   
             <rector@cs.man.ac                                             
             .uk>                                                       To 
                                       Phil Tetlow/UK/IBM@IBMGB            
             06/01/2005 06:01                                           cc 
                                       SWBPD <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>,      
                                       Cliff Jones                         
                                       <cliff.jones@ncl.ac.uk>, Grady      
                                       Booch <gbooch@us.ibm.com>           
                                                                   Subject 
                                       Re: [SE] Ontology Driven            
                                       Architectures                       
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           




Phil, All

Could the phrase "modelling reality" be changed to something like
"modelling
common understanding of the domain" or some similar neutral phrase?  I have
had
students modelling things from Harry Potter's world to fantasy games to
alternative conceptualizations of healthcare by different professionals -
all for
building systems with ontology driven architectures.    There are lots of
domains
I wouldn't want to call "reality".  And there is a whole minefield of
philosophical argument I'd rather skirt around.

Regards

Alan


Phil Tetlow wrote:

> You will be aware that one of the deliverables of the W3C's task force on
> the Application of the Semantic Web in Software Engineering is a
publically
> available list of 'validated ideas and potential uses for the Semantic
Web
> in Software Engineering'. As such I have done some provisional work over
> Christmas to produce an initial description for the concept of Ontology
> Driven Architectures(ODA). This has now kindly been reviewed by Grady
Booch
> and Jeff Pan to remove any really obvious mistakes, but any further
> alterations or additions would be warmly welcomed.
>
> Ontology Driven Architectures
>
> In all well-established engineering disciplines, modelling reality
through
> a variety of formal and semi-formal notations has proven itself essential
> to advancing the practice in each such domain. As such, large section of
> the Software Engineering profession have evolved from the concept of
> constructing models of one form or another as a means to develop,
> communicate and verify abstract designs in accordance with original
> requirements. Such ideas have spawned the fields of Computers Aided
> Software Engineering (CASE) and, more recently, Model Driven
Architectures
> (MDA), where models are not only used for design purposes, but associated
> tools and techniques can be utilised further to generate executable
> artefacts for use later in the Software Lifecycle. Nevertheless there has
> always been a frustrating paradox present with tooling use in Software
> Engineering that has arisen from the range of modelling techniques
> available and the spectrum of systems requiring design: Engineering
> nontrivial systems demands rigour and unambiguous statement of concept,
yet
> the more formal the modelling approach chosen, the more abstract the
tools
> needed, often making methods difficult to implement, limiting the freedom
> of expression available to the engineer and proving a barrier to
> communication amongst lesser experienced practitioners. For these reasons
> less formal approaches have seen mainstream commercial acceptance in
recent
> years, with the Unified Modelling Language (UML) currently being the most
> favoured amongst professionals.
>
> Even so, approaches like the UML are by no means perfect. Although they
are
> capable of capturing highly complex conceptualisations, current versions
> are far from semantically rich. Furthermore they can be notoriously
> unambiguous. A standard isolated schematic from such a language, no
matter
> how perfect, can still be open to gross misinterpretation by engineers
who
> are not overly familiar with its source problem space. It is true that
> supporting annotation and documentation can help alleviate such problems,
> but traditionally this has still involved a separate, literal, verbose
and
> long-winded activity often disjointed for the production of the actual
> schematic itself.
>
> What is needed instead is a way to incorporate unambiguous, rich
semantics
> into the various semi-formal schemes underlying methods like the UML. In
so
> doing, the ontologies inherent to a system’s real world problem space
and
> its various abstract solution spaces could be encapsulated via the very
> same representations used to engineer its design. This would not only
> provide a basis for improved communication, conformance verification and
> automated generation of run time-artefacts, but would also present
> additional mechanisms for cross-checking the consistency of deliverables
> throughout the design process and enable stronger inter-project
> connectivity via the sharing of ontological concepts.
>
> In many respects an ontology can be considered as simply a formal model
in
> its own right. Hence, given the semantically rich, unambiguous qualities
of
> information embodiment via ontologies on the Semantic Web and the
> universality of the Semantic Web’s XML heritage, there appears a
compelling
> argument to combine the semi-formal Model Driven techniques of Software
> Engineering with those common to Ontology representation on the Semantic
> Web.
>
> Kind Regards
>
> Phil Tetlow
> Senior Consultant
> IBM Business Consulting Services
> Mobile. (+44) 7740 923328
> ----- Forwarded by Phil Tetlow/UK/IBM on 05/01/2005 07:59 -----
>
>              "Jeff Pan"
>              <pan@cs.man.ac.uk
>              >
To
>                                        Phil Tetlow/UK/IBM@IBMGB, "\"Grady
>              05/01/2005 07:29          Booch\"" <gbooch@us.ibm.com>
>
cc
>
>
Subject
>                                        Re: Ontology Driven Architectures
-
>                                        Help needed with an early
>                                        description for W3C please
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Hi Phil and Grady,
>
> Sorry for getting back to you late - our servers had been down since
> Christmas and they only went back to work earlier this morning.
>
> In accordance with Grady's suggestion, what do you think if we extend the
> first sentence of the last paragraph into
>
> "In many respects an ontology can be considered as simply a *formal*
model
> in its
> own right. "
>
> Happy New Year,
> Jeff
>
> --
> Dr. Jeff Z. Pan  ( http://DL-Web.man.ac.uk/ )
> School of Computer Science, The University of Manchester
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Grady Booch" <gbooch@us.ibm.com>
> To: "Phil Tetlow" <philip.tetlow@uk.ibm.com>
> Cc: "Jeff Pan" <pan@cs.man.ac.uk>
> Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 5:50 PM
> Subject: Re: Ontology Driven Architectures - Help needed with an early
> description for W3C please
>
> What would you think about prefixing your message with the sentence "In
> all well-established engineering disciplines, modeling reality through a
> variety of formal and semi-formal notations has proven itself essential
to
> advancing the practice in each such domain."
>
> The point here is that are troding ground that others have, and thus what
> we are pursuing is relevant.
>
> Grady Booch
> IBM Fellow
>     Voice:    (303) 986-2405
>     Mobile:  (303) 898-7091
>     Fax:        (303) 987-2141
>     Video:    (303) 795-6587/6626
>     GPS:      39.620/-105.076
>     Notes:    Grady Booch/Boulder/IBM
>     E-mail:   gbooch@us.ibm.com
>
> Phil Tetlow/UK/IBM@IBMGB
> 01/02/05 10:10 AM
>
> To
> Grady Booch/Boulder/IBM@IBMUS, "Jeff Pan" <pan@cs.man.ac.uk>
> cc
>
> Subject
> Ontology Driven Architectures - Help needed with an early description for
> W3C please
>
> Grady, Jeff
>
> You will be aware that one of the deliverables of the W3C's task force on
> the Application of the Semantic Web in Software Engineering is a
> publically available list of 'validated ideas and potential uses for the
> Semantic Web in Software Engineering'. As such I have done some work over
> Christmas to produce and initial description for the idea of Ontology
> Driven Architectures (ODA). I must, however, confess that I have found
> this task somewhat difficult and would hence really appreciate your
> thoughts on my initial draft below, before I submit it to the general
SWBP
> mailing list for consideration.
>
> Ontology Driven Architectures
>
> Large section of the Software Engineering profession have evolved from
the
> concept of constructing models of one form or another as a means to
> develop, communicate and verify abstract designs in accordance with
> original requirements. Such ideas have spawned the fields of Computers
> Aided Software Engineering (CASE) and, more recently, Model Driven
> Architectures (MDA), where models are not only used for design purposes,
> but associated tools and techniques can be utilised further to generate
> executable artefacts for use later in the Software Lifecycle.
Nevertheless
> there has always been a frustrating paradox present with tooling use in
> Software Engineering that has arisen from the range of modelling
> techniques available and the spectrum of systems requiring design:
> Engineering nontrivial systems demands rigour and unambiguous statement
of
> concept, yet the more formal the modelling approach chosen, the more
> abstract the tools needed, often making methods difficult to implement,
> limiting the freedom of expression available to the engineer and proving
a
> barrier to communication amongst lesser experienced practitioners. For
> these reasons less formal approaches have seen mainstream commercial
> acceptance in recent years, with the Unified Modelling Language (UML)
> currently being the most favoured amongst professionals.
>
> Even so, approaches like the UML are by no means perfect. Although they
> are capable of capturing highly complex conceptualisations, current
> versions are far from semantically rich. Furthermore they can be
> notoriously unambiguous. A standard isolated schematic from such a
> language, no matter how perfect, can still be open to gross
> misinterpretation by engineers who are not overly familiar with its
source
> problem space. It is true that supporting annotation and documentation
can
> help alleviate such problems, but traditionally this has still involved a
> separate, literal, verbose and long-winded activity often disjointed for
> the production of the actual schematic itself.
>
> What is needed instead is a way to incorporate unambiguous, rich
semantics
> into the various semi-formal schemes underlying methods like the UML. In
> so doing, the ontologies inherent to a system?s real world problem space
> and its various abstract solution spaces could be encapsulated via the
> very same representations used to engineer its design. This would not
only
> provide a basis for improved communication, conformance verification and
> automated generation of run time-artefacts, but would also present
> additional mechanisms for cross-checking the consistency of deliverables
> throughout the design process.
>
> In many respects an ontology can be considered as simply a model in its
> own right. Hence, given the semantically rich, unambiguous qualities of
> information embodiment via ontologies on the Semantic Web and the
> universality of the Semantic Web?s XML heritage, there appears a
> compelling argument to combine the semi-formal Model Driven techniques of
> Software Engineering with those common to Ontology representation on the
> Semantic Web.
>
> Many thanks and Happy New Year
>
> Phil Tetlow
> Senior Consultant
> IBM Business Consulting Services
> Mobile. (+44) 7740 923328

--
Alan L Rector
Professor of Medical Informatics
Department of Computer Science
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL, UK
TEL: +44-161-275-6188/6149/7183
FAX: +44-161-275-6236/6204
Room: 2.88a, Kilburn Building
email: rector@cs.man.ac.uk
web: www.cs.man.ac.uk/mig
        www.opengalen.org
        www.clinical-escience.org
        www.co-ode.org


Received on Thursday, 6 January 2005 11:19:28 UTC

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